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Hardware Wars

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I mostly hate the whole Star Wars series and am generally disinterested in science fiction. But as a man of a certain generation, I have of course seen all the original Star Wars movies, for better and worse. So Hardware Wars, which I don’t doubt many of you have seen, was of moderate interest. I can’t exactly say this is good or even near the level of Spaceballs, which is a bad movie. But it might be the first Star Wars parody, which is something. Right?

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  • Even a better film parody is Porklips Now.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF-Pk0md87o

    • Bill Murray

      Porklips Now is very good

      • Barry Freed

        The same dude did both. And he was a founding member of Oingo Boingo. How cool is that?

  • Spaceballs is a bad movie? Shut your mouth. It is a “bad” movie. It is awesome in its silliness.

    • wjts

      It has some good gags, but Mel Brooks started slipping with High Anxiety and never recovered.

      • Warren Terra

        I’d never argue it’s even a good film, but be fair: it has some great gags, more memorable moments and more staying power than a dozen comedy films from the same year or two (an interval carefully chosen to exclude Ghostbusters).

        • nixnutz

          Are you talking about High Anxiety? Because I think that’s great but I saw Spaceballs in the theater and I remember distinctly that I got a good chuckle out of the gag where the Imperial battle cruiser was very, very long (in the first minute or two) and then I didn’t laugh again for the remainder of the movie.

          I still love Mel Brooks but that may have been the least funny comedy I’ve ever seen. I guess if I saw it again maybe I’d feel differently but I’m not in a hurry to do so.

          I think I probably saw Hardware Wars at Boskone around the same time, which was always a blur of LSD and nerd bacchanalia, I don’t remember my reaction nearly as distinctly.

          • Manny Kant

            Man, I loved Spaceballs when I was 12. Rewatching it when I was in college was unwise.

            • Jordan

              Yeah, that was exactly my experience.

            • dr. fancypants

              The obvious potential for this phenomenon is exactly why I’ve never watched Spaceballs as an adult.

      • I blame me. I was childhood friends with Nicky and Eddie, so half the gags in “Get Smart” were from watching us play. They moved to LA. I stayed funny.

      • TribalistMeathead

        I kind of graded High Anxiety on a curve based on the fact that I know little to nothing about Hitchcock, but it did seem to be the beginning of Mel Brooks recycling gags from movie to movie.

        • Robin Hood: Men in Tights was pretty good, however.

          • TribalistMeathead

            “pretty good” when compared to Dracula: Dead and Loving It, sure.

    • Yes, exactly. I wouldn’t go to war for any of the Star Wars films, though I enjoy them myself (well, the first two and a half). But Spaceballs justifies the franchise’s existence all on its own.

      • witless chum

        Yup.

      • Brandon

        Keep firing, assholes!

      • Turkle

        I found the Star Wars films silly, although not unwatchable (I have not seen the new ones and do not plan to). But Spaceballs is a work of genius and anyone claiming otherwise is clearly just trolling his own blog.

  • Warren Terra

    I used to be a liberal, but then I discovered that Loomis hates the whole Star Wars series and isgenerally disinterested in science fiction, and now I’m outraged by the Affordable Care Act.

    All kidding aside, and realizing there are many other fine alternatives to consume your time, there is an awful lot of great science fiction out there, albeit most of what’s on film is crap.

    • chris y

      I love science fiction, but I hate Star Wars because of its unbelievably poor and puerile world building. The two positions are not incompatible, and if Loomis’ general distaste for the genre comes from encounters with stuff like the Lucas oeuvre, there’s hope for him yet.

      • The Dark Avenger

        It is, however, great SF.

        • If by “SF” you mean “Space Fantasy” then yes.

          Otherwise not so much.

      • FlipYrWhig

        The more Lucas attempted to take it seriously, the worse the films got. As a Flash Gordon serial, it’s fine. As a meditation on the origins of evil and how republics become empires, welcome to silly season.

        • cpinva

          ” As a meditation on the origins of evil and how republics become empires, welcome to silly season.”

          I think Asimov did that, long before Star Wars.

          as a child of the original Star Trek tv show, I was prepared to give Star Wars a loving embrace. turns out, my sentiments were misplaced. apparently, I wasn’t the only Star Trek fan who felt this way, hence the major success of the Star Trek movies and spin-off tv series.

          so yeah, the “War” movies were kind of fun, but lacking the pseudo depth of Star Trek. go chew on that sad excuse for philosophizing.

          • Bill Murray

            so yeah, the “War” movies were kind of fun, but lacking the pseudo depth of Star Trek. go chew on that sad excuse for philosophizing.

            Star Trek was a pretty sad excuse for philosophizing as well

          • FlipYrWhig

            I think Lucas didn’t set out to do that (Make A Statement), but sort of blundered into it, then pushed it so hard (in the prequels) that he made the plot and adventures impossible to follow and yet at the same time provided little payoff for trying.

          • Barry Freed

            I agree with this comment.

      • Barry Freed

        I’m totally with chris y on this and I was coming here to say something like that. I love science fiction. I even like some pretty schlocky stuff along with all the great stuff. But I can’t stand Star Wars.

      • witless chum

        Star Wars for some, minature American flags for chris y and Loomis, I guess.

        I grew up with those movies, so it’s hard to see them more objectively, but I think, especially compared to anything else in the genre of space opera movies, it’s pretty good. Fair to say it’s more fantasy in space than sci fi? yes.

        • Barry Freed

          chris y is British.

          • Bill Murray

            and chris can’t wave a miniature American flag? sure one would be looked at askance for doing so but probably less so than if one waved a bloody shirt.

      • N__B

        The unforgivable sin of Star Wars is that its existence means there will never be a series of Foundation movies.

        • Marc McKenzie

          So should Lucs be put up against the wall, then?

          In all seriousness, a film series based on FOUNDATION would be very tough to film. There is going to be a Japanese manga adaptation of the novels. Not too unusual, since there have been manga adaptations of INHERIT THE STARS, THETWO FACES OF TOMORROW, and ALL YOU NEED IS KILL (basis for the film EDGE OF TOMORROW).

          And I still like the SW films, warts and all.

          • Marc McKenzie

            Meant George Lucas….damn I hate typing on a tablet!

        • cpinva

          “The unforgivable sin of Star Wars is that its existence means there will never be a series of Foundation movies.”

          rats! should have read farther down, before posting. in any event, I agree with the bear.

        • David Hunt

          I’ve often thought that Foundation was tailor made for a television mini-series. SyFy used to adapt scifi classics like Dune and Riverworld. I think they could have made a decent effort at one time. Now however, I can’t remember the last original movie/mini-series they did that I liked. Okay, that’s a lie. I can remember: it was The Lost Room.

          • Hogan

            Coming this fall: Sharkdation!

        • Hanspeter

          A Foundation movie has been in development for a little over a year now. How they’re going to organize the short stories from the books into a movie (even just the first book) is ‘nother question.

      • nixnutz

        I don’t know, in the world of movies, production design and special effects are world building. Also you touch on the reason I think Sturgeon’s law is bullshit, it’s about values; “world building” holds almost no value for me but it’s everything to scifi and fantasy fans. I can appreciate that George R.R. Martin has done a good job with this aspect but it’s the characters and mostly the plotting that allows me to ignore his horrible prose.

        My problem with Star Wars is that the writing, acting and most of the direction are mediocre to terrible. But the music and production design were terrific, I certainly don’t begrudge my nine-year-old self for loving it.

        Bottom line for me is that I think Star Wars is pretty terrible but I prefer it to “good” science fiction. But I still retain the right to be disappointed when The Stars My Destination eventually makes it to the screen.

        • Manny Kant

          I’ve started to see lately lots of references to Martin’s “horrible prose.” It’s obviously not brilliant prose by any means, but it seems totally serviceable to me, and I’m not someone who is just totally indifferent to bad prose (I had a tough time with the Harry Potter books, for instance, although I feel like Rowling’s prose got marginally better as it went along).

          I mean, there’s certainly much worse prose than Martin.

          • Martin, to me, writes like a journalist imitating a novelist. He can’t shake the idea that he is supposed to be telling a story, rather than relaying a sequence of events.

            The plotting and the scope are so wide and there are so many exciting things happening, that you don’t mind the pedestrian recitation, but a better novelist can make the most tedious crap interesting to read about, witness Jane Austen.

        • FlipYrWhig

          Yeah, I think this matches up fairly well with my feeling. “World building,” at least as I understand it, is really the _strength_ of Star Wars. Cool spaceships, cool robots, cool creatures, laser guns, lightsabers, Darth Vader, Jedi Knights, all well done. The chases and firefights are almost always strong, at least in the original three films. But then the acting is atrocious, the storylines are inch-deep, and the themes are either heavy-handed or absent.

          • I’d say the set dressing) is top notch, e.g. lazer swords and spaceships that zoom and space battles like WWII in space. The world building falls apart with cursory examination. Why do blaster beams move slow enough to be deflected by a guy with an impossible lazer sword? Why do spaceships have to be within spitting range to use laser weapons? Why do entire planets have one biome? Where are the suburb and strip mall planets?

            The key is the because the story was fast paced and engaging in the first trilogy, the set dressing in the first good enough to distract from the world building . The second trilogy with its turgid pacing and clunky exposition just made people pay attention to the plot inconsistencies and fundamental superficiality of the setting.

            • Brett

              You know what I like about it, though? The characters actually feel at home in the setting with their technology, treating it like we’d expect real people to treat it. There was some joke a long while back about how a lot of Science Fiction can’t help but overly exposit on the technology in their setting – Star Wars doesn’t do that.

              • Warren Terra

                I’d agree with this, but on the other hand the technology is mostly terrible and makes no sense. The problem is that Lucas just isn’t that bright, or at the very least isn’t nearly as bright as he thinks he is. So: you see these people at home with their world, and it seems real, but when you get to your own home and ponder it it ceases to hold together.

    • daveNYC

      I’m going to vote for Palpatine Nader in 2016.

      Star Wars is worth it just because of the Robot Chicken Star Wars episode.

      • TribalistMeathead

        There’s three of them, and they’re all pretty awesome. Particularly the bit with Darth Vader calling Emperor Palpatine to tell him the Death Star was just destroyed.

        “Yeah, so then I threw the Senate at him. The whole fuckin’ Senate!”

        • daveNYC

          “What do you mean they blew it up!?”
          “What’s an Aluminum Falcon!?”
          [beat]
          “WHO’S THEY?!?!”

          I especially liked the fact that Lucas was willing to do voice work for the episode.

      • Jeff Vader
    • Bad as the film world has been to SF, what it’s done to the fantasy genre is even worse.

  • Jordan

    This is clearly the start of the next great Loomis series.

    As we sip our vodka and ketchups, tell us more about scifi things you hate! :)

    • Ketchup and Vodka… sounds like an interesting martini idea

      • Captain Bringdown

        More like a poor man’s Bloody Mary to me.

        • One day I ran out of Bloody Mary Mix and used pasta sauce instead. It wasn’t terrible, but next time I’ll just go to the store.

  • Boro

    This brings back lovely memories of talking old kitchen appliances and AV equipment, pretending they are spaceships, battling them together, and then finally setting them on fire in the backyard.

    An old cathode ray TV with the housing removed makes a great Borg ship.

    • Bartleby

      I thought you were talking about The Brave Little Toaster for a minute.

  • Peter T

    I have a fond memory of watching the first Star Wars movie from the cheap seats in a Calcutta cinema. I think a fair number of the audience thought it was set in LA.

  • Scott P.

    I watched Hardware Wars endlessly when I was a kid — you could check out 8mm fIlms and projectors from the library. A classic, and a favorite.

    • I only saw Hardware Wars once, but it too was at a screening at our public library. I thought it was the most hilarious thing I’d ever seen (I am guessing I would have been maybe eight years old at the time) so this was a nice memory trip for me.

  • ScottRS

    Hardware Wars was a staple of the campus film nights at UW(isconsin) back in the day, along with Michael Nankin’s Gravity!

    • ScottRS
      • I thought it was an actual educational film until the part with big sister.

        • cpinva

          “I thought it was an actual educational film until the part with big sister.”

          that’s the part when I knew it was an actual educational film. a unique combination of physics and sex education. got to keep your audience awake!

      • heckblazer

        That reminds me of the British educational series Look Around You. You’ll definitely learn all sorts of science you never knew before.

        • Baby Needs-A-Nym

          Thanks, Ants. Thants.

          • wjts

            Thanks, Hanks. Thanks.

            • what are birds? we don’t know. we just don’t know.

  • FlipYrWhig

    I originally saw Hardware Wars on a screen on the side of the Bookmobile on my elementary school playground.

  • Rob in CT

    Spaceballs is not a bad movie. It’s not quite a great movie, much like many other parodys/slapstick affairs. The first half or maybe 3/4 of Blazing Saddles is incredible, but it pretty much falls apart at the end. This happens a lot with movies that are basically a string of gags. History of the World, Part I also springs to mind. There is some real genius in there (“The Inquisition, let’s begin…”), but also stuff that falls flat.

    • I do agree about Blazing Saddles. The end is really bad.

      • JustRuss

        I would argue that the end is so bad it’s brilliant. Lots of otherwise great works have terrible endings (exhibit A: Huckleberry Finn), I give Brooks a lot of credit for just saying “Screw it!” and going completely over the top. Unfortunately, that seemed to set the stage for the rest of his films.

    • Crunchy Frog

      When I saw History of the World, Part 1 my first thought was that it had some funny bits, but all of them had been used in the advertising trailer so there was no benefit to seeing the movie itself. Well, except for the previews of History of the World, part 2, at the end, which were also funny.

      So by 1981 Mel Brooks was reduced to have a few good gags, sufficient for movie trailers, but the rest was just filler. I guess it’s not unusual for great geniuses to just run out of good ideas – look at Paul McCartney, for example.

    • daveNYC

      I think Brooks’ worked better when he was riffing on genres. His stuff that focused too much on a single movie (Space Balls) or a director (High Anxiety, Men in Tights) is much weaker.

      There’s also the issue that breaking the fourth wall can produce great stuff but it really should be done in small doses.

      • JustRuss

        His stuff that focused too much on a single movie

        Ahem….Young Frankenstein? Pure genius.

        • daveNYC

          I’ll just say that’s the exception that proves the rule. Unless you have a second example, in which case lalalalalalala I can’t hear you.

          I think Young Frankenstein works because Brooks was actually making a Frankenstein movie, just one where most of the characters were idiots.

          • JustRuss

            Yes, but in this case the exception is half of the work in question. He didn’t do any other parodies that focused on a single film, unless you count Dracula: Dead and Loving It, which I have not seen, and you can’t make me.

          • young frankenstein worked because it was gene wilder’s idea, and treatment, and he pretty much carried the flick.

            my theory about mel brooks’ consistency is that anytime gene wilder was involved, wilder added humanity to brooks’ scattershot approach, thus doubling the watchability.

            though i’m kind of fond of parts of spaceballs; i think the middle gag where rick moranis & george wyner watch a video of the very movie they are in to find out where heros are is brilliant, esp. when they get to the exact moment in the film that they are currently experiencing. cheap and profound at the same time, though i bet the profound part was accidental.

            • Tehanu

              I love George Wyner. “What’s the matter, Colonel Sandurz? Chicken?” He was also great in My Favorite Year as Boss Rojack’s lawyer.

  • Matthew

    Hating Star Wars is one of those things that will make people dismiss whatever you have to say. It’s like hating pizza. You can of course say things against it, but…

    Seriously, 4-6 were awesome. They are required if you want to be a full participant in American pop culture.

    • David W.

      Yep, while watching Star Wars II, during the love scene I felt just like a little kid again, ‘cuz I wanted to fwow up. Dialog is a language George Lucas clearly doesn’t speak. The only actor who could handle his lines with a modicum of style was the veteran of many a B-movie, Christopher Lee. Sorry, but pop culture can at times really suck.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        “you can write this shit, George, but you can’t say it” – Harrison Ford, allegedly

        • cpinva

          you can, just not with a straight face.

      • cpinva

        “Yep, while watching Star Wars II, during the love scene I felt just like a little kid again, ‘cuz I wanted to fwow up.”

        the scene with han solo and chewbaca? yeah, that was a tough one. oh, wait, that was a, um, different movie. never mind!

        • David W.

          On the subject of love scenes in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back:

          “I love you.” “I know.”

          Leigh Brackett wept.

          • “I love you.” “I know.”

            Ford’s line was allegedly written as ‘I love you too’, but he changed it after he had to do a zillion takes because Carrie Fisher was too coked up to get it right.

            • Crunchy Frog

              Almost certainly apocryphal, since the two lines were in separate camera shots. She could have screwed up hers a million times and he could still have done his once.

      • Manny Kant

        I enjoyed Ewan McGregor’s over the top Alec Guinness impersonation, and I thought McDiarmid was nearly as accomplished a scenery chewer as Lee. The rest of the cast was terrible.

      • Captain C

        I saw the iMax version of Attack of the Clowns Clones, which came out a few months after the theater version. It was 20 minutes shorter, so they could squeeze in more lucrative showings. The 20 minutes that were cut seem to have all been painful “love” scenes between Anakin and Padme, and that made the movie more than a bit better.

        • Like the famous jar-jar free cut? Supposedly even Lucas secretly prefers it.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      4-6 being the 1-3 from the 70s & early 80s?

      • Autonomous Coward

        There are four three lights movies called Episodes 4, 5, 6 released between 1977 and 1983.

        There is also a Holiday Special. There was an RPG with some good editions and some not-so-good editions. There were some okay video games and some pretty great Expanded Universe books.

        Here endeth The Star Wars.

        • Autonomous Coward

          There are, of course, rumors about mythical “Star Wars Episodes 1-3” scripts that still fester in the fever swamps of the Internet.

          There’s even an urban legend that George Lucas was actually driving these scripts (along with a fourth Indiana Jones script) to Steven Spielberg when he disappeared on that dark night in 1989 after leaving the Last Crusade wrap party.

      • Woodrowfan

        there are only three Star Wars movies, period! that’s it THREE!!! No Star Wars movies was ever made after 1983, NONE! YOU HEAR ME?!?!?!! THERE ARE ONLY THREE MOVIES (sobs, just three, please just three).

        • N__B

          Keep that up and you’ll be able to clear the mental-gymnastics hurdle to be a republican in no time at all.

          • Woodrowfan

            If I start to find Jar-Jar Binks anything less than horrifying, I am almost there. Please feel free to smother me with a pillow in my sleep…

            • George W Bush

              Me-sah think Mission Accomplished.

    • I hate Star Wars is the other the Beatles are overrated

  • David W.

    You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll kiss three bucks goodbye…

    Those were the days alright.

  • A friendly reminder

    While we’re all amusing ourselves here, there are still people in this country who have the audacity to practice religion, and believe that the constitution gives them rights to do so. Our work is not yet done.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      people should practice their religion on themselves rather than their employees

    • FlipYrWhig

      I believe in the dark side of The Force, and it unreasonably infringes on my religious liberty if I cannot choke my underlings at a distance.

    • Davis X. Machina

      Amen. Not done. Not till the last pancake is eaten.

    • BigHank53

      Oh, is it mosque-building time again?

    • Crunchy Frog

      Focus on your own damn family.

      • Autonomous Coward

        If, in an affront to the Darwinian principle, this one has managed to mate his children are almost certainly crushing disappointments.

        So he’s took his show on the road to bring impose his magical method of family rearing on the rest of us.

    • Autonomous Coward

      While we’re all amusing ourselves here, there are still people in this country who have the audacity (aided and abetted by the Usual Gang of Idiots at SCOTUS) to practice religion assert that a corporation has a religion, and believe that the constitution gives them rights to do so impose conditions on the disposition of their employees compensation. Our work is not yet done.

      FTFY.

    • Pseudonym

      Don’t try to frighten us with your sorcerer’s ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient Jedi religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you enough clairvoyance to find the rebels’ hidden fortress…

  • Halloween Jack

    I mostly hate the whole Star Wars series and am generally disinterested in science fiction.

    People like you are an inspiration to me, Erik.

    • Ronnie Pudding

      People who misuse the word ‘disinterested’?

      • FlipYrWhig

        Maybe he means that he has an unbiased approach to SF, rather than that he doesn’t find it compelling.

        (Pro-tip: “disinterested” and “uninterested” don’t mean the same thing.)

        • Manny Kant

          Prescriptivist!

          • Autonomous Coward

            There’s descriptivism and then there’s relativism: the coddling of poor grammar, vocabulary, and writing.

            Think hard on which school you wish to follow.

            (HE SAID WITHOUT IRONY, NOT A GODDAMN TRACE OF IT.)

      • C

        Maybe Loomis is a secret investor in films, but he has decided not to bankroll any sci-fi flicks? Then his usage is correct.

        Let’s add, for the record, that Loomis has also loudly announced his disdain for coffee and New York pizza. The man has horrible taste. He probably hates Christmas and puppies too.

        • NobodySpecial

          What they have in New York is not strictly pizza, but more of a challenge to see how thin you can make dough and still have it bear a smidgen of toppings. Like building bridges from toothpicks.

          • Autonomous Coward

            I AGREE. CALL CHICAGO, BRING ME A PIZZA-POT-PIE!

            Ugh.

          • Ahuitzotl

            so just like pizza in Rome, Venice, Mantua and Florence, then

      • Pseudonym

        I believe Dr. Loomis has already shared his story of growing up too poor to afford grammar.

  • Hanspeter

    The Star Wars Holiday Special was the first Star Wars parody.

    • David W.

      The cocaine back in the 1970s did have quality control issues…

      • Captain C

        Watch the video for Bobby and the Midnites’ “I Want to Live in America” and you’ll see that those quality control issues extended into the early ’80s.

        No, I’m not going to link it. I’m not that cruel. YouTube it yourself if you really want that pain.

  • Oh man, I remember breathlessly running down the video store to get on the waiting list for that!

    “Jeepers! What is it, Augie Ben Doggie? Did you feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced?

    No, just a little gas. “

  • Barry Freed

    I just caught Close Encounters of the Third Kind on the big screen. It came out the same year as Star Wars and holds up very well I thought (and I’m not a Spielberg fan). Some genuine moments of terror*, suspense, and awe in there.

    *I can see where Sam Raimi took a lot from it for his first two Evil Dead movies, especially the scene inside the house.

    • Barry Freed

      And it’s much better than Star Wars. Harumph!

      • BigHank53

        Star Wars is a western with different sets and props. Close Encounters is actual science fiction.

        • Cheap Wino

          This.

          Star Wars is good, hammy, fun. Not the greatest movie but, if you like sci-fi at all, get out the popcorn and enjoy.

          Close Encounters is sci-fi, unadulterated. A really great ‘first contact’ movie and one on a very short list of truly high quality science fiction films. Plus, Teri Garr.

          • Linnaeus

            Close Encounters is one of those movies that I liked better as I got older.

        • Captain C

          Star Wars is a western with different sets and props.

          And World War II dogfights in space, with “lasers.”

    • David W.

      It was also parodied on Saturday Night Live in a skit that included Richard Dreyfus:

      Cone Encounters of the Third Kind

    • bluefoot

      I *still* use the phrase “This means something!”, usually sarcastically, when people (including me) try to extrapolate on minimal data. Also whenever I eat mashed potatoes. :) Sadly, people rarely get the joke.

    • Crunchy Frog

      That wasn’t my take at all on Close Encounters. Over the last many years I’ve been responsible for selecting a friday night movie for the family, and as we’re not into the latest hollywood blockbuster and as for much of that time the kids were too young for violent flicks I sometimes had to dig deep. Yes, they saw every cartoon made since 1977 and many from before, and a lot of BBC/PBS, including science documentaries, etc. But also pretty much every big space movie since the mid 1970s as well.

      Which means you can see the movies again through the eyes of your kids.

      So, without prompting, the kids loved Star Wars ’77, ’80, and ’83 (some reservations on ’83), liked-but-didn’t love Star Wars-turn-of-the-century, and weren’t that fond of Close Encounters, ET, and a few others in the same vein.

      The problem was that the stories were told really, really slowly. Lots of scenes that didn’t really advance the story, and long drawn-out sequences like Dreyfus building the model of the mountain. Now, you might saw “well kids today are used to faced pacing in today’s music video era”, and there is perhaps something to that. But they loved pre-MTV movies like North by Northwest and Born Free. They also insisted, after Wrath of Kahn, that we get the original Star Trek series and loved most of those (yes, they found “space hippies” and “lazarus” and “kirk acting like a bitchy woman” to be very stupid as most of us did).

      • Linnaeus

        Wrath of Khan is great. Probably the best in that series.

        • i think star trek ii, iii & iv make up one of the greatest film trilogies.

          • Hogan

            Last night we re-watched the Leverage episode where Hardison tries to set up a communication code with Eliot involving Star Trek movies: if I mention an odd-numbered one, everything is fine; if I mention an even-numbered one, there’s trouble. (“So if I say The Search for Spock, what does that mean?”) Turns out Eliot doesn’t own a TV and has no idea what any of that is about. (Later Hardison cuts into the hospital’s PA system to announce, “Dr. Ralph O. Khan. Paging Dr. Ralph O. Khan.” Yeah, there’s trouble.)

      • Barry Freed

        That first extended family scene with Dreyfuss and Garr and children before he sees the UFO is pitch perfect and laugh out loud funny.

        So I’d be tempted to go with the “kids these days” line but their fondness for Star Trek TOS and the Wrath of Khan redeems them in my eyes. They can may now step gingerly onto my lawn – but only to retrieve their ball. You done good there, Crunchy.

        • Barry Freed

          can may step…

          Argh, my kingdom for an edit button

  • DavidtheK

    Haven’t read all the comments but another very good parody is the “COPS” show following the imperial storm troopers on Tatuine. I’m pretty sure it’s still on youtube.

    • Autonomous Coward

      Yes, this thing.

      • Autonomous Coward

        Argh. Linky.

    • Captain C

      A friend of mine who lives in Chicago swears that one of the troopers has a full-on Green Bay accent.

  • LeftWingFox

    I can’t even pretend to be objective about Star Wars. I grew up with it. It was a massive chunk of my childhood. It was the sandbox my mind played in. I rode my bike like an X-wing pilot through the streets and paths of Edmonton. Every cardboard tube was a lightsaber, every styrofoam insert a new space station play-set for my toys.

    The thrill has largely burned out of me, but I still watch the original trilogy on occasion, and enjoy John Williams soundtracks on my playlist.

    • One of my first memories is seeing the movie with my dad and my brother in the theater in 1977 when I was 3 and a half years old, and it was potent medicine for someone who had never seen anything like it, or indeed any sci-fi more realistic than the Jetsons. My mind was blown, and I became a Star Wars fan for life. Sadly I can’t ever re-experience seeing the movie for the first time. To the extent that it holds up today, it does so because of the strength of the setting, effects and action. Of course Star Wars falls down whenever you look too close at-any part of it really. It’s Flash Gordon with the serial numbers filed off and far better production values. Its a goulash made from old sci-fi serials, samurai movies, spaghetti westerns and war movies, with a better than expected science fiction sauce.

      • Most Favoured Commenter

        I wish I could sell you my unused “See Star Wars for the First Time.” The 10-15 minutes snips I’ve seen on TV here were too boring to watch further.

        Long movies are unfair to us ADHD-Americans, thankfully we have music videos and 22-minute sitcoms.

  • calling all toasters

    The greatest Star Wars parody is definitely Return of the Jedi. I’m pretty sure the prequels are parodies of Ed Wood movies.

  • randy khan

    As a progressive, I feel bound to respect the belief that Star Wars was terrible, but I really cannot understand it. And Empire was a fine movie by almost any standard.

    All bets are off as to the prequels, though. They would have been improved by removing about half the dialogue, or maybe all of it, plus Jar Jar Binks.

    • David W.

      The first movie was a hoot and the effects were amazing.

      The second movie that started on Hoth and had a P.O.’d Darth Vader was fun too. Even Yoda was sort of interesting as an alien muppet.

      But it was over the moment the Ewoks appeared in the third movie and the best Lucas could do plot-wise was blow up another Death Star.

      • Cheap Wino

        But it was over the moment the Ewoks appeared in the third movie

        Yes, there was a great disturbance in the quality of all potential Star Wars movies at that moment. We all felt it in the theater at the time.

        Sadly, the Ewoks made outrageous amounts of money. Thus Jar Jar Binks was going to happen, like it or not. That’s no excuse for the rest of episodes 1 – 3 to suck so comprehensively though.

  • Linnaeus

    I loved Star Wars and still consider it a classic, although I understand many of the critiques of it as a movie and the franchise got worse over time. It definitely has its flaws, and it’s not even Lucas’ best movie (which would be American Graffiti). In the end, though, I still enjoy watching it.

    • Autonomous Coward

      THX 1138 called to say: fuck you.

      • Linnaeus

        De gustibus and all that.

  • TribalistMeathead

    It’d be a stretch to call it a Star Wars parody, but Vader Sessions is great. Scenes with Darth Vader from Star Wars movies, with Vader’s dialogue replaced with dialogue from other James Earl Jones works.

    • TribalistMeathead

      Available on YouTube.

  • JustRuss

    Another fun SW parody, about Darth’s less successful brother:

    Chad Vader, Day Shift Manager

    Some of the bits are pretty funny.

  • Captain C

    Han shot first.

  • Nothing can top the truly awful Star Wars Holiday Special.

    I suspect that Lucas bought up every copy and hid them in a vault somewhere so that it can never be shown again.

  • Tehanu

    In 1997 or so they re-released the original 3 SW movies (4,5,6) in theaters. My son was at UCLA at the time and he and his friends stood in line (they even had a rota) for a month to get tickets to the opening night of A New Hope. We went with them, so it was us and 1598 screaming college kids… I’ve never had an experience like that. They cheered everything, from the first moment the lights went down to the last — Vader especially. They recited the dialogue along with the actors. You could see it was like a religious experience for them. I’ve always liked those movies but people who saw it in childhood have a feeling for them that just can’t be duplicated.

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