105 user 73 critic

Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)

1:18 | Clip
A young farmer sets out to recruit mercenaries to defend his peaceful planet, which is under threat of invasion by the evil tyrant Sador and his armada of aggressors.


Jimmy T. Murakami, Roger Corman (uncredited)


John Sayles (screenplay by), John Sayles (story by) | 1 more credit »
4,884 ( 235)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Thomas ... Shad
Robert Vaughn ... Gelt
John Saxon ... Sador
George Peppard ... Cowboy
Darlanne Fluegel ... Nanelia
Sybil Danning ... St. Exmin
Sam Jaffe ... Dr. Hephaestus
Morgan Woodward ... Cayman
Earl Boen ... Nestor 1
John Gowans ... Nestor 2 (as John Gowens)
Steve Davis Steve Davis ... Quopeg
Lawrence Steven Meyers Lawrence Steven Meyers ... Kelvin (as Larry Meyers)
Lara Cody Lara Cody ... Kelvin
Lynn Carlin ... Nell (voice)
Jeff Corey ... Zed


Shad, a young farmer, assembles a band of diverse mercenaries in outer space to defend his peaceful planet from the evil tyrant Sador and his armada of aggressors. Among the mercenaries are Space Cowboy, a spacegoing truck driver from Earth; Gelt, a wealthy but experienced assassin looking for a place to hide; and Saint-Exmin, a Valkyrie warrior looking to prove herself in battle. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A battle beyond time ... beyond space. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


This was Roger Corman's most expensive feature up to that time, costing $2 million. Corman's production company, New World Pictures, was known for its low-budget adventure movies, but when Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) was released and set a new standard in genre movies, he realized he had to up his game. Most of the budget was spent on salaries for Robert Vaughn and George Peppard, who both had high asking prices. Corman approached several companies to do the special effects, but none could do it for less than the entire $2 million production budget. Corman then decided to create his own in-house special effects department, which would employ a young James Cameron. See more »


When Dr. Hephaestus tells Shad "when you're in my station, you're in my presence", the hand of the actor can be seen through a small opening in the enclosure. Since it's implied that Dr. Hephaestus has replaced his entire body with cybernetics, he shouldn't have any hands. See more »


Dr. Hephaestus: Forms must prey on other forms to survive.
Shad: That's not what the Varda teach us. We prey on no one.
Dr. Hephaestus: Your planet is doomed and I have other plans for you.
Shad: Other plans?
Dr. Hephaestus: This station was built for many. It remains a hollow and lonely place. You've met my daughter.
Shad: Yes. Wait a minute. Y... you don't mean... that you want me to... breed with your daughter?
Dr. Hephaestus: It seems a better fate than that offered by the Malmori, does it not?
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the original ending a faction of pacifists leave Akir, feeling that their society has now become part of the violent universe. The sequence was scrapped after the fx shop delivered poor shots of their spaceships departing from the planet. See more »


Featured in Shoestring Space Opera (2011) See more »

User Reviews

When Battlefield Earth is released on video, watch it back to back with this film.
5 August 2000 | by roarshockSee all my reviews

I really enjoy these types of films. When they work it's because of their sheer flamboyance. They aren't afraid to steal from any source, EVERYTHING goes into the pot as long as it's got sparkle, splash, and action. This particular film works real well and I absolutely fell for it when I heard a phrase of music lifted directly from "Alexander Nevsky". It's pure, simple (repeat, simple) fun. The producers of "Battlefield Earth" could have learned something about making entertaining SF movies from repeated viewings of "Battle Beyond the Stars."

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Release Date:

13 November 1980 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Battle Beyond the Stars See more »


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

New World Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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