Future director James Cameron and future producer Gale Anne Hurd met on this film and decided they wanted to work together (the deal was that Cameron would direct and Hurd would produce). This would lead up into making The Terminator (1984), their marriage in 1985 before they did Aliens (1986), and their divorce to both marriage and creative partnership during the making of The Abyss (1989).
This was Roger Corman's most expensive feature up to that time, costing $2 million. Most of the budget was spent on salaries for Robert Vaughn and George Peppard, who both had high asking prices.
This is considered to be the first "major" theatrical film to be scored by James Horner, and his breakthrough into the sci-fi/adventure blockbusters he would become known for in the 1980s and 1990s.
For Jewish viewers of this movie, there are some 'inside' jokes. For example, the name of Robert Vaughn's character, Gelt, translates in Yiddish into 'gold' or 'money'. The written language which appears on Malmori screens is Hebrew.
According to an interview with star Richard Thomas, the wardrobe department had a difficult time keeping the top of Sybil Danning's costume on and had to resort to using band aids to prevent said top from slipping off.
The main body of the Hephastus space station was made from a plastic terrarium salvaged from a garbage dumpster
A View-Master 3-reel packet was issued featuring 21 images from this movie. It's also the only one of Roger Corman's films to be marketed with a View-Master tie-in. A booklet was issued with the packet that included a bondage image showing Nanelia tied up as a prisoner of the reptilian Cayman. A French language version of this pack issued for the Canadian market.
The natives of Akir are known as the Akira. This is no doubt a tribute to legendary director Akira Kurosawa (whose film Seven Samurai (1954) served as the inspiration for this film).
This film is a futuristic remake of Seven Samurai (1954) and its Hollywood remake The Magnificent Seven (1960).
Screenwriter John Sayles had originally envisioned the character Cayman as a brooding dark humanoid, not the reptilian alien seen in the final product.
George Peppard was originally considered to play Vin in The Magnificent Seven (1960), on which this film was based.
Actress/Comedienne Kathy Griffin is seen in an early shot as an alien extra reacting to a spaceship landing.
Gelt is modeled closely after the character Lee from The Magnificent Seven (1960), on which this film was based (Robert Vaughn played both). Some of Gelt's dialogue is lifted almost verbatim from The Magnificent Seven (1960).
Alan Howarth created different sound effects for each of the seven starships and reused several synth effects he had created for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). He also composed and recorded the music that is heard on the jukebox in Gelt's chamber.
Not only are the effects reused in Space Raiders (1983), but James Horner's entire score is used as well. It would later be lifted again for another film, Wizards of the Lost Kingdom (1985).
Robert Vaughn would later go on to star in the final season of The A-Team (1983), in which George Peppard starred as Hannibal Smith. John Saxon had two guest roles on "The A-Team" as two different characters.
One of the assistant editors on this movie was promised the gig after a rough stint playing a Humanoid in Monster (Humanoids from the Deep) (1980).
Sybil Danning would later play the character made famous by Brad Dexter in another remake of The Magnificent Seven (1960), namely I sette magnifici gladiatori (1983).
This film was released the same year as Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Flash Gordon (1980) and Galaxina (1980).
This movie has gained a cult following, partly on account of its effect-heavy action set-pieces and creative production design. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes retrospectively gave the movie 45% based on reviews collected from 11 critics.
Nanelia winks at someone off camera when she's talking about kissing.
Earl Boen would later go on to star as Dr. Peter Silberman in the Terminator film series. James Cameron whom created the Terminator franchise and wrote and directed The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) provided the special effects in this film.
This movie was released on DVD from New Concorde on February 6, 2001. This movie was released on DVD and Blu-ray from Shout! Factory on July 12, 2011 as part of the "Roger Corman's Cult Classics" series.
Saint Exmin (Sybil Danning) is a traveling Valkyrie warrior. Valkyrie is a goddess in Norse mythology who choose those who may die in battle and those who may live.
Richard Thomas (Shad) and Morgan Woodward (Cayman) worked together earlier on the television series The Waltons (1971). Morgan played Boone Walton, a moonshine making cousin of John-Boy in "The Conflict" (1974).
Cowboy mentions Custer's Last Stand to Shad. In the historic Battle of the little Bighorn aka "Custer's Last Stand" in 1876, the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States under the command of George Armstrong Custer fought the combined forces of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho along the Little Bighorn River in eastern Montana territory, which Custer and 700 men under his command suffered a major defeat and Custer was killed in battle.
This film is believed to be Roger Corman's take of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). The lead character Shad (Richard Thomas) is a farmboy, so was Mark Hamill's character Luke Skywalker.
This film was considered a major influence behind the short lived animated series The New Adventures of He-Man (1990). In that series, the peaceful planet Primus is under threat from the evil Flogg and his mutants. Master Sebrian, the elderly leader of Primus decides that they must find a great warrior to help deal with Flogg and his evil mutants and Hydro and Flipshot are sent to find that warrior and that warrior they find to help in the crisis is He-Man. In this film, Akir, a peaceful planet is under threat of invasion by Sador and his army of Malmori mutants and the elderly warrior Zed decides that mercenaries must found and recruited to help and defend Akir and the farmboy Shad is sent to find those mercenaries and finds those mercenaries to help in the crisis.
This movie has never been released on DVD in New Zealand.
The film has never been released on DVD in Australia and New Zealand.
This film is a futuristic remake of Seven Samurai (1954) and is also a rip off of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977): Star Wars creator George Lucas stated that Samurai films were one of his influences behind the film.
Cowboy (a spacegoing truck driver from Earth) tells Shad that he knows about Sador. It's possible that Sador and his Malmori armada may had invaded Earth.
The working title was Battle Amongst the Stars. Posters were made with this title.
In real life, Sybil Danning had spent most of her childhood on military bases and her mother later married a major in the United States Army.
Cayman bares a few similarities to the fictional character Conan of Cimmeria from Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian stories: Cayman's people The Lazuli were wiped out by Sador, which Cayman was the sole survivor and Cayman is a slaver.
The star system which Nanelia meets Cayman and which is the location which Shad and the mercenaries will meet her is called The Lambda Zone. Lambda is the 11th letter of the Greek alphabet.
Darlanne Fluegel passed away 1 year 1 month after Robert Vaughn.
Tembo's twin assistants are named Urim and Thummim - terms used in both Jewish and Mormon traditions and mythology.
The film is a major influence behind the cartoon The New Adventures of He-Man (1990). In that cartoon, Primus, a peaceful world is under threat from Flogg and his evil mutants. Master Sebrian, the wise man on Primus, decides that they must find a great warrior whom will help them deal with Flogg and his evil mutants. Hydro and Flipshot are sent to find that warrior and the warrior they find to help them with the crisis is He-Man.
In Cayman's backstory: Cayman's race had been wiped out by Sador and Cayman was the sole survivor.