‘Spaceballs’: The headline

Now that the “Star Wars” saga has ended where it started, it seems right to take a pause and remember the many facets of the series, including its illegitimate offspring. Yes, that’s right, this means it is time for “Spaceballs”: the review. In 1987, more than a jab was taken at space movies in general.

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By Erin Tobin

By Erin Tobin

Now that the “Star Wars” saga has ended where it started, it seems right to take a pause and remember the many facets of the series, including its illegitimate offspring.

Yes, that’s right, this means it is time for “Spaceballs”: the review.In 1987, more than a jab was taken at space movies in general. One of the unarguable kings of parody, Mel Brooks, just plain sucker punched them.

Brooks, of “Blazing Saddles” fame, directed in his usual style with an all-star cast in “Spaceballs,” meaning the jokes, puns and “yuks” in the film are too numerous to list.

Bill Pullman and Rick Moranis duel off in this epic parody, so they lead the laughter. Pullman plays Lone Starr, to whom the allusions are obvious. He is a man with a mysterious past who is just cruising through life, and space, in his flying Winnebago. Alongside he has Barf, who is a “Mawg” (half man, half dog and his own best friend), is played by the late John Candy.

Moranis plays the villain in this movie, complete in a black cape and huge black helmet. His character is appropriately named Dark Helmet, and in true villain style fights very dirty. Moranis’s character has been sent by the president of planet Spaceball to steal the air from Planet Druidia.

In order to do this, Dark Helmet kidnaps Druidia soon-to-be-married princess, Princess Vespa. Vespa is played by Daphne Zuniga, who later went on to a role on “Melrose Place.” Lone Starr takes off to save her and the wacky adventure ensues. True to his style, Brooks makes appearances in the movie, both as President Skroob of Planet Spaceball and Yogurt.

Yogurt (who looks a lot like a distant cousin of Yoda’s) is an old, wise creature who lives in the desert the heroes crash on. His wisdom is proven by one thing, his ability to take advantage of marketing. Thus with Yogurt starts one of the longest running and most classic gags of the film, a stab at George Lucas’s habit of squeezing every possible cent out of a movie, by pitching various “Spaceballs” merchandise.

What this film is full of is comedic eye candy. It has to be watched more than once because something will be missed the first time. With such a strong cast it is easy to see why. There is a plethora of clever, even if not so unique, characters including Colonel Sandurz and Pizza-the-Hut. The “Star Wars” saga is not the only science fiction movie included in the fun. “Alien,” “Star Trek” and “Planet of the Apes” all get played off of. Now on VHS and DVD, there is no excuse for any sci-fi or comedy fan not to have this in their collection. Maybe, if the world is lucky, Brooks will feel he has enough new material for a sequel.

The “schwartz” will defiantly be with him if he does.

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