WTFW: Bye Bye Jupiter

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

WTFW: Bye Bye Jupiter

Sayonara Jupiter (English release: Bye Bye Jupiter) is a 1984 Japanese science fiction film directed by Koji Hashimoto and produced by Toho.  The script was adapted by pioneering science-fiction author Sakyo Komatsu from his novel Sayonara Jupiter (1982).  The special effects were directed by Koichi Kawakita.

Cast with an unusual mix of actors speaking English, French and Japanese, the film was conceived by the struggling Toho film empire as a rival to the forthcoming box office blockbuster hit 2010, the Peter Hyams sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s groundbreaking 2001.  The two films bear comparison of plot elements.

This was actor Akihiko Hirata's final film role. He was set to star in The Return of Godzilla (1984), but died of throat cancer before he was cast.  In one scene, Captain Hoger Kinn watches Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, which featured a much younger Akihiko Hirata.

Bye Bye Jupiter (1984)

  • Original Title: Sayônara, Jûpetâ
  • Genre: Drama – Sci-Fi
  • Directed:
    • Koji Hashimoto 
    • Sakyo Komatsu
  • Produced:
    • Sakyo Komatsu 
    • Shirô Fujiwara 
    • Fumio Tanaka 
    • Tomoyuki Tanaka
  • Written: Sakyo Komatsu
  • Starring: Tomokazu Miura, Dangely Diane, Miyuki Ono, Rachel Huggett, Paul Tagawa, Kim Bass, Marc Panthona, Irwin Ron, William H. Tapier, Akihiko Hirata, Masumi Okada, Hisaya Morishige
  • Music: Kentaro Haneda
  • Cinematography: Kazutami Hara
  • Editing: Yoshitami Kuroiwa
  • Studio:
    • Kabushika Kaisha 
    • TOHO Entertainment
  • Distributed:
    • Toho Company  
    • Discotek Media
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date: 17 March 1984 (Japan)
  • Running Time: 130 minutes
  • Country: Japan
  • Language:
    • Japanese 
    • English

It's the 22nd Century (2240 AD), and mankind's population has exponentially expanded beyond Earth's handling. Therefore, humans now live throughout the Solar System and the total population has gone well over 18 billion.  As a result, there's a severe energy crisis for planets further out from the sun and plans to turn Jupiter into a second sun have been set into motion.  However, markings are found on Mars that indicates that alien life lives in Jupiter and the J.S. Project (Jupiter Solarization Project) is put on hold.

Meanwhile, rogue members of the radical environmentalist group Jupiter Church, led by a famous singer/songwriter, attempt to sabotage the J.S. Project. In an ironic twist of fate, the head engineer of the J.S. Project, Eiji Honda, discovers that his ex-lover Maria is one of the radicals planning on sabotaging the project.  To make matters worse, a Black Hole has been discovered moving through the galaxy and it is on a collision course with our solar system. Realizing the impending doom at hand, Dr. Honda proposes to blow up the Planet Jupiter just as the Black Hole crosses its path, forcing the Black Hole from its current course towards the Planet Earth and instead sending it out of our solar system.  Still even with the existence of mankind in the balance, the “Jupiter Church” cult still pursues to bring down the Jupiter Project by any means necessary.  Will humanity survive this cosmic crossroad of fate, or will mankind's personal problems spell our ultimate downfall?

Check out these composites from the film and see how good the SFX were on a film from 1984.


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