Turkish Star Wars (1982)

I’m not overly familiar with 80s Turkish Sci-fi so Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (AKA The Man who Saved the World) was an introduction of sorts. The plot revolves around the destruction of Earth and the people trying to save it, whilst fighting a knock-off cast of Yo Gabba Gabba.

This film is also known as Turkish Star Wars due to the fact that it ignores all copyright laws and just blatantly steals footage from one of the most popular movies ever released. Did they honestly not think anyone would notice? The film’s main character flies the Millenium Falcon for Pete’s sake. Also, The Death Star is quite prominent throughout. I’m surprised they didn’t go further and cast Alec Guinness in a role. This decision perplexed me and then when looking at the trivia section on the film’s IMDb page I read

The decision to incorporate pirated footage from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) was made after elaborate spaceship film sets constructed on a Turkish beach were destroyed by a storm before shooting was scheduled to start. The studio refused to finance the sets’ reconstruction and did not want to delay the film’s release, leaving the producers with no feasible way to create all-new space battle footage. Çetin Inanç solved the problem by bribing the night watchman at a Turkish film distributor to let him borrow a print of Episode IV, which was hastily copied overnight.

What seemed like an idiotic decision at first can almost be forgiven given the director’s circumstance. Ironically if everything had gone to plan, nobody would remember this film. Its cult status derives from the fact that it is not only shit, but it also features iconic Star Wars moments. It would be like Wild Wild West featuring scenes from Indiana Jones or Mr Nanny using clips from Gone with the Wind.

Speaking of Indiana Jones, this film uses the technique of each character having its own score. Something common in big movies but this film will change so rapidly between them, it means if two characters are looking at each other it would alternate between both tracks. 3 seconds of one, quick disjointed change to a different track, 3 seconds later, back again. You may think why would a composer do this? Well they wouldn’t. Just like a quarter of the film’s footage, the soundtracks are used illegally. This film features the Indiana Jones soundtrack more prominently that Raiders of the Lost Ark. A film that was released just one year before this. It also features tracks from Star Wars, Planet of the Apes, and Flash Gordon.

I haven’t really explained much of the plot here, mainly because I don’t really know what the hell happened. Two guys crash on a planet after fighting in a big war with a bloke wearing a cardboard mask that looks like it was made by a disturbed 4-year-old. Then they wander around a bit talking about women and getting some women. Then they meet people, weird monsters show up, lots of bad fighting, a big section about the Koran, then more fighting. Apparently, this film’s original length was 2 and a half hours and was cut by at least an hour. Take out plot, keep in all the parts where the main guy jumps over something. People don’t want story damn it, they want jumping!

Looking for a Positive

The score was really good. I mean, of course it was, it was the Indiana Jones theme. They just stole music by John Williams and Queen. It was very badly mixed together and overused to hell, but it was good.

Would I recommend this film

This film is challenging. You really need to know what you are letting yourself in for. The quality is abysmal, the plot makes no sense, The costumes and effects are worse than 60’s Doctor Who. It is reminiscent of a play made by 8-year-olds, everyone is trying hard but it is still bad. But it does have some balls. It steals footage of the Millennium Falcon and the Death Star and just passes it off as its own. I found this quite novel at first but after an hour the novelty had worn off. I would recommend it, but I must warn you to brace yourselves. It is ludicrously cheeky.

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