The Ice Pirates (1984) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • In a distant future scarce of water, space pirates get caught after stealing ice from a spaceship. They are sold to a princess looking for her dad. He might have found a planet abundant with water.

  • In the far future water is the most valuable substance. Two space pirates are captured, sold to a princess, and recruited to help her find her father who disappeared when he found information dangerous to the rulers. A real Space Opera with sword fights, explosions, fighting robots, monsters, bar fights and time warps.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • In a distant galaxy, where water is a valuable commodity, a band of space pirates board an imperial cruiser to steal ice. Jason (Robert Urich), the pirate leader, stumbles upon the quarters of Princess Karina of Argon (Mary Crosby), who is in a state of induced sleep. After battling the Templars royal guard, Jason kidnaps the princess and the Imperial cruiser pursues them. Jason orders two crew members, Zeno (Ron Perlman) and Maida (Anjelica Huston), to leave in escape pods just before the pirate ship is captured by Imperial forces.

    Zorn (Jeremy West), leader of the Templars, imprisons Jason and his robotics expert, Roscoe (Michael D. Roberts). As the prisoners are transported to the planet Mithra, the only remaining source of water in the galaxy, they learn that their sentence is to be "redesigned," or castrated, and sold as slaves. Killjoy (John Matuszak), a thief, points out that members of the clergy are spared because the Templars fear God.

    Upon arriving on Mithra, Jason learns from another prisoner that Princess Karina is the daughter of Count Vasco, an explorer who disappeared searching for the possibly mythical Seventh World. Killjoy, impersonating a monk, is released, before Jason, Roscoe, and the other prisoners are strapped to a conveyor belt, shaved, and prepped for castration. As Jason and Roscoe pass through the final stage of the assembly line, Princess Karina secretly spares them. The men are outfitted in white wigs and leotards and sold to the highest bidder. Princess Karina purchases them and puts them to work at a party, where they encounter Killjoy, now disguised as a robot.

    Later, Karina asks Jason to help her escape to the pirate moon, Zagora, where she has urgent business. Jason, Roscoe, Karina, and Killjoy, flee the party on a motorcycle, with the Templars in pursuit. The group commandeers a warship, Karina is reunited with her Nanny (Natalie Core), and Jason plots a course for Zagora. Karina orders Jason to arrange a meeting with a rebel named Lanky Nibs (Robert Symonds). When Jason balks at Karina's plan to buy Lanky Nibs' services with the water on the ship, she demonstrates her seriousness and he bends to her will.

    Meanwhile, on Mithra, Zorn reveals to the Supreme Commander (John Carradine) that Karina and the pirates are aboard the warship, just as he planned. On board the warship, a small creature hatches from a dehydrated egg and bites Roscoe and Jason. From the ship's manifest, they learn the creature is a "space herpe."

    On Zagora, the pirates reunite with Zeno and Maida, and learn that Lanky Nibs is hiding in Sweetwater, fifty miles outside of town. Jason and Karina convince Frog Lady (Marcia Lewis) to take them to Sweetwater in her land cruiser. Jason is shocked by Lanky Nibs' appearance, and Lanky explains he aged twenty years in a time warp. He warns Jason that he was probably followed. Lanky recognizes Karina and informs her that her father, Vasco, found the Seventh World in the center of the galaxy, but the Templars ambushed his ship and slaughtered his crew. If Vasco is still alive, an exiled royal named Wendon is holding him captive in the Tri System.

    Later, a group of bounty hunters arrive and destroy the land cruiser, killing Frog Lady. A pursuit ensues and Jason kills the bounty hunters, but Lanky is badly wounded. Before dying, he pleads with Jason to find the Seventh World. After returning to the warship, Jason and his crew set off for the Tri System.

    On Wendon's planet, woman warriors riding unicorns capture everyone but Roscoe. In chambers, the pirates learn Wendon (Bruce Vilanch) is just a head with a robotic body. Roscoe enters to save his comrades, and they force Wendon to reveal where he is holding Vasco. However, the being who appears to be Vasco turns out to be a robot. A clue in the robot's programming leads Karina to a hologram recording of her father. Vasco gives coordinates to the location of the Seventh World, but warns that any deviation from the course will trap the ship in a time warp forever. During the voyage, Jason visits Karina in her quarters and they make love.

    A Templar battleship intercepts the warship as it passes through the time warp and Zorn makes video contact, informing Karina that she has done exactly what he had hoped: led them to her father and the Seventh World. The battleship captures the warship and a conflict between the Templar robots and the pirate robots ensues. Meanwhile, time accelerates and the princess learns she is pregnant. By the time he reaches Karina's quarters (in 10 minutes), she has given birth to Jason's son. As the pirates battle the Templar guards, time continues to accelerate and the humans age. The baby, also named Jason, becomes a little boy, and Nanny dies. As the pirates grow beards and become elderly, they are over-matched by Zorn's endless supply of robots. However, just as Jason and Roscoe lose hope, young Jason, now an adult, swoops in to defeat the Templars.

    As young Jason embraces his aged parents, the warship exits the time warp and everything returns to the moment when the acceleration started. The Templar battleship was one degree off course, however, and is now lost forever. The Seventh World comes into view and three-fourths of its surface appears to be covered by water and the crew celebrates; it is planet Earth. Jason, Karina, and the crew celebrate their victory, but the pirates realize they need to find a means of support.

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