“Turkish Star Wars”: May the Force of the Man Who Saves The World be with you

By on July 15, 2015

With the recent excitement about seeing the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer from last weekend starting to subside, just a little, and having watched as much of the Star Wars Megamix as we could handle, we thought it might be good to keep attempting to re-invigorate the franchise by taking a look at the so-called “Turkish Star Wars,” the 1982 film officially titled Dünyayi Kurtaran Adam but also known in the English-speaking world as The Man Who Saves the World.

We’re sure still pisses off the Imperialist Stormtroopers at Lucasfilm about its notorious use of unauthorized footage from the actual Star Wars films, as well as newsreel clips of both Soviet and American space rockets. We love it when filmmakers outside the Hollywood system don’t let the fact that their project is completely unauthorized stop them, like this Jaws fan who made his own unofficial documentary (er, filmumentary), without first obtaining any permission from anyone to make it, not Spielberg, Universal Pictures, no one. (we told you about that here).

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Dünyayi Kurtaran Adam was directed by Çetin İnanç (we’re told it’s pronounced Chetin Inanch) and was written by Cüneyt Arkın (pronounced Junait Arkin, and apparently he’s no relation to Adam or Alan Arkin or maybe they’re all distant cousins), who also stars as a karate-chopping Turkish-version of Han Solo. The film follows the adventures of two comrades, Murat (Arkın) and Ali (Aytekin Akkaya), whose ships crash on a deserted desert planet.

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While hiking across the forlorn tundra, they speculate that the planet is actually populated only by women. Ali does his best wolf whistle, which works wonders where he’s from, but apparently here on this planet it’s the wrong whistle to use, as they are then assaulted by skeletons on horseback, who they have to fight in hand-to-hand combat (you have to see this to know why this is funny). The film’s main villain then soon shows up and captures our Turkish duo, bringing them to fight in his gladiatorial arena, but they learned he is actually from Earth and is really a 1,000 year old wizard.

The story goes on from there but we’re sure you’re going to watch the entire film now so we don’t wanna spoil it for you. If you think you might wanna just see the movie trailer, here ’tis:

In addition to the insertion of unlicensed footage from the Star Wars films, the musical soundtrack for Dünyayi Kurtaran Adam is entirely ripped off from popular hit movies, and if you’re paying attention, you’ll hear the main theme (“The Raiders March”, composed by John Williams) from the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark. Other scenes incorporated the music of Moonraker, Ben-Hur, Flash Gordon, Giorgio Moroder’s version of Battlestar Galactica, Planet of the Apes (the good one), Silent Running, Moses and Disney’s Black Hole.

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By the way, in the late 1980s, a line of bootleg Star Wars figures was released in Turkey called Uzay. They are insane.

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In late 2012, Portland, Oregon’s Filmusik — a collaborative performance group — screened the “Turkish Star Wars” with live voiceovers, music, and sound effects. They’re the ones who made the awesome trailer up top.

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.