[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dark_star_1974_poster_03_5236.jpg]]

->''"They're not lost in space. They're loose!"''
-->-- Tagline for the trailer

''Dark Star'' is a tongue-in-cheek 1974 sci-fi/comedy motion picture directed by Creator/JohnCarpenter (helming his first feature film) and co-written with Dan O'Bannon. ''Dark Star'' was ranked #95 on Rotten Tomatoes' ''Journey Through Sci-Fi''.

The film is about the small crew of the titular scout ship, whose job is to destroy unstable planets which might threaten future colonization.

Not to be confused with the video game featuring the cast of [[MysteryScienceTheater3000 MST3K]].
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!! This movie provides examples of:

* AbsentAliens: The characters display absolutely no interest in their computer calculating a 95% chance of intelligent life in a nearby system, with the implication that previous pursuits of such readings had brought disappointing results. Or maybe [[FantasticallyIndifferent they're just that burned the fuck out.]]
* ActionPrologue: Before the opening credits we witness the crew destruct a planet.
* AIIsACrapshoot: Bomb #20 has its own mind and continuously refuses to abort the detonation sequence. It ends in AGodAmI.
* AsYouKnow: Doolittle provides an InfoDump when talking to Talby: "We've been in space for twenty years now, right? And we've only aged three years."
* BeepingComputers: The ship's computer makes beeping sounds when displaying information on the screen.
* BetterThanItSoundsFilm: The plot: Incompetent hippies on a deep space demolition tour dispel their boredom by chasing and deflating a sentient beach ball. Over-confidently, they then enter a debate with a sentient thermo-stellar bomb.
* BillionsOfButtons: The bridge of the ''Dark Star'' is plastered with flashy buttons.
* BlowingSmokeRings: Boyler does this when the crew rest in the sleeping quarters.
* CaptainsLog: Doolittle is seen doing log recordings as a way of giving an InfoDump to the audience. Amongst other things we learn that the supply of toilet paper has been destroyed.
* ChekhovMIA: Commander Powell was introduced early as having died on the mission prior to the movie's timeline. In the climax, he is revealed to be stored in a HumanPopsicle from where his half-living soul [[InterrogatingTheDead could still communicates with Doolittle]].
* CurseCutShort: The computer automatically censors obscenities in Pinback's diary entries, including gestures.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:The ship is destroyed and all crew members are killed.]]
* DramaticSpaceDrifting: The ending. Completely PlayedForLaughs, especially given [[SoundtrackDissonance the music playing at the time]].
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: Surfing into a planet's atmosphere on a piece of debris has to count.
* EarthShatteringKaboom: The opening scene shows how the crew blows up a planet.
* EpicFail: Doolittle's attempt to stop the bomb from detonating.
* EpilepticFlashingLights: Several animated FX with alternating light and dark frames, prompting TV stations to sometimes flash up warnings at the start.
* ExplosiveInstrumentation: During the climax, there is a shot of a console room as it goes up in flames due to the laser malfunctioning.
* FiveFingerFillet: Boyler sucks at it.
* FoodPills: We see the crew suck on some liquid food.
* FromBadToWorse: In a diary entry, a very pissed off Doolittle mentions that a malfunction just destroyed the ship's entire supply of toilet paper.
* GeorgeLucasAlteredVersion: This movie was originally a 68-minute student short film. When it was acquired for distribution, new footage was added by the producer. Later, John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon re-edited the film into a [[ReCut director's cut]], removing much of the footage shot for the theatrical release and adding new special effects.
* AGodAmI: [[spoiler:Doolittle succeeds at convincing Bomb #20 that its external sensory data is a lie and it itself is the only thing it can be sure exists, in a desperate gambit to make the bomb disregard an order to detonate while still attached to the ship.]] Unfortunately, the character in question uses this new 'insight' to become a solipsist and eventually decides that, in the absence of anything else having any proof of existence, this means it is, in fact, God. And God said "let there be light"... And there was light...
* HarmlessFreezing: The [[OnlyMostlyDead dead-but-frozen]] captain among its crew, who is at least partially conscious, some of the time.
* HumanPopsicle: The dead commander was put into deep-freeze where his half-living souls could still be contacted through an electronic device.
* InSpaceEveryoneCanSeeYourFace: The crew's visors are non-reflective. [[note]]The space helmets used were part of Ideal Toys' "S.T.A.R. Team" toy line produced from 1968 to 1971. The helmets are obviously sized for children as is evidenced by the poor fit on the actors' heads.[[/note]]
* InterrogatingTheDead: Dead and cryogenically frozen Commander Powell can still be asked for advice.
* IrrevocableOrder: The bomb that refuses to drop from the bomb bay cannot be shut off.
* JustInTime: Bomb #20 aborts the detonation sequence exactly at 00:00:00 after being [[TalkingYourWayOut talked out of it]] by Dolittle. For the time being...
* KillerRabbit: "When I brought you on this ship, I thought you were cute." A living HappyFunBall.
* KillEmAll: Did you read the description? It's mostly played for laughs.
* TheLegendOfChekhov: Talby mentions the Phoenix Asteroid which happens to show up at the end to take him away.
* LiteralCliffhanger: Pinback in the elevator shaft.
* LogicBomb: "Let there be light."
* MachineMonotone: The female computer's sexy but creepily monotone voice during emergency situations.
* MikeNelsonDestroyerOfWorlds: The entire crew.
* MinimalistCast: Five major characters and no supporting cast (if you dismiss the guy from Mission Control early on).
* NegativeSpaceWedgie: The asteroid storm early on. Also the flashy Phoenix Asteroid showing up in the end.
* NotNowKiddo: When Talby finds out about the laser malfunction, he tries to communicate this to Doolittle, but the latter is too busy with the detonation maneuver that he decides to cut the communication line to Talby. Disaster ensues.
* OhCrap: The crew, especially Pinback, when the just activated Bomb No. 20 fails to deploy.
-->'''Pinback:''' Mark at 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, DROP! ''DROP! DROOOOOP!''
** And when the bomb reasons that it's God and starts quoting Genesis.
-->'''Pinback:''' Hey...bomb?
* PluckyComicRelief: Pinback and Bomb No. 20.
* ThePrecariousLedge: Pinback has to walk across a narrow ledge in the elevator shaft which makes him extremely uncomfortable.
* PoorCommunicationKills:
** The ship's computer notifies the crew about the malfunction while they are sleeping. No one registers this important information and the disaster takes its course.
** Also, Talby tries to inform Doolittle about the laser malfunction but the latter [[NotNowKiddo dismisses this as unimportant]] and cuts the communication line.
* RaceAgainstTheClock: The movie's climax in which the crew has to stop the detonation sequence of Bomb #20 after it wouldn't drop out of the ship's bomb bay.
* RidiculouslyHumanRobots: The intelligent bombs. Especially Bomb No. 20.
* RocketlessReentry: After the eponymous spaceship is destroyed, Lt. Doolittle uses a surfboard-shaped piece of debris to "surf" down towards an unstable planet, dying as a falling star.
* ShaggyDogStory: Four idiots hang around a ship in the arse-ends of space, doing a meaningless construction job none of them wants to do, and get on each others' nerves. The ship breaks down because none of them bother to do any maintenance. Then the ship blows up. PlayedForLaughs.
* ShoutOut:
** The ending was inspired by the ending of Creator/RayBradbury's short story ''Kaleidoscope''.
** Guess where indie band Pinback got their name from?
** The character Pinbacker from Danny Boyle's film ''{{Film/Sunshine}}'' is (somewhat) named after Pinback, [[WordOfGod as confirmed by Boyle himself]].
* SkySurfing: The final scene as the credits roll.
** One piece of debris in the end is labeled {{Film/THX1138}}. It also appears to be part of [[TakeThat a toilet]]...
* SoundtrackDissonance: The title theme is the country/western/Special Theory of Relativity song "Benson, Arizona".
** ...or perhaps it's not as dissonant as it first seems: Carpenter described the crew as "space truckers" and felt that a sad country and western song about missing loved ones would therefore be perfect for them.
* SpaceDoesNotWorkThatWay: While the ''Dark Star'' does not make noise in space, it does stop on a dime...intentional use of the RuleOfFunny.
* SpaceIsNoisy: Mostly averted...one of the few movies to get it right, at least as far as ships go. However, explosions are another matter...and apparently in space you CAN hear someone scream....
* SpaceMadness: Played completely for laughs. The entire crew has gone visibly unhinged from five years stuck inside cramped space, performing a thankless job that nobody wants and having nothing to do.
* StarfishAlien: The alien the crew encounters looks like a beach ball with eyes and feet. it's also filled with gas.
* TakeThat: A computer screen flashes "FUCK YOU HARRIS" in one scene. Carpenter feuded with producer Jack Harris.
* TeamPet: Pinback thought the ship needed a mascot. [[KillerRabbit Pinback was wrong]].
* TechnoBabble: The crew's cryptic communication talk during their bombing maneuvers.
* TemptingFate: "Under no circumstances enter the path of the beams."
* UsedFuture: Taken to the extreme. Quite possibly also the TropeCodifier, predating its later uses in ''Film/StarWars: Film/ANewHope'' and ''Film/{{Alien}}'', both of which co-writer Dan O'Bannon was involved with (special effects in the former and writing the original script for the latter, which was heavily reworked from this film after it failed at the box office).
* {{Zeerust}}:
** The reel to reel computers in the opening communication from Mission Base. Well, he ''did'' say there'd been some budget cuts...
** Sergeant Pinback's video diary is an 8-track tape and the machine he uses to read it and record it is a 1970s microfiche reader.
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