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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.