Western Animation: Star Wreck
"Space, the primal frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Kickstart. Its five-month mission: to seek out Lebensraum for humanity and to destroy all enemies. To boldly blow up enemies where sane men fear to tread."
Once upon a time, there was a Finnish guy called Samuli Torssonen. He was a huge fan of Star Trek
and a computer geek. One day in 1992 he decided to combine those two things and created a short CGI film called Star Wreck
. Eventually he made more with the help of his friend Rudi Airisto, who in turn couldn't stand Star Trek
and made sure to mock the hell out of it in the scripts. Star Wreck
turned into a parody series of Star Trek
featuring James B. Pirk, a gigantic douche in control of a spaceship called C.P.P. Kickstart, and his crew Mr. Spökö (Spook)
and Mr. Fukov.
Many years later, Torssonen and his friends upped the ante and started to make a feature length live action Star Wreck
film. The project kept escalating until Star Wreck: In The Pirkinning
was finally released over Internet after 7 years of production. Thanks to completely professional-looking graphics, fairly good performances from amateur actors and combining the universes of Star Trek
and Babylon 5
in one big parody space brawl, the film became a huge phenomenon, eventually seeing a DVD release, a revised version called Imperial Edition, a Tabletop RPG
and much more. And everybody involved in the filmmaking lived Happily Ever After
Star Wreck has 7 films in total:
- Star Wreck (1992): A crudely-animated 2D space battle.
- Star Wreck II: The Old Shit (1994): A short film with an actual plot, it follows James B. Pirk, the hapless Jerkass captain of a P-Fleet spaceship, as he bumbles around the galaxy and takes on some Plingons. Also features the insufferable Vulgar Mr. Spook and the entirely clueless Mr. Fukov.
- Star Wreck III: Wrath of the Romuclans (1995): Captain Pirk and his crew find out about a nefarious plan of the Romuclans which culminates in a huge space battle. Unfortunately, Pirk has to take part if he doesn't want to get blown up by the P-Fleet's remote self-destruct system.
- Star Wreck IV: The Kilpailu (1996): Admilar (sic) Pirk, having been promoted after the events of the third film, takes part in a competition arranged by the Zarquons. The Plingons and a galactic mercenary Hans Duo are also after the prize. Spook leaves the crew after getting enough of Pirk and he is replaced by the at-least-as-annoying android Info. Fukov's position is taken by a Plingon warrior, Dwarf.
- Star Wreck V: Lost Contact (1997): First live action Star Wreck, where Captain Pirk and crew have to travel back in time to stop the Korgs from preventing the Earth from making the first contact with Vulgars (in a parody of Star Trek: First Contact, naturally). In the end, they are deserted in the past.
- Star Wreck 4½: Weak Performance (2000): Made during the production of the sixth film to test the special effects, it's not really considered a part of the series because it consists mainly of footage from Torssonen's earlier short film Ändy Bones II. It's still canon and takes place after the events of The Kilpailu: Pirk has been demoted back to Captain and is on his way to the H.Q. He goes to play a simulation on the halludeck, but during his Andy Boneying, a vengeful Romuclan ship attacks the Kickstart.
- Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning (2005): Set after the events of Lost Contact, Pirk gets fed up with life on past Earth and decides to found the P-Fleet himself. Joining forces with the President of Russia, Pirk builds a fleet and takes over the world, becoming Emperor Pirk. When Sergey Fukov discovers a maggot hole, Pirk leads his fleet through it and ends up in an alternate universe. Planning to take over the alternate Earth as well, he engages in a massive space battle with the troops of the space station Baabel 13 led by Captain Johnny K. Sherrypie. (And the film cost less than one second of Titanic.)
The films can be viewed for free from various sources on the Internet, and the official site is here
. Torssonen and co. have since moved on and produced Iron Sky
, a film about Nazis on the moon.
Not to be confused with the Alvin and the Chipmunks Go To The Movies
episode of the same name. Or the novel series by Leah Rewolinski.
Star Wreck provides examples of:
- Actor Allusion: A strange, but hilarious version: Walter Koenig played both Pavel Chekov and Alfred Bester in the original TV series, so the same actor, Janos Honkonen, plays both Fukov of P-Fleet and Festerbester of Babel 13.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Whenever the Kickstart got badly battered, the list of damaged property would always include the Coffee-o-matic. In Wrath of the Romuclans, they actually redirect all the power from the weapons to the Coffee-o-matic, which turns out to be a bad mistake.
- That this is no mere and jaywalking becomes clear when you keep in mind that Finland has the highest annual per capita consumption of coffee.
- And what good is a ship if it's whole crew drops asleep...
- Art Evolution: The first film is a few-minutes-long piece of 2D pixel animation of spaceships. The second one introduces visible characters and starts the development towards the fourth movie's 3D CGI. The fifth film goes another step further: live action.
- Bland-Name Product: Babel 13 has "Baaburger" (for Hesburger) and "Baabsolut" (for Absolut Vodka), among other brands.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Lt. Fubar after having been shot in In the Pirkinning.
- Bridge Bunnies: In "In the Pirkinning" the primary job of the helmswoman is to look darn good and make fun of the Captain/Emperor Pirk. The extras at the back of the bridge are also all female (and all in high heels).
- Butt Monkey: Poor, poor Fukov.
- The Cameo: The film crew, composed entirely of young men and women, were worried about who to get to play the President of Russia. The problem was solved when Kari Väänänen, a veteran actor for whom the team had made a video CV, returned the favour by appearing in the film.
- Captain Ersatz: Aside from all of the obvious puns and parodies of Star Trek and Babylon5 characters, this also applies to the redesigned-but-similar-looking ships of both franchises in the Imperial Edition. The original release featured very faithful recreations or said ships.
- Captain's Log: Pirk is usually interrupted when recording these.
- Casanova Wannabe: Pirk, when he actually is around women.
- Catch Phrase: "Pirk's cunning strikes again." "Oh Thursday!"
- Cool Shades: Jeffrey Cochbrane. Even indoors.
- Sergej Fukov loves to wear shades while on the bridge of C.P.P. Kalinka.
- Deadpan Snarker: Captain Hayday, one of the few competent commanders, when Pirk announces that he will personally lead the attack on Babel 13:
There goes our last chance of victory.
- Downer Ending: In the Pirkinning, sort of.
- Though however one looks at it, there is a glimmer of something better in there: we know the sort-of main villain will die soon (spoiler: Pirk is a Villain Protagonist), and the nature of the downer leaves a chance that things might go better for Pirk and crew the next time around.
- Exact Eaves Dropping: "Tomorrow, at 1 o'clock, as soon as I've finished lunch, our fleet of Warturkeys will wipe out the P-Fleet dogs in the Gamma Sector." The Admilar refuses to send ships anywhere based on hearsay, though. Gotta wonder why he gave Pirk that assignment in the first place...
- General Failure: Pirk. He does have keen tactical eye, though. And, most of all, incredible luck.
- Inventional Wisdom:
Festerbester: I'd like to know what whoever built this ship was thinking.
- Insufferable Genius: Both Spook and Info.
- Jerkass: Pirk, through and through.
- Kill 'em All: Most of the cast dies in the end of In the Pirkinning.
- Large Ham: Being amateurs, many actors make up their relative lack of skill by overacting. Pirk is a very notable example, as is the president of Russia - who is actually played by a professional, but overacted anyway so that he wouldn't make the rest of the cast look bad.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Dwarf
- Malaproper: Pirk keeps getting big words wrong. This confused some non-Finnish viewers, who thought that the subtitles were faulty, when it was just Pirk.
Pirk: Shut up! You're hurting the crew's moray!
- Myspeld Rökband: Dethdestro.
- Oh, Crap - Many, many examples, even literally:
Festerbester: Oh, crap. (blows up along with the rest of the Excavator)
- Ominous Finnish Chanting: The big reveal of Pirk's first finished starship is accompanied with the choir singing the following in Finnish:
Behold, and stand in awe
- Parody Names / Punny Name: Everyone and everything gets renamed from characters to everyday gadgets (e.g. phasers become "twinklers" and photon torpedoes "light balls"). Several are based on particularly bad translations of the originals. Not that these names are at all inaccurate...
- The Power of Rock: It's a power chord played by Jeffrey Cochbrane that initiates the first contact with the Vulgars.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Plingon Dwarf (duh).
- Ramming Always Works: in the feature film, and in the Tabletop RPG.
- Red Shirt: Parodied throughout the series. The Red Shirts even have Meaningful Names to match, like Lt. Meatshield, Lt. Twinklemagnet or Ensign Cannonfodder.
- Running Gag: Examples include Info and Dwarf's bickering, Fukov accidentally calling Carlo's Sex Line and Pirk yelling "FUKOOOOOVVV!" every time the poor man messes up big time.
- See You in Hell: "See you in Reykjavik!"
- A particularly obscure one to anyone who isn't Finnish: Garybrandy, the equivalent of Garibaldi from Babylon 5 is called Mihail Karigrandi in the original Finnish. His name refers to a character in TV advertisements for Grandi juice, Kari Grandi. Garybrandy paraphrases the character's Catch Phrase in the end of the film when he gets drunk:
Garybrandy: Well, I am the hero of all who are thirsty... the legend of our time.
- Show Some Leg: Sort of: Sherrypie gets Pirk on Babel 13 by promising that he'd get to sleep with Ivanovitsa. It works like a charm.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: "Sanat", the song playing over the credits of In the Pirkinning, is oddly melancholic and lonely and very different from the mood of the film. The film ends on such a low note that it's not really a Mood Whiplash.
- Space Jews: Mocked in the Tabletop RPG, see trope for more details.
- Spinning Paper: In "In the Pirkinning" newspapers headlines following P-Fleet's conquest of the world are shown in this manner within an old-style propaganda film within the show.
- Stripperiffic: Pirk makes his crew, composed (aside from Info and Dwarf) entirely of young beautiful women, wear revealing clothing. Lt. Swagger isn't happy.
- Talking Is a Free Action: Averted. Pirk uses Sherrypie's ridiculously long introductory speech to place his ships strategically and make the first strike
- Theme Naming: Some P-Fleet ships in In the Pirkinning are named after Finnish military/war figures. (Though the prize for the best name goes to the sled, Stiga.)
- Too Dumb to Live: Fukov. Definitely. Sometimes he's too stupid for others to live:
Message from the Relevant: Don't shoot, we're with the P-Fleet!
Pirk: Oh, sorry, just a misunderstanding. Ceasing fire now. Fukov, stop it!
Spook: The Relevant's deflector plates are down to 30 per cent.
Pirk: Fukov, do something!
Spook: 20 per cent.
Fukov: Do you spell "off" with two f's?
- The other Fukov in In the Pirkinning on the other hand is dumb enough to survive for most of the movie - he manages to malfunction his ship badly enough to avoid partaking in the big battle, deciding to watch from the sidelines and not worry too much about getting the repairs done. On the other hand, he apparently caused the Chernobyl disaster because he was cold.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: Fukov of In the Pirkinning is the ancestor of the one who used to serve on C.P.P. Kickstart. He manages to be exactly as inept as his descendant.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Pirk is a cowardly, bullying idiot who happens to have some understanding in battle tactics and phenomenal luck. He only got to join P-Fleet by taking the place of his identical twin brother, who died shortly after getting a position.
- Wave Motion Gun: The Excavator from In the Pirkinning has got an extremely powerful main weapon which, however, leaves the entire ship devoid of electricity for one minute after being fired. Even the heating shuts down, and it's very cold in space.
- Woolseyism: Invoked: the writers planned for one of the jokes to work regardless of language. Fukov receives an order for light balls, but, due the terrible transmission quality, he mishears it an order for some drinks ("light beer" in the English version). All we hear is the bottles harmlessly shattering against the enemy ship's hull, allowing any translators to stick whichever form of alcohol they want in the subtitles.