Available on VOD
The 70s and 80s were an interesting time for fans of episodic science fiction. Whether that’d be on the big screen or small, what Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar offers is a lot of nostalgia because it brings all that ethos into a fairly entertaining SyFy Channel style movie of the week.
Filmmaker Garo Setian most likely had a limited budget, and to cast Michael Paré as the lead only brought fond memories of when he was Dante Montana in Starhunter. Here, he’s Kip Corman, a space scavenger, and his co-pilot is his daughter Taylor (Sarah French). Together, they are looking for a big score. They’re wanting to make enough money to pay for bringing back the wife / mother from the dead.
In this future, the soul can be bottled up, and put into an android body. In the movie, it’s called The Essence in empirical terms, but for spiritualists, we know what it really is. That may be great for some wanting immortality, but as for the psychological ramifications, it’s a detail not really explored. The concept got me curious, since it’s become a staple in science fiction narratives. But without Plato to argue what makes up immortality and where the soul goes (when not distilled to an essence), an opportunity gets missed.
This movie presents more action and adventure than to delve into the complexities of life in the same vein as 2001 A Space Odyssey. I wasn’t expecting a tale in the style of Arthur C. Clarke’s novel, but to seek the Deepstar rumoured to have wonderful treasures (and perhaps a ressurection device too) did have me wondering. Instead, what Kip faces are enemies seeking treasure to satisfy their own agendas.
Also, what’s put together reminds me of Guardians of the Galaxy. Not only does Kip meet Jackie to help him in his quest, but also he’s being chased by Elnora (Sadie Katz). She once employed this bounty hunter, and what happened between these two is familiar. A lot more characters pop up to cause problems, and they all have their quirks to make me think James Gunn’s trilogy was an immense influence during the writing process.
What’s presented in Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar makes for a great drive-in movie too. As much as I loved Paré at the height of his career, I hope he can find a regular recurring role that can put him back in the limelight. He’s a terrific talent, and I doubt he wants to be forever branded as Tony Villicana from Greatest American Hero.
3½ Stars out of 5