04 May 2014

Uzay Savaşi (1977)

In the 1960s Turkish cinema began its climb. Numerous films based off American fiction and pulp magazines was made. Initial quality was poor, but the enthusiasm and skill at using more limited resources than Hollywood paid off in 1977.

Uzay Savaşi was a space opera that struck a cord with international audiences. Its budget was a little higher than most films of its type, but the innovative new special effects helped spring it into a cult sensation.

The plot was fairly straight forward: In the far future on the planet Dağkirişa cosmic energies were being collected on the surface by special solar farms. One farm boy, Ekin Gezginn, was out tending arrays with his trusty robo, Tek Tek Űç Sekiz. They notice an escape pod crashing down nearby and go to investigate. In the pod they find a beautiful woman, a princess named Leyla Barişver. She tells them of her desperate mission to find the last of the Mavi Yildizin-Sirasi in order to help her people.

Not knowing of such a person they begin traveling back to the Gezginn farm. That is when they are ambushed by a horde of alien Kirmizitavşana, a race of furry, humanoid rabbit-like creatures with orange fur. They are controlled by a group of imperial officers determined to capture the princess. A battle ensues but Ekin and company are quickly overwhelmed. When all looks hopeless an old man in grey robes with bits of blue armor arrives and begins to defeat the aliens with his amazing martial arts abilities.

After the fight the old man introduces himself as Berkant. He has lived in a self-imposed exile on Dağkirişa for nearly 20 years now. When he hears from Leyla about the new imperial weapon system he realizes he must act. Sensing something in Ekin he asks the boy to accompany them. Ekin is reluctant but offers to guide them to the spaceport.

The spaceport diner is filled with a wide array of aliens. Dozens of species are represented. In the chaotic mix of lifeforms Berkant finds an old friend and smuggler, Lokmaka. Lokmaka's appearance shocks Berkant's companions. He is a taller, red-furred version of a Kirmizitavşana. Berkant assures his allies that Lokmaka has no loyalty to the Imperial Dominion. The smuggler agrees to transport the group to Leyla's home world. Ekin is planning on leaving for home but Berkant convinces the boy he should make sure the princess gets home safely, using Ekin's attraction to her as a weapon.

In orbit around Dağkirişa a massive ship arrives. It has a shape similar to a giant funnel over 100 miles in size. The narrow end of the funnel points at the planet. This craft is Overlord T'Zarn's new super-weapon. It has arrived to destroy the planet hoping to kill the princess before she escapes. The heroes watch helplessly as a series of asteroids are launched out of the tip of the ship and devastate Dağkirişa, destroying all life on the surface. As they fight their way through a swarm of imperial fighters they receive a message from agents working for the princess. They have assembled a squadron of ships to meet her in a nearby asteroid field to work on their next course of action.

Shortly after arriving and meeting with the anti-imperial forces the weapon arrives nearby. T'Zarn intercepted the message and followed the heroes. The princess' squadron battles the fighter swarm and attempts to engage the weapon. In the confusion Lokmaka's ship, with its stealth shields used for smuggling, manages to dock with the super-weapon the the heroes board to find a way to destroy it!

As they board, Berkant gives Ekin a blue crystal pendant. He tells him to keep it with him if anything happens. The heroes then split up to disable the ship's computers while the other group can then overload the power systems. Both teams are successful. With only minutes to escape they make their way back to their ship. Berkant is confronted by the Overlord's chief lieutenant, Karank Işgalk. The two warriors engage in a melee battle with swords and martial arts. In the end, despite wounding the evil Karank, Berkant is slain. Ekin witness this but can do nothing to help, they have to escape the ship before it explodes.

The heroes escape to Leyla's world as heroes. T'Zarn managed to escape in a personal escape craft with the wounded Karank Işgalk in tow.

The collapse of the Ottoman Empire in this timeline took place in the mid 1920s to the early 1930s. The aftermath was not as severe as in the OTL. Turkey became a more prosperous and secular country than in the OTL.

The super-weapon in this film was influenced by the Baltic Event which was one of the most traumatic event affecting humanity in the 20th century. The unresolved issues about that disaster were harnessed to create a weapon that would terrify moviegoers. The officers of the Imperial Dominion had accents and uniforms reminiscent of Russian uniforms.

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