Hollywood is always chasing its last hit, and there have been few hits as massively influential as Star Wars: A New Hope.
After the film came out in March 1977, studios stampeded like raging Jawas to solder together the quickest, dirtiest, cheapest imitations, tributes, parodies, and/or amalgamations of all three.
Below are a sampling of the highs, the lows, and the unwatchables when it comes to Star Wars rip-off films.
Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards came out almost two months before New Hope, so it’s obviously not a knockoff in the usual sense.
Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
One of the most transparent Star Wars knock-off cash grabs of all time was perpetrated by the studio itself, in a stunningly ill-conceived Christmas special featuring proliferating Wookie relatives and very little plot.
Ridley Scott said he was directly inspired to make Alien after he saw Star Wars, and the influence is easy to see in the visual style.
Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Low-budget hack master Roger Corman figured that the best way to do a Star Wars rip-off was to rip off the things Lucas had ripped off, but more blatantly.
Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (The Man Who Saved the World) (1982)
Lots of movies stole themes, design elements, and plot points from Star Wars. Turkish director Çetin Inanç went the extra mile and actually stole footage and music cues;