Here Mel Brooks sends up the Star Wars (1997) cycle. Brooks made Spaceballs with George Lucass blessing. In truth though, the film came out five years too late to find any topicality. Brooks conducts a series of jokes that poke fun at everything from the merchandising to John Williams scores to the opening narration (which trails off into the phrase If you can read this, you dont need glasses). At the films most amusing, Brooks turns the Jawas into a Seven Dwarves routine and reveals Daphne Zunigas Princess Leia sidebuns to be a Walkman. However, it is all tried and familiar Mel Brooks territory which means a surfeit of schoolboyish flatulence, sex and four-letter word jokes.
Most of the gags are wearyingly dumb having a bridge crew all named Asshole should give one an idea of the films level. Some gags the interruptions to the wedding ceremony, an incredibly juvenile sketch with Rick Moranis playing with toy dolls, the use of Police Academy (1986)s Michael Winslow as a radar operator who performs his own sound effects should have been left on the cutting room floor. There are punning sight gags on phrases like Jam the radar and Comb the desert and typical Brooks-ian jokes poking at the self-consciousness of the medium the villains are able to find where the heroes are by watching the video of the film, Yogurt sells the films merchandise and bids farewell, Goodbye and well meet again in Spaceballs II The Search for More Money (which Brooks was rumouredly thinking seriously about at one point) and during a chase sequence the heroes get away when the guards capture their stunt doubles instead. Occasionally there are those gags that are genuinely funny, particularly John Hurts cameo appearance replaying his famous Alien (1979) role and crying Oh no, not again, as the chestburster gets up and does a song-and-dance routine.
Rick Moranis, George Wyner and Brooks himself play with typical Brooks-ian stage effect, yelling dialogue while standing eyeball to eyeball, with aghast eyes and stage whispers to the audience. Bill Pullman and the snooty Daphne Zuniga seem miscast but at least work okay together. John Candy and Rick Moranis seems to be competing to see who gives the worst performance but this is a competition that is won hands down by Joan Rivers, whose voicing of the robot Dot Matrix is awful.
Mel Brooks never made his sequel but later spun the premise out into an animated tv series Spaceballs: The Animated Series (2008), which lasted for thirteen episodes and featured Daphne Zuniga, Mel Brooks and Joan Rivers returning to voice their original roles.