The Star Wars Holiday Special has become something of a dirty little secret, so much so that even some people who call themselves Star Wars fans might never have heard of it. Released in 1978, this was actually the film where cult favorite Boba Fett was introduced – and not even that could save it. The big names from the original cast are all there – Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford, among others – but it has nonetheless turned into something of a joke. It’s now up in its entirety on Youtube, though, so if you’re a true fan of the trilogy, at least this will give you a laugh.
If you’ve so much as watched the original three Star Wars films, you’ll probably recognize that the name of the Family Guy Star Wars parody trilogy comes from an insult that Han Solo says to Chewbacca. Comedic geniuses as they are, the writers of Family Guy turned one original episode into a hilarious trilogy: ‘Blue Harvest,’ ‘Something, Something, Something, Dark Side,’ and ‘It’s a Trap!’ The case includes an extraordinary array of celebrities, from Elizabeth Banks to Rush Limbaugh. The first episode was actually endorsed by Lucasfilm, and George Lucas, it turns out, is a huge fan of Family Guy.
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you might have heard of StarKid Productions because of their musical takes on the Harry Potter books. They haven’t stopped there, however, and they delved into the world of Star Wars parodying with Ani, a musical about, as you might be able to guess, Anakin Skywalker. Like the first movie, it takes a closer look at Darth Vader and his origins – except this time we see the grown man in black looking back on his childhood days with some level of nostalgia. You’ll see a number of characters you know from the movies, plus some new additions – Emily the Stormtrooper, for example.
As the creators of the Star Wars Gangsta Rap know, there’s nothing like a little gangsta rap to enhance comedic value. In an old school Flash video, this three-minute rap gives you everything you could possibly want – the Emperor and Darth Vader rapping together about their powers, Stormtroopers moving to the beat, Yoda rapping instructions, and of course a whiny Luke asking Yoda why he’s got to be such a playa hater. He takes a break from his whiny rapping to have a gin and tonic on the way to the Cloud City where Vader will cut off his hand, and then Han Solo appears long enough to give us an outro of ‘Knock him out the box Luke, knock him out the box’ – an ode to rapper Slick Rick.
Star Wars has appeared on The Simpsons in numerous ways, from single scenes including Star Wars characters to the presence of a movie series called Cosmic Wars in The Simpsons Universe. Cosmic Wars memorabilia actually shows up quite often, even just in the form of posters on the walls and things. Viewers see more specific character parodies too, like Jim Jam Bonks, based on Jar Jar Binks, or another Luke Skywalker parody. They also have an entire episode, ‘Revenge is a Dish Best Served Three Times,’ that is dedicated to everyone who died in the Star Wars films, from Darth Vader to Greedo to Jabba the Hutt.
The Adult Swim favorite Robot Chicken is another one who did a full trilogy of Star Wars parodies, this time in Claymation form. In its typical form of dark humor, Robot Chicken takes almost all of the Star Wars characters you could possibly think of and changes them into very different versions of themselves. The creators actually got the go ahead from Lucasfilm to produce the trilogy, and they also got an impressive group of actors to voice various characters. While Seth Green, who was also the director, voices the most roles, you’ll also hear Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Seth MacFarlane as the Emperor, and George Lucas and Joey Fatone as themselves.
South Park is well known for making sure everything gets made fun of, and Star Wars is no exception. It’s not the story of the trilogy that gets the South Park treatment, however. In the episode called ‘Free Hat,’ the South Park boys skewer the practice of re-mastering and re-releasing movies. This, of course, is what George Lucas did with the original Star Wars Trilogy in the 1990s before the second trilogy came out. This isn’t the only episode where George Lucas appears; in ‘The China Problem,’ he shows up to be punished for his crimes against cinema.
The Animaniacs spin-off Pinky and the Brain actually finished their series with a Star Wars parody called ‘Star Warners,’ where the two main characters show up, along with a number of other Warner Bros. characters. Pinky and the Brain turn into 3-PinkEO and Brain2-Me2 and then try to use the Mega Star to dominate the universe. Even if you can’t imagine C-3PO and R2-D2 trying to take over the Death Star and rule over everything with it, it’s a pretty funny parody.
The third season of Friends began with The One with the Princess Leia Fantasy, where Ross tells Rachel that his greatest sexual fantasy would be to have her dress up as Princess Leia in the purple bikini. The group pokes fun at Ross throughout the episode, but he ends up getting his wish – only to have it ruined by a conversation he’d had with Chandler and an image he can’t get out of his bed. True Star Wars fans know that Rachel got the costume wrong, though, by combining the purple bikini with Princess Leia’s iconic hairstyle from the first movie.
There is no greater Star Wars parody than the 1987 Mel Brooks movie Spaceballs. You’ll recognize all the main characters as versions of Star Wars characters, like the spoiled Princess Vespa, who gets kidnapped by the evil Dark Helmet. Then there’s Lone Starr and Barf, Lone Starr’s ‘mawg’ (man-dog) companion, who owe a debt to Pizza the Hutt. A wise teacher called Yogurt tells Lone Starr about ‘The Schwartz,’ which he must learn how to wield. Some of the best comedic actors of at the time are in the movie, including Bill Pullman as Lone Starr, Joan Rivers as the Princess’ droid companion, and Mel Brooks himself as Yogurt. If you watch no other Star Wars parody, watch this one.