“It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire.
During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.
Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents, Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy….”
Ask any geek and they will tell you these lines are from a movie saga whose fan base has expanded and grown over the years to reach a cult status. These are the lines from the opening crawl of the first Star Wars movie, that released on 25th May 1977, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. As this movie celebrates its 36th anniversary today, geeks around the world celebrate Geek Pride Day. This day also celebrates another british cult classic book/TV series/ Film, Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that has a cult following of geeks.
As the world celebrates this day, we raise a toast to some of the Indian sci-fi movies.
Anybody born during the 80’s-90’s will tell you that their favourite bollywood science fiction movie is Mr. India. Directed by the famous director Shekhar Kapur, this quintessential science fiction movie gained a huge fan following and cult status over time. Anil Kapoor plays Arun Varma who one day discovers a watch, made by his father, that has the ability to make the wearer invisible once activated. He then goes on to fight one of the super villains from Bollywood history Mogambo played by Amrish Puri. This movie will leave any kid awestruck with its futuristic/fun themes even today.
Another movie that comes to my mind is Shahenshah . In the movie Amitabh Bachchan plays inspector Vijay who becomes the vigilante Shehenshah to fight crime. He has a left iron hand with which he pounds the enemies and smash objects,more like Jax’s bionic arm from Mortal Kombat, and a noose with which he flings people or objects around. And to top it up every time he talks the background music sounds like Darth vader breathing.
Endhiran: The Robot, that released in 2010, is another recent science fiction movie from Kollywood that gained cult following. The movie stars Rajinikanth, a megastar from the south who enjoys a demi god status. The movie has him playing dual roles, one of a scientist and another one of a robot/android called Chitti, created by the former. The Android goes on to become a villain due to a corrupted chip inserted by the bad scientist but is finally fixed by the good scientist. The movie went on to be one of the top three grossing Indian films of all time and a hit in Japan, where Rajanikanth has a cult fan following.