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Film: Fanboys

A 2009 film, set in late 1998, about a bunch of highly devoted Star Wars fans who break into George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch to steal a print of The Phantom Menace. It is essentially a Road Movie, factoring in how they plan on infiltrating the filmmaking fortress and other, more benign or traditional, mishaps.

Despite the characters being specifically die-hard Star Wars fans (who like to mock Star Trek fans), the movie is a tribute to the fandom of every pop culture phenomenon in all their incarnations, including Fan Dumb, Unpleasable Fanbase, They Changed It, Now It Sucks and everything else.


Tropes:

  • Acting for Two: Seth Rogen plays both the head Trekkie and a pimp who is a fan of Star Wars. At one point the two get in a fight.
    • Rogen also plays the Star Trek Konvention attendee dressed as a Klingon.
  • All Bikers Are Hells Angels
  • Berserk Button: "Nobody calls Han Solo a bitch."
  • Bittersweet Ending: George Lucas allows Linus — and only Linus — to see the movie early. Time Skip to the release of the film and Linus has died from cancer, but Eric now writes & draws his own comic series, Hutch has started his own car detailing business, and Zoe & Windows are together.
  • Bland-Name Product: Star Trek is given many mentions but the actual Starfleet logo is substituted with a different one.
  • Brick Joke: Midway through his interrogation of the main characters, Lucas's chief of security stops mid-sentence and asks if William Shatner had given them the plans for the Ranch.
  • The Cameo:
    • Featuring appearances by Star Wars actors, Carrie Fisher as a doctor, Billy Dee Williams as Judge Reinhold, and Ray Park as a security guard.
    • William Shatner as himself. Need I say more?
    • Kevin Smith as well, alongside Jason Mewes
  • Carpet of Virility: Hutch has one; Zoe describes it as looking like he fell on Alf.
  • Celebrity Paradox: This is probably the biggest gleeful celebration of this trope — by including above-mentioned Star Wars actors as different characters in their cameos, it rips a hole in the space-time continuum and is all the more fun for it.
  • Conversational Troping: When Eric reaches his Despair Event Horizon, a large part of why he's talked into continuing with the trip is Hutch mentioning the Crowning Moment Of Awesome, referred to here as the "Death Star Moment".
  • Cool Car: Hutch's customised van, Slave 2. It even has an R2 unit on the roof.
  • Crowning Moment Of Awesome:invoked Breaking into the Skywalker Ranch, and evading security long enough to find Lucas's memorabilia room and the rough cut of The Phantom Menace. Lucas's chief of security outright expresses how impressive it was, and it is discussed as such in the above mentioned Conversational Troping scene.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Windows
  • Fandom Rivalry: invoked Star Wars vs Star Trek. At one point the protagonists engage a bunch of Trekkies in a fight.
  • Fanservice: Kristen Bell wearing the legendary Slave Leia bikini. And, for some people, when she moons the cops chasing them. Sadly a body double according to the DVD commentary.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • G.I.R.L.: Implied with Windows' online girlfriend, Rogue Leader. She's actually a girl, but only 10 years old.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: In one of the trailers, during the Trekkies scene, Seth Rogen's character says, "Han Solo's a dirtbag." instead of "Han Solo's a bitch.". They also changed Hutch's line to "Nobody calls Han Solo a dirtbag."
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A subversion, as it's deliberately invoked with characters talking about how awesome Jar Jar's going to be. On top of that, the thug they're talking to already got himself a permanent Jar Jar Binks tattoo!
  • Humble Goal: To see The Phantom Menace before it opens, because Linus is going to die before then.
  • Hypocrite: The lead Trekkie, who criticises Darth Vader for having an asthma problem, something he claims no Star Trek character has as it's a sign of weakness, is of course asthmatic.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In Universe examples:
    • Eric tells Linus that he lives in the real world, where he can't waste his life arguing about whether or not "Luke has a thing for Leia"... At which point, they get into that very argument.
    • The feud between the Trekkies and the main characters has each side mocking the favored franchise of the other ... and demonstrating a considerable amount of awareness and knowledge of the rival franchise in the process. Actually both sides present a perfect example of Stealth Fandom.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • It's a carriage house.
    • The lead Trekkie briefly tries to get Linus to stop using "Trekkie" as a derogatory term, by saying the term is "Trekker".
    • Played with for the escort girls.
    Windows: They're hookers!
    Girl: We're escorts.
    Windows: What's the difference?
    Girl: I don't know.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: Hutch tries using it to get Zoe take her top off; he later tries it on the girl he picked up in Vegas, and is thrilled when it seems to work. Of course, it turns out she's an escort, Hilarity Ensues.
  • The Lad-ette: The character of Zoe plays with this trope — she understands the terminology and is friends with the guys and even moons a pursuer, but as a socially-well-adjusted, normal (and pretty) girl, she's not "one of the guys" in the strictest sense of the term.
  • Last Name Basis: Hutch.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: In-Universe; see Put Down Your Gun and Step Away.
  • Mexican Standoff: See Put Down Your Gun and Step Away
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Every one of the main characters except Hutch really.
  • Nerds Are Virgins: Subverted, as Windows claims to have had one sex partner — although he could've been lying.
    • Windows also gets with Zoe by the end.
  • Nitro Boost: Parodied when it doesn't work the first time, then they keep pressing the button until they literally go into lightspeed... then crash.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy:
    • Zoe flashes Windows with no reaction in order to demonstrate how nothing can distract him when he's in his Nerd Zone.
    • An non-sexual example — When the Trekkies find Eric & Linus in Vegas, they're so fixated on revenge that they completely miss that William Shatner himself is standing right there in conversation with them.
  • Oh Crap:
    • Eric, Linus & Hutch have this reaction when they realise that Rogue Leader is a 10 year old girl. Windows follows suit when he puts his glasses back-on.
    • The moment everyone else realises that Linus fell out of the side of the van as they tried to leave the hotel in Vegas.
    • "What if the film sucks?"
  • Percussive Maintenance: As a Shout-Out to how Han Solo fixes the Millennium Falcon.
  • Present Day Past: There are some snippets of '90s tech thrown in, but there isn't too much else to really distinguish the modern day with only 8 years ago. In particular, the Star Wars fans are seen wielding the ForceFX Lightsabers, which didn't come out until 2002. The telescoping plastic, lightbulb-illuminated one, which is also used, was the only one available at the time. A large Tauntaun action figure in blue packaging from the Saga line is visible; it was only released in 2002. Also, Hutch's lightsaber is Anakin Skywalker's, which didn't come out until 2005. Somewhat puzzling is the opening crawl, which narrates from an unspecified date. The crawl concludes with "sent from my iPhone." Since the iPhone was released in 2007 and The Phantom Menace in 1999, it would only make sense that the narrative is from a 2007-onwards perspective.
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: At one point Linus tries a this on the Lucas Ranch guards with a valuable prop from the movies. The guard, in turn, grabs a different prop and threatens to destroy that in turn. The main characters being fanboys, they back down.
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • George Lucas, over the phone, is so impressed that they got past security he pardons them and allows Linus a personal screening of the movie.
    • The film's portrayal of Skywalker Ranch - To elaborate, the film portrays it as having doors reminiscent of those on the Death Star, security staff dressed like the robot police officers in THX 1138, and a room that serves as a dumpster & is designed to replicate the trash compactor from A New Hope.
    • William Shatner can score anything.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Upon finding Eric & Linus in Vegas, the Trekkies from Riverside are more concerned with getting revenge for their earlier fight that they ignore that William Shatner is in conversation with the duo at the time.
  • Road Movie
  • Schmuck Bait: This piece of dialogue.
    Hutch: What's the Klingon for "I'm going to die a virgin"?
    Admiral Seasholtz: [Replies in fluent Klingon before he catches himself and yells an expletive.]
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: Again, the lengthy dispute between Linus and Eric about Luke and Leia.
  • Self-Serving Memory: When the guys are laughing about the fight with the Trekkies, Windows tried to paint himself as more heroic than he was... And when it's pointed out that he was just getting his ass kicked, he claims he was "channeling Emperor Palpatine". The other guys quickly mock him about this, saying that Palpatine never called for a time out.
  • Shipping: Invoked, Eric ships Luke/Leia. Linus is squicked by this.
  • Shout-Out: To Star Wars, obviously.
    • There's a deleted scene in which Eric tells the guards at the Skywalker Ranch entrance that his name is Iņigo Montoya.
    • The uniforms the security guards at Skywalker Ranch wear are the exact same ones the robot police officers wear in THX 1138, George Lucas' first film.
    • In a fight, Linus bites someone's ear off. It's a fake Vulcan ear, but still...
    • The above fight is a homage to/parody of fight scenes from the original Star Trek, from the lirpa weapons to the double-fisted hammerblow.
  • Storming the Castle: The climax features the fanboys and fangirl infiltrating George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch compound and repeatedly evading capture...well, for a while anyway.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: For once, this is invoked, given the nature of this movie. The film's theme is one of the main Star Wars theme. Averted, when it comes to the instances where one of the films is being played within the movie.
  • Take That: To Trekkies. Not Star Trek fans in general, but rather the obsessive ones who learn Klingon and set up shrines to James T. Kirk in Riverside, Iowa due to its status as his future birthplace. They're generally portrayed as unlikable, with the joke that even Viacom wants nothing to do with them & has actually forbade them from using any Star Trek costume, prop or character likenesses under threat of lawsuit.
    • Truth in Television: A case of Writing Around Trademarks, this is exactly why the statues of Kirk and Khan look nothing like William Shatner or Ricardo Montalban and there are no "official" pieces of Star Trek memorabilia present in this scene. There's also the matter of the logo (see Bland-Name Product above). Apparently Viacom agreed to the placements in the convention scene, but explicitly forbade their IP being used in this scene.
  • Tempting Fate: When the protagonists are having a discussion about Harrison Ford and how they believe him to be the greatest actor of all time, we see them drive past a billboard for Six Days Seven Nights just after it's declared that he's never been in a bad film.
  • Trekkie: As mentioned above, the gang runs into fanatical and borderline psychotic Star Trek fans.


FameFilms of 2005 - 2009 Fantastic Mr. Fox

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