Starchaser: The Legend of Orin has the honour of being the first film I ever went to see at the cinema and has held a particular place in my heart ever since. 1985 is a pretty long time ago in my book so my memory of the film before buying it was pretty patchy, though I did recall it being both fun and loaded with swearing; the second of these is probably the memory playing its usual tricks as the DVD doesn't contain anywhere near the amount I remember.
There's no denying that Starchaser is a bit of a Star Wars rip-off, the whole thing being a mix of camp robots, evil tyrants, young heroes with funky swords and space mercenaries piloting ships that sound eerily similar to the Millennium Falcon. Whilst this might seem to make a good basis for any film, I found it difficult when watching Starchaser to see it as anything other than a Star Wars on the cheap. It could be argued that this isn't necessarily a bad thing; the plot differs sufficiently to help it stand on its own whilst at the same time retaining enough references from SW to give it a familiar, comfortable feeling. I guess in the end the choice is up to the individual viewer.
The animation is of pretty average quality, but for a film over 20 years old this is more than excusable. The sound effects are well-chosen and the dialogue good if not exceptional, though there are the odd adult jokes thrown in here and there that seem a little out of place in a kids' film. It seems that the makers wanted to cast their nets pretty wide and made a film that they thought would appeal to both younger and more mature audiences. On the whole I think they succeeded, but I also think that someone older would get more out of it than someone younger.
Overall, this is a solid and entertaining diversion and a good alternative to some of the tat that kids are subjected to these days. Every part of the film is good, if not great, and it is worth looking up if you're a fan of the genre - the fact that it looks and sounds like a certain George Lucas epic may well get you hooked completely or leave you a little cold.