You Can't Keep A Good Plot Down

  • SEVEN SAMURAI [1954]
  • THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN [1960 - plus at least four sequels]
  • A BUG'S LIFE [1998]

Wow, I've never even heard of Battle Beyond the Stars! Is it any good?

Is this list open only to Seven Samurai and it's remakes, or is it open to any movie where a band of heros defends the poor/downtrodden against bandits for little or no financial reward?

BBTS is quite watchable in a sci-fi for juveniles kind of way. There's a casting in-joke, too: one of its stars is Robert Vaughn who also starred in TMS.

The Good Plot of which I speak has three main elements: (1) a representative of a village downtrodden by barbarians travels to a city and recruits seven (or thereabouts) fighters, (2) the fighters train and prepare the villagers for battle, (3) battle and victory. The moral is that the fighters, at first mercenary, end up fighting purely for justice rather than monetary reward. I found an article in The Wayfarer Online that goes into the plot in detail.

It's true that ABL doesn't follow this plot exactly, but I think the inspiration is very clear.