I was hoping this would be a cheesy B-Movie space opera romp with lots of piracy, swashbuckling, and evil space empires. And, well, we get all those things. Just not in large quantities. Except the cheese. The whole plot of the film is that space bandits accidentally kidnap a kid. The bad potential for annoying child sidekicks aside, that's a good plot. It leaves a lot of themes to work with, from the man rediscovering his sense of responsibility to a kid learning to fit in. All joined together by a shared adventure of piracy or escape or whatever. But no, the guy falls for with the kid almost immediately and decides to risk everything to get him home. The kid does take a little longer to warm up to him, but mainly expresses it by wandering away constantly. Of course, he still does that even when he's come to trust them and crewmembers are dying left and right to save him, so maybe that's not actually connected to his mistrust. Yeah, the boy's about as annoying as you might expect. Actually, the kid's not that bad for a child actor with bad direction, it's just that he's written to be utterly useless and ungrateful yet everybody loves him. About the only time he works as a character is when he and obvious father figure Hawk bond over learning how to fire the ship's guns.
The plot is... well it's there. There's something resembling a plot in all this mess, though I can't tell you what was supposed to be going on since we have no clear bad guy so much as several people who appear and disappear irregularly. The only consistent plot point is that the crew wants to bring the boy home. But they can't because of something about a robot ship. And the captain of seedy space station can't send him home because that would call attention to him? Or something. Really, a film like this which relies on such basic motives has no business being this confusing. I wasn't even clear which bad guys were attacking them at various intervals. Or why.
Productionwise this film is not only cheap it LOOKS cheap. Robots are guys in padded suites. Aliens wear cheap rubber masks. Costumes are just plain cloth. Spaceships are reused from Battle Beyond the Stars, another B-Movie with no budget. The soundtrack's stolen from there too. And the acting makes home videos look like Citizen Kane. The death scenes are particularly amusing. But when a movie obviously doesn't care its hard for the audience to care either.