I recently caught The Last Starfighter on TV, which led to a discussion with my friend Phil about the film Battle Beyond The Stars, which as it happens was also on TV around the same time but I happened to miss. I certainly remembered borrowing this film from the video library several times as a child, but I remember very little about it, so I was pleased when Phil came to the rescue with his copy of it on DVD. Cheers mate!
Before re-watching the film, my over riding memories of it were that it was a bit like Star Wars (like so many films were back then), and that it starred John Boy Walton (Richard Thomas) and had some space cowboy character in it.
So I popped the disc into my player to begin my journey of rediscovery. Up pop the menus accompanied by a piece of music that at once felt stunningly familiar to me, and there’s a picture of John Boy and a cowboy character. So far, so well remembered then.
The film begins with the peaceful inhabitants of the planet Akir being invaded by the evil Sador (John Saxon) and his Malmori warriors. Sador tells them that unless they bow down to his demands he will destroy the planet with his Stellar Converter (Death Star anyone?), and to prove his intent goes about killing a few innocents just for good measure.
Most of the Akira believe they are doomed, but young Luke, sorry, John B… I mean Shad, says that he will take the planets only space craft, powered by a computer named Nell, on a mission to go and recruit some mercenaries to help the Akira defend themselves.