Message from Space is a film directed by Kinji Fukasaku, one of the co-directors of Tora! Tora! Tora!. The film stars Sonny Chiba, Etsuko Shihomi, and in a rare foreign film appearance, Vic Morrow. Released in 1978, the film is seen by many critics as a Japanese answer to Star Wars The film was produced by Toei and cost $6 million, the most expensive movie made in Japan up to that date. Shotaro Ishinomori, a famous science fiction manga artist and pop culture figure, co-wrote the script and helped design the overall look of the film.
The film also spawned a 27-episode spin-off TV series titled Message from Space: Galactic Wars, which aired on TV Asahi from July 8, 1978 to January 27, 1979.