Film / Hardware Wars

"You'll laugh, you'll cry; You'll kiss three bucks goodbye."

In 1977 a little movie called Star Wars was released. Seven months later came an unlikely follow-up.

Hardware Wars is a 1978 Fan Film written and directed by Ernie Fosselius. It is a Short Film parody of A New Hope, expressed as a movie trailer. It's not just a low budget, straightforward spoof, though — the underlying gimmick is that all of the spaceships and even some of the characters have been replaced by household appliances and tools; the R2D2 Expy is a canister vaccuum, the Millenium Falcon is represented by a steam iron, Star Destroyers by flying toasters and egg whiskers, even Stormtroopers have turned into "Steam Troopers", and more. The silliness simply must be seen to be believed.

George Lucas is apparently on record saying that Hardware Wars is his favorite Star Wars parody.

This film provides examples of:

  • Ascended Fanfic: Boba Fett's ship Slave One from The Empire Strikes Back was reportedly based on the egg whisker ships from Hardware Wars.
  • Aside Glance: Augie Ben Doggie gives us one after the particularly awful (intentionally so) special effect of simulating a light saber with a flashlight in stage fog.
  • Catchphrase: Fluke Starbucker's "Golly!" and "Jeepers!".
  • Conspicuous CG: When the Star Wars Original Trilogy were re-released as a Special Edition, so too was Hardware Wars, with newly added CG effects. Said additions don't really mesh well with the original footage, possibly intentionally so.
  • Cool Shades: 4-Q2 is wearing a pair in the trash compactor scene.
  • Creator Cameo: Ernie Fosselius is the guy giving the mission briefing at the end.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: The funky special effects when Ham Salad makes his ship go into "Dyna-space". We're treated to about a minute of weird kaleidoscopic imagery and strange noises.
  • Expospeak Gag: The lengthy explanation of what must be done to take out the Death Star-Expy. When it's met with "huh?" the man sums it up as: Pull the plug.
  • Fanservice Extra: Gratuitous to the extreme. A picture of a naked woman lying down appears out of nowhere in the middle of an unrelated scene.
  • Flanderization: For Rule of Funny....The Luke Expy is even more dorky, whiny, naive and doofy and he talks like a 50's sitcom kid (see the Gosh Dang It to Heck! entry).
  • Funny Background Event: During a scene on the Desert Planet, in the background can be briefly seen a woman in a bathing suit, picking up her beach towel and walking away.
  • Heroic Sacrifice / Obi-Wan Moment: lampooned:
    All: Hurry, Augie, come on, run for the ship!
    Augie: Nah, you go on without me, I'll be alright.
    All: (Sarcasm Mode) Oh fine, a martyr. Sure, see ya later, martyr!
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The C3-PO expy is called 4-Q2. A nude centerfold very briefly flashes on the screen at the Rebel Base during the "Blow Up The Death Star-Expy" exposition. Ham Salad says "You bet yer asteroid, kid" to Fluke Starbucker.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Fluke's reaction on being given the flashlight is "Gosh! Wow-ee! Jeepers, golly willickers!"
  • Hong Kong Dub: Even though it's an American film, the dubbing of the dialogue doesn't quite match the movement of the character's mouths. Likely deliberate, see the Special Effect Failure example below.
  • May the Farce Be with You: The last lines in the film.
  • Medium Awareness: This exchange.
    Fluke Starbucker: Get us outta here!
    Ham Salad: Relax, kid. It's only a movie.
  • Mythology Gag: The Country music house band in the Mos Eisley-Expy bar is singing a song about the actual Obi-Wan Kenobi.
    Singer: ''Oh I'm prrroooouuuud to be ol' Obi-Wan...Kenobi!...."
  • No Animals Were Harmed: Or killed, for that matter.
  • No Ending: The film is presented as a movie trailer, so they never actually get around to the ending.
  • Opening Monologue: "Meanwhile . . . in another part of the galaxy . . . later that same day."
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries accompanies pretty much the entirety of the film.
  • Punny Name: Let's see... Artie Deco, Ham Salad, Anne Droid, 4Q-2, Darph Nader, and let's not forget Chewchilla the Wookiee Monster. Not to mention the name of the Bar Band: Slim Chance and Derange Riders. In a meta-example, the film studio is credited as "20th Centure Foss".
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie
  • Shout-Out: One of the droids says "Here's another fine mess you've gotten us into". The C3-PO Expy looks like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz. The Chewbacca Expy is The Cookie Monster from Sesame Street with a dye job (and utterly adorable). The Obi-Wan Expy is named after Augie Doggie from Hanna-Barbera's Quick Draw McGraw. The hologram with Princess Anne Droid's message comes out of Artie-Deco's vacuum-cleaner hose in a similar manner to Jeannie in I Dream of Jeannie. Ham Salad angrily replies to Anne Droid with a Steve Martin catchphrase (see Well, Excuse Me, Princess!).
  • Special Effect Failure: Invoked:
    • They wanted you to see the strings on the models, and used more lighting on the strings to this end.
    • Anne-Droid's hairstyle consists of literal giant cinnamon buns on the sides of her head (which Chewchilla The Wookie-Monster eats at one point with much gusto! OMMM NOMNOMNOM....).note 
  • Stylistic Suck: The whole damn thing. Planet Basketball, for starters, is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Take That!: The Darth Vader Expy is called "DarphNader".
  • The Unintelligible: Darph Nader.
  • Visual Pun: The "Tractor Beam."
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Almost word for word....and a Shout-Out to Steve Martin.
    Anne-Droid: "You'll get us all killed!"