As part of the 31 Days and Knights of Star Wars, I have decided to resurrect a good comedy that roasts the best and worst of the Star Wars Universe While yes, there are throwbacks to other science-fiction, Spaceballs is thickly a StarWars spoof.
When the film initially came out, I was just too young for the film. It was the big comedy film of the year and this was in an age when home rentals were in that novelty phase for those who could afford a VCR or willing to rent one.
Yep, your local grocery store, if their stock of six weren’t depleted, would rent a VCR and your tape for a huge down payment. At an early point where cinemas were not considered an early test for the DVD/video sales, Spaceballs was first seen by yours truly at a birthday party for children.
With all the sexual innuendo and inappropriate content, we all settled down after jumping on the trampoline and the Birthday cake and candles to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Spaceballs for the first time. After the creepiness of Wonka, I didn’t make it to “the nose scene.”(We’ll cover that in a bit) and just decided to take myself home to my parents…who were having some alone time on the couch while watching a movie. In the dark, they found out I was home when I walked in, looked at the screen and said too loudly, “I just left this movie at this scene”.
So let’s talk about Space balls and the jokes related to the fabulous franchise.
The film opens with a crawl that explains what is going on
The massive starship takes over the screen and goes on and on and one, although that also takes place in ALIEN. While the opening is silent primarily, like Alien, the ending of those thrusters is very Star Destroyer like as the ALIEN ship, the Nostromo had no engine blast under the concept that the ship was launched and was so massive that the weight would push it most of the way across the galaxy.
The Princess and the golden companion, Dot Matrix, named after a common type of printer in 1987. The voice is of Joan Rivers, a famous comedienne. I am sure most of our younger readers only know her for her commenting as the fashion police during awards ceremonies with her daughter who is only known for criticizing others. But before that, Joan Rivers was in such high demand that she was due to take over the Tonight Show when Johnny Carson left rather than Jay Leno who was still doing commercials for Doritos. The body is that of Lorene Yarnell who did the primacy of her work as part of the mime duo Shields and Yarnell. This was her only film credit.
Lone Star and his furry co-pilot Barf the Mog are obviously a throwback to Chewbacca and his annoying friend Han Solo. The ship is a Winnebago, which was considered an upscale version of living-out-of your-car.
Jabba the Hutt was a terrifying entity before we saw him on screen as an unknown entity discussed in the Greedo Shooting, during the pre-deathstar X-Wing hanger scene, and as a potential payout machine for Boba Fett in Empire Strikes Back. In a rare case of successful crossing, Jabba remained terrifying in visual form as the giant slug when we finally saw him onscreen. Pizza the Hutt was a common spoof when Pizza Hut used to be big. This Pizza the Hutt should have offered free pizza to kids that did enough reading. No, it was disgusting enough on its own.
Dark Helmet and the breathing
Never knowing what faces the Dark bad guy is making behind the mask.
Wandering through the desert until we find the mystic we are looking for.
Yogurt the green who makes a wonderful puppet for children , making fun of Yoda the soft muppet
The Schwartz lightsabers
The Schwartz is revealed to be a body part joke. Comments are made about size,
The detailed relationship between the hero and the villain
In Empire Strikes Back, in 1980, the big plot twist occurs that reframes the whole battle between good and evil, taking the rebellion from good vs. evil and oppression against the state to a battle of family and as many will tell you, nobody fights like family.
In Spaceballs, Dark Helmet is revealed to be Lone Star’s “father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate.” At closest aim, that still makes them guys who lived in a house together.
The traveling through the heart of the machine to destroy the machine.
The Ultrapowerful weapon that almost destroys a planet.
And the possibility of a sequel
P.S. I am aware that there was a Spaceballs series, but it served no purpose and didn’t do anything to enhance the universe in any way that I am aware of. Their first episode was a rehashing of the film and its jokes without actually being the film.