Western Animation / Starchaser: The Legend of Orin


Starchaser: The Legend of Orin is a 1985 animated Space Opera film. The story follows Orin, an escaped slave who must free his people from the Dark Lord after being chosen by a Magic Sword. Helping him along the way are a cigar-chewing smuggler, his neurotic Robot Buddy, a sassy fembot, a governer's daughter and a Fairy Companion.

Just from that synopsis one would think that this has something to do with that famous and successful space opera trilogy released throughout the last ten years. Indeed, this film is very similar in terms of story and design, but has since become a Cult Classic.

Tropes that appear in this film:

  • Nightmare Face: The leader of the man-droids has a skull like face with large red eyes
    • The last man-droid Dagg kills has a skeletal face with sunken-in, barely visible eyes.
  • Oral Fixation: Does Dagg ever finish his cigar?
  • Plot Hole: The crystals are very volatile and ignite by laser fire, and yet the slaves mine them with powerful laser jackhammers.
    • Orin reacts at one point like if he knows what vacuum is. How would he know if hes been a slave in a subterranean world all his life?
  • Replacement Love Interest: Elan is somewhat-shockingly killed near the start of the movie. She's soon replaced by Aviana who has a similar design and the same voice actress.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The slaves push all of the minemasters into the lava when rebelling at the end. Note that this happens after Zygon has been killed, so there was arguably no need to do this to them. However, considering the generations of torment these people endured, their actions are understandable if not justifiable.
    • On the villains' side of things, Zygon is attempting to start his own revolution of sorts, and is perfectly prepared to kill, maim and torture in order to get his way, and has kept the entire population of a planet enslaved for thousands of years because of his dislike for humans.
  • Robotic Reveal: When Orin slashes Zygon's cheek with the sword.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: It's an obvious ripoff of Star Wars. There are a few changes that separate this from Star Wars. However, the characters, the plot (sorta), the locations and some sequences have been ripped off. Hell, even some of the sound effects are sampled from Star Wars.
    • To some extent, the movie also seems to want to follow in Heavy Metal's footsteps.
  • Swamps Are Evil: The man-droids live there, so this trope is in full action.
  • A Taste of the Lash / Whip It Good: The minemasters really love using their laser whips against underperforming slaves.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Zygon gets bisected and falls in lava. The lava is boiling for several seconds as if to make sure that he's gone for good.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Silica is reprogrammed without her consent, and the heroes sure do kill off Zygon's Mecha-Mooks rather wantonly, despite them having distinct personalities and sentience. No wonder Zygon hates humans so much!
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Orin accidentally opens a hangar's airlock, sucking out all the robots.
  • To the Pain: The laser torture is described in such terms:
    Zygon (to Dag): "Try to imagine a needle, the thickness of a human hair, slowly thrust between your eyes and penetrating your skull."
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Silica shoots down a ship that crashes into the crystals, causing a chain reaction that destroys untold riches and causes a brief collapse that most likely injured and killed many slaves.