Star Wars is one of the most parodied movies of all time. How could it not be? – it’s totally iconic and completely changed the face of sci-fi forever. Here’s a definitive list of the best Star Wars parodies ever:
The Adam and Joe Show Back in the mid-1990s, before the onslaught of Star Wars nostalgia, before YouTube and before George Lucas did something unmentionable to most people’s childhoods by creating episodes 1-3, Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish were still messing about in their toy box.
Dusting off and setting up their old Kenner Star Wars figures, Adam and Joe produced numerous parodies, routinely casting R2D2 and C3P0 as a gay couple and Obi-Wan as a drunken Geordie. The most unmissable episode contained a classic Crystal Maze parody that had the cast of toys trying their very hardest to beat the Crystal Dome and win the pony trekking holiday in Wales.
Robot Chicken Ever wondered what was in the hatch Luke opens in the bottom of the At-At in Empire? Well, Seth Green and co. revealed that and so much more in a special episode of Robot Chicken from last year. A bone of contention with the makers of Family Guy (taken in good humour – check out Peter and Chris’ chat in Blue Harvest) that Green got out his special before Seth McFarlane, this is a cheap and cheerful take on all six Star Wars films.
Blue Harvest – Family Guy Airing a few weeks later than the aforementioned Robot Chicken special, the producers of Family Guy went to town with this fantastic take on Star Wars. Having Chris as Luke and Horace ( the creepy old guy) as Obi-Wan was fantastic, if disturbing, but casting Peter and Brian as Han and Chewie was a stoke of genius. I’d be hard pushed to pick the best moment of the episode – Peter singing along to the John Williams score (“Mr John Williams, everybody”) while tackling tie-fighters? Orr trying to get a discarded sofa on the Millennium Falcon on their escape? Regardless, this double act is what makes this one of the best planned and funny parodies of the first Star Wars. Roll on their take on Empire!
Spaceballs While not Mel Brooks’ best work, there are still some great jokes in Spaceballs. While some of the gags are obvious and puerile, for every miss there are a hundred and one hits to make you smile – like Ludicrous Speed, Dark Helmet playing with his figures or the insane Spaceballs The Movie being filmed live and watched on the video by the guys making the film (you know the bit). Plus there’s John Candy as Barf the Dog and an unexpected capture of stunt doubles all wrapp up in the usual Mel Brooks insanity.
Star Wars Holiday Special Okay, it’s not a parody. But the Star Wars Holiday Special was really just a beer-fuelled cash-in on the insane popularity of Star Wars – surely no-one did this for any reason beyond the paycheck? For those of you who’ve tried to watch it, I salute you. Really, this is for hardcore fans only – watch with care (and through your fingers!).
Cops One of the earliest pieces of online viral marketing, this great Star Wars parody replaces the cops from, um, Cops with Stormtroopers. With superb special effects and a great script the ten minute show takes a look at Jawa society, and finds out what really happened to Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen with the help of a handy thermal detonator. (Check it out here.)
Tag & Bink Are Dead This Dark Horse comic features two inept rebels who unwittingly are part of each and every main turning point in the Star Wars movies. Whether it’s telling Anakin how to woo Padme with bad poetry and professions of love, or taking a tie-fighter for a joyride (in the ‘that’s no moon’ speech in episode 4), Tag and Bink are, according to the comics anyway, responsible for the fall of the Empire every bit as much as the rebels from the movie. So if you ever wondered who nicked Chewbacca’s medal at the end of Star Wars or who was really under the cool-looking Red Imperial Guard uniforms in Jedi then this mini series will keep you informed.