Message from Space *
is a film by Kinji Fukasaku, who would eventually do the film version of Battle Royale
. It was released in 1978 as Japan's answer to Star Wars
. Among the film's stars were Sonny Chiba and Vic Morrow.
The peaceful people of the planet Jillucia are under the iron fisted rule of the Gavanas, whose emperor
, Rokseia, is himself ruled by his mother (an old crone played by comedian Hideyo Amamoto in drag). Kido, leader of the Jillucians, sends out eight Liabe Holy Seeds (which look like glowing walnuts) to deep space, he then sends out his granddaughter Emeralida and her bodyguard Urocco to find those that the seeds have chosen to defend the Jillucians and defeat the Gavanas.
Among the ones that the Liabe Seeds have chosen are:
- Shiro and Aaron, two maverick rocket jockeys,
- Their cowardly friend, Jackie,
- Meia, a bored heiress,
- General Garuda (Morrow), a disgraced soldier,
- Beba-2, Garuda's loyal robot and Expy of R2D2,
- Prince Hans (Chiba), the Exiled former leader of the Gavanas.
This film contains examples of:
- Aborted Arc: Aaron is in love with Emeralida. For a while at least. It's used as his motivation for getting into the fight with the Gavanas, and is never mentioned again. When the heroes reunite with her near the end of the movie, there's no indication of this supposed undying love at first sight.
- Action Girl: Emeralida suddenly turns into one at the end, fighting alongside her people against the Gavanas.
- Airstrike Impossible: Aaron and Shiro have to pilot their fighters through a reactor shaft to destroy the Gavanas base, pursued by enemy fighters. This was a full 5 years before Return of the Jedi. Who followed whom?
- Cool Spaceship: The Heroes' ship, piloted by Meia to which Shiro and Aaron's fighters are connected to and said fighters can detach at a moment's notice.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Rokseia's forces vs. Earth.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: All the major enemies in Galactic Battle explode on defeat. One even tries to destroy a MacGuffin with his death explosion.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Aaron, having thrown away his Liabe Seed with the others, becomes sulky and brooding when they get theirs back and he doesn't.
- Face Heel Turn: Urocco, when informed that the heroes' plan will destroy Jillucia. It quickly becomes Redemption Equals Death when he realizes his mistake on opens fire on the Gavanas.
- Follow the Leader: Star Wars clones were rather common during the late 70s.
- Moon Shattering Kaboom: Courtesy of the Gavanas.
- Leitmotif: And get used to it; the tune plays whenever anyone so much as looks at a Liabe Seed.
- Refusal of the Call: Just about everyone, until about halfway through the film.
- Robot Buddy: Beba-2.
- Space Is Noisy: And How!
- Space Is an Ocean: Somewhat literal. The Jillucians' spacecraft is basically a galleon — In SPACE!. People can also swim in space, wearing nothing more than normal clothing and a breath mask.
- Space Sailing: See Space Is an Ocean above.
- The Series: Uchu kara no messeji: Ginga taisen (Message from Space: Galactic Battle), known as San Ku Kaļ in Europe.