Happy May the Fourth! While I am admittedly not a huge Star Wars fan (I know – yikes), I do appreciate its importance in film history. Those films did get some interesting posters, but they’re a bit too generic for this column. Instead, we’re going to take a look at the Japanese knock-off version of Star Wars, known as Uchu kara no messeji – or its English equivalent, Message from Space.

Message from Space had a couple of different posters, but the one above is my absolute favorite: an anime-style representation of the film, mimicking the kinds of space animation and mech warfare popular at the time. It’s a great amalgamation of the film’s ideas, too: a space-exploring pirate ship, Star Wars-esque battles, an old guru with balls of fire coming out of his hands. While it’s certainly right in line with Star Wars, it’s also uniquely Japanese as well, and despite the film’s attempts to rip off a popular cinematic experience, there’s enough in this poster to get sci-fi fans interested.

message from space poster 2

This secondary poster for Message from Space is a lot closer to Star Wars – men in white costumes shooting lasers, font typography, the “Help us” in the corner evoking Princess Leia’s plea. Still, I think it’s another nifty poster for the film, and it definitely makes me yearn for a good space opera.

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