The film was intended to be a serious sci-fi film with a $20 million budget. MGM slashed the budget to $8 million and had the script rewritten as a comedy.
After the pirates are captured, the spaceship approaches a domed city for landing. The same domed city sets were used in Logan's Run (1976).
According to a crew member, the entire sound team was fired mid-production and replaced without explanation.
Kevin Costner turned down the role of Jason.
In the control room where the alarm is triggered, the television screens are showing Rollerball (1975).
Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek (1966), once jokingly said that Ice Pirates "was singularly responsible for bringing back the death penalty to California."
As the slave cages are being unloaded on Mithra, the car and hovercraft from Logan's Run (1977) are visible in the background. Both resurface later as the pimp's and Zorn's vehicles.
This is one of two movies directed by Stewart Raffill. The other is The Philadelphia Experiment (1984). Both pictures involve science-fiction fantasy and time travel.
Jason is named after the title protagonist of the Greek mythology film Jason and the Argonauts (1963). The film is based off the ancient Greek myth of Jason and his crew of sailors as they set off on a quest to search for the Golden Fleece.
Is the inflence behind the name of the men's hockey team "Ice Pyrates" in Rochester, NY.
John Matuszak went onto to star as Sloth in The Goonies (1985), a similarly themed pirate-treasure movie.
The bounty hunter's vehicle parodies the vehicles from Mad Max 2 (1981) starring Mel Gibson.
One of the final major Hollywood studio films of actor John Carradine.
The second cinema movie of both actor Ron Perlman and actress Mary Crosby.
Actor Robert Urich (Jason) and actress Anjelica Huston (Maida) will later appear together in the hit western mini-series Lonesome Dove (1989) as former Texas Ranger Jake Spoon and Clara Allen, respectively.
Kevin Costner, whom turned down the role of Jason, later starred in the post apocalyptic pirate flick Waterworld (1995).
Michael D. Roberts appeared in an episode of Vega$ (1978) which starred Robert Urich.
Max von Sydow later starred as Lor San Tekka in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015).
The film's opening prologue reads: "Long after the great interplanetary wars, the Galaxy has gone dry. Water has become the only thing left of value. Evil Templars from the planet Mithra have gained control of this life-giving resource. Their power is now absolute except for a few rebel pirates who survive by stealing ice from the great Templar fleets".
Max von Sydow: One of the bounty hunters in the desert.
The theatrical trailer reveals that the 7th World is Earth, spoiling an important plot element.