George Lucas got his start making short films in film school at USC including the 1967 award-winning science fiction classic Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138:4EB that inspired his first feature length film.
When the sound effects team working on Lucas’ 1977 Star Wars was stumped trying to figure out what an intergalactic night club might sound like, they called in short film maker/film editor/sound whiz Ernie Fosselius. At home he played with water, jugs and an assortment of items in his bathtub looking for sounds he thought might result in a convincing atmosphere for the Mos Eisley Cantina.
As soon as Star Wars was released Fosselius gathered friends and started to create a spoof. They got famous animation voice actor Paul Frees to offer a “coming attractions” style narration for this “sprawling space saga of romance, rebellion and household appliances.”
Now join Fluke Starbucker, Oggie Ben Doggie, Ham Salad, Artie Deco, Chewchilla the Wookie Monster, Princess Anne-Droid and the Red Eye Knights for Hardware Wars.
May the Farce be With You.
You can obtain a terrific DVD with director’s commentary and much more – plus other Fosselius films including Porklips Now!, The Hindenburger, and Plan 9.1 From Outer Space at his website.
The film was a smash success in the short film world.
George Lucas’s team carefully protected their properties but Lucas, inspired by the spoof, encouraged fans to create their own Star Wars-influenced films. There is even an official sanctioned site. Lucas and Disney know where their bread had been buttered for a long time.
Ernie Fosselius interviewed by Bob Wilkins on Creature Features (1978, 6 min).
Interviewed on Reality Check (2012, 7min).
Soon after came Troops, a Star Wars and Cops mash-up.
Did George Lucas have writer’s block? Director Joe Nussbaum shows us what might have happened with
We couldn’t resist following with
Darth Vader in Love
Darth Sidious Gets a Job
What if Ken Burns did a documentary telling the Star Wars “civil war” story? Earlier this year there was one about the Battle of Endor and now The Washington Post offers a near perfect parody. Both shorts are here.
There have been Star Wars-influenced and official commercials. Here is a selection.
And we’d be remiss if we didn’t include a sampling of Star Wars bloopers.
Family Guy: “Something, Something Something Dark Side” trailer
Even Star Wars is not sacred for Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog.
Here’s a story about the making of that piece.
The Force Awakens has inspired spoof trailers. One of our favorites features Disney characters found here along with “what if Nicolas Cage or Wes Anderson made the film?”
Want more parodies?
This is in-depth 1971 interview with a 27-year-old George Lucas by film journalist Gene Youngblood on Los Angeles Public Television Station KCET. Lucas had just finished his first feature film THX 1138.