The film depicts a runaway star on a collision course with Earth in the then-future decade of the 1980s. Even though it’s smaller than Earth, with a mass over 6,000 times bigger than Earth, it will destroy the planet if it smashes into the planet.
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Ishiro Honda truly is a master filmmaker, and it's no surprise Akira Kurosawa had profound respect for him. Someone said he was the Japanese Spielberg, and there must be some truth to that although Spielberg cared less about destruction and more about awe. Ishiro Honda is one name to clearly reevaluate in modern cinema.