The space saga blasted into theaters May 25, 1977, and since then it’s been parodied countless times. Here are a few of our favorite Force farces.
(May 25, 1977)
A cosmic cocktail of Flash Gordon serials, Akira Kurosawa samurai epics, and Joseph Campbell mythmaking, George Lucas’ groundbreaking sci-fi epic inspired undying devotion among its legions of fans and has grossed $461 million in its lifetime run. Along the way, the film and its sequels gave birth to a geeky new lingua franca — from AT-ATs to nerf herders to Wookiees — that’s provided material for comedians as varied as Bob Hope and Jon Stewart. And then there are the Web mash-ups, recuts, and send-ups that have blanketed pop culture. As Robot Chicken‘s Seth Green puts it, ”Star Wars is endlessly available for parody. It’s like George deliberately made it as cannon fodder for MAD magazine.”
The Muppet Show
(syndicated, Feb. 25, 1980)
Jabba the Hutt’s snoutish Gamorrean guards aren’t the only pigs in space, as Luke Skywalker and his earthbound ”cousin” Mark Hamill discover. When Luke hijacks the Swine Trek, Miss Piggy promptly transfers her affections from frog to Jedi Knight.
(Fox, episodes airing 2007-11)
Over a four-year span, Family Guy has created its own seminal trilogy made up of scene-for-scene do-overs of the original films recast with Family Guy’s snarky stock company. The May 22 Return of the Jedi tribute ”It’s a Trap!” featured Lois as a bikini-clad Leia.
(Adult Swim, episodes airing 2007-10)
Ever wonder what happened to Boba Fett after he fell into the Sarlacc? Or if a certain Gungan could have had a lucrative career as a car insurance spokesman? Seth Green & Co. clearly have, thrice riffing on that galaxy far, far away with the spirit of a Mos Eisley jazz band.
One of the first fan parodies, this low-budget faux trailer subbed kitchen appliances for spaceships and a Sesame Street-esque ”Wookiee Monster” for Chewbacca. The film even recruited Paul Frees (who narrated the original Star Wars trailers) for a twisted voice-over.
Mel Brooks gives Star Wars the Borscht Belt treatment, firing barbs at everything from merchandising to Carrie Fisher’s Hollywood lineage to Yoda (a.k.a. Yogurt). Yes, the targets are as easy to hit as Beggar’s Canyon womp rats, but they bring the laughs.
Zack and Miri Make a Porno
You’re a huge Star Wars fan and you’re broke. So what do you do? You make a porn film, of course, with light-up sex toys in place of lightsabers, and call it Star Whores. This Seth Rogen-Elizabeth Banks comedy was directed by ultimate fanboy Kevin Smith.