Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (The Man Who Saved The World), or Turkish Star Wars if you are so inclined, is a film that’s garnered quite a cult following since its release in 1982. Taking unauthorised footage from Star Wars and ripping its entire soundtrack from popular films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Moonraker, Ben-Hur, Flash Gordon, and Planet of the Apes, Turkish Star Wars was predictably panned by critics. Yet in the eyes of its greater audience, the film still manages to boast a 70% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
It just so happens that Çetin İnanç’s infamous cult film is the next screening in our weekly Liverpool Biennial 2016 film programme. So, to officially start the countdown, I wanted to look beyond the ripped stock footage found in the actual presentation and instead have a brief nosey at the equally guilty bootleg action figures that float around the trading world every now and then.
Produced unabashedly on the original line of Kenner Star Wars action figures, these versions see a number of changes to the well-known names in a bid to dodge any looming copyright lawsuits. Lovable C3PO becomes "See-Threep", R2-D2 turns into "Arfive Defour", Darth Vader changes to "Dart Vader", and Stormtroopers even get a new a new job title - Stormtroper. These amazing changes however, don’t stop the fact that no other line of unlicensed Star Wars figures are as sought after as these are.
Hailing from Uzay, these highly sought after action figures have a popular following, not necessarily because of their great (let’s face it, they are great) alternative names, but because of their cheesy boxart. The photography that accompanies the figurines is often more entertaining than the objects themselves, with the Imperial Gunner staged as though it’s using a console (clearly it’s just a calculator) to navigate through a galaxy far, far away, while the Stormtroper is busy posing in front of its very own psychedelic backdrop.
If you are suddenly filled with a burning desire to try and build yourself a complete set of these figures, then you may face a degree of difficulty, with many being rarer than stumbling across a wild Charizard in Pokémon Go. With that said, a number are spotted at various collector’s markets, and although you might not be able to have the full set - maybe you’ll have the chance to at least own a Stormtroper in it’s Turkish, hallucinatory habitat.
Not convinced by the merchandise? Then why not just join us on Thursday for this one-off screening of a film that, despite its bizarre existence, is considered by some to be a classic midnight film that’s more memorable than the original Star Wars.
The Man Who Saved The World (Turkish Star Wars) is showing here at FACT on Thursday 15 September at 6.30pm.