The Star Wars franchise began in 1977 with the release of the film…well…you know…Star Wars. Since then, a total of ten movies, three made-for-TV films, an animated film, six animated series, several books, hundreds of toys, and a myriad of other products have been made.
Star Wars quickly became and has remained so popular that it is fodder for comedy and satire. As such, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate the five best Star Wars parodies.
But first…two honorable mentions:
Running from June 25, 2006 to December 11, 2012, Chad Vader was a series that followed a character hinted at being Darth Vader’s younger brother who ran a grocery store named Empire Market. It first premiered on Channel 101, but was canceled after two episodes. The creators of the series decided to continue the adventures of Chad on YouTube. Given that YouTube had just been founded on February 14, 2005, Chad Vader quickly became one of YouTube’s early hits. Moreover, it is comedy of inserting Darth Vader’s mannerisms into mundane world of grocery stores allowed for a subversive comedy which was unusual at the time.
Stormtroopers’ 9/11 – CollegeHumor
This skit imagines Stormtroopers discussing the destruction of the Death Star in a manner that parallels how many described the destruction of the Twin Towers. It should not be funny, but this video is brilliantly hilarious.
George Lucas in Love
Deeply influenced by the popularity of Shakespeare in Love, Joe Nussbaum tells the fictional story of George Lucas as a USC college student struggling to conquer writer’s block. George finds then finds himself interacting with mentors who bare obvious similarities to characters who would populate the Star Wars universe. George is able to write again after getting advice from a beautiful woman he wants to pursue a relationship with, but his romantic goals are quickly destroyed once he learns that she is really his sister.
Star Wars Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base – SNL
Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiered in December, 2015. A month later, on January 16, 2016, Adam Driver would host an episode of Saturday Night Live. With Driver replaying the role of Kylo Ren, SNL produced a skit that placed Kylo in an episode of Undercover Boss.
This would be one of the first – if not the first – skits to parody the new Star Wars movies. And at over thirty-million views, it has been well received by audiences at large. What stands out the most to me is how this skit both mocks and respects its two source materials.
Debuting at the 1997 San Diego Comic-Con International, Troopers was directed by Kevin Rubio and is a brilliant mockumentary that helped kick start modern fan film culture. Using the format of COPS, Rubio tells the story of stormtroopers based on Tatooine and how they incompetently handle local legal issues.
It has been over two decades since Troopers was made and it is still as funny as ever.
Laugh it Up, Fuzzball: The Family Guy Trilogy
Seth MacFarlane’s animated series, Family Guy, is an entertainment juggernaut. Fox cancelled the show after its third season, but brought it back because its syndication ratings were so high. It is now in its 16th season, it encompasses over 300 episodes, has a spin-off series in the form of The Cleveland Show, American Dad, and has generated numerous merchandise and related media.
Seth MacFarlane and the majority of Family Guy’s writers are also huge fans of Star Wars. This love of Star Wars inspired them to create Laugh It Up, Fuzzball: The Family Guy Trilogy.
Laugh It Up, Fuzzball consists of three episodes – each parodying a film in the original trilogy – and features Family Guy characters as Star Wars figures. While Laugh It Up, Fuzzball brilliantly satirizes Star Wars, it also functions as a love letter to the enjoyment it has brought its fans.
Laugh It Up, Fuzzball is such a great parody of Star Wars that is second to only one other…
Of course the greatest Star Wars parody of all time would have to be Spaceballs. Directed by Mel Brooks and written by Brooks, Ronny Graham, and Thomas Meehan, 1987’s Spaceballs captures the magic the original trilogy while mocking its absurdities. Spaceballs was such a success that many of its elements have permanently entered Star Wars fandom. For example, go to any Star Wars event and you’ll find people repeating Dark Helmet’s line, “I see your Schwartz is as big as mine.”
Fans have long wanted the sequel, Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money, to be made. While the likely hood of Spaceballs getting a theatrical sequel diminishes every day, the movie remains a funny movie in its own right and the greatest Starwars parody of all time.
So what do you think of this list? If you like it or hate it, let us know below.
Also, are there any Star Wars parodies that should have been included on this list? If so, list them in the comments section.