RETURN OF THE SAGA
The year is 1998 and it is a
period of galactic civil war.
Scratch that. There is no civil
war. That would be crazy!
However, the past fifteen
years have been a dark time
for Star Wars fans.
But there is hope. A new
Star Wars film is on the
horizon. In 199 days, 3 hours,
33 minutes and 32 seconds
the most anticipated movie
of all time will be released.
In the remote state of Ohio,
two best friends and lifelong
Star Wars fans have drifted
apart. Little do they know
that on Halloween night, their
paths will cross again...
Ever wondered where these
words are flying? Maybe
aliens in another galaxy
will one day read this and
sent from my iPhone
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 Trip Plot, factoring in how they plan on infiltrating the filmmaking fortress and other, more benign or traditional, mishaps.
As an aside, the screenplay was written by Ernest Cline, who would later be better known for writing Ready Player One, another nostalgia-heavy fandom-centric work, and Adam F. Goldberg, creator of The Goldbergs.
- The '90s: The film is set in 1998 (1999 at the end) and features a lot of references to 90s culture.
- Anachronism Stew:
- The comic shop has some out of place comics for a movie set in 1998-1999, most noticeably a Giant-Sized Ms. Marvel comic book that was released 7-8 years after the movie was set.
- The shop even has multiple copies of Tag & Bink Were Here, which satirizes the Prequel Trilogy that they're all wanting to see.
- All Bikers are Hells Angels
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Chaz defending Eric and staying for the movie in the last scene.
- Basement-Dweller: Hutch is a man in his mid-20s who resides in his mom's garage (or "carriage house", as he likes to call it).Eric: Your mom said, "Clean up this shithole, or no grilled cheese for a week."
Hutch: That's emotional blackmail, and you know it!
Hutch's mom: Screw you!
Hutch: I will sue you! Renter's rights!
Hutch's mom: You don't pay rent!
- Berserk Button: "Nobody calls Han Solo a bitch." Unless they want to start a fight. A majorly unimpressive one, but still a fight.
- Bittersweet Ending: Opinions about The Phantom Menace itself aside, 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 and draws his own comic series, Hutch has started his own car detailing business, and Zoe and 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:
- 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 "Death Star Moment".
- Cool Car: Hutch's customised van, Slave 2. It even has an R2 unit on the roof.
- Crapola Tech: The Nitro Boost in Hutch's van doesn't work when it's supposed to. Instead, it kicks in a few moments later when Hutch doesn't really expect it anymore.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: The fanboys cite their belief that Captain Picard is gay as a reason why Star Trek is worse than Star Wars. In the 90s, that was considered a sound argument.
- Denied Food as Punishment: Hutch gets into an argument with his mom when she threatened to take away his grilled cheese privileges if he doesn't clean up the garage.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The fanboys destroy the Trekkies' statue all because they called Han Solo a bitch.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Windows. It is unknown what his real name is, or if Windows actually is his real name.
- Everyone Has Standards: As much as the fanboys freely engage in debauchery, even they are horrified when they find out Rogue Leader, Windows' online girlfriend, is actually 10 years old.
- Fan Convention: After arriving in Las Vegas, the protagonists discover that the hotel where they're supposed to meet their contact person hosts a Star Trek convention. Worse yet, it turns out that the very Trekkies they've trolled in Riverside are there, too.
- Fandom Rivalry: Star Wars vs Star Trek. At one point the protagonists engage a bunch of Trekkies in a fight.
- Fan Disservice: Hutch shirtless at the gay club. Especially when he accidentally shows off his "lightsaber".
- Fanservice: Kristen Bell wearing the legendary Slave Leia bikini. And, for some people, when she moons the cops chasing them. A body double according to the DVD commentary.
- Female Misogynist: Zoe has a few moments of this trope, referring to the guys as "pussies," "ladies," and "girls," as insults.
- 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:
- 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.
- Insistent Terminology:
- It's a carriage house. Not a garage.
- 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 to 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.
- Last-Second Joke Problem: After spending the movie traveling to Skywalker Ranch so Linus could see Phantom Menace before his death, his friends finally get to see the film in its official release a year later. As they sit in the theater, waiting in anticipation after camping out on the line, Eric suddenly poses the question: "Hey guys... what if the movie sucks?" Cut to black.
- Like You Would Really Do It: In-Universe; see Put Down Your Gun and Step Away.
- Madness Mantra: "I'm a pedophile!", by Windows.
- Mexican Standoff: See Put Down Your Gun and Step Away
- Moment of Awesome: 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.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Windows is absolutely horrified upon learning Rogue Leader is only a child.
- Nerds Are Naïve: The head of security at Skywalker Ranch tests the main characters on whether they are actually the Star Wars fans they appear to be with a quiz. While half the questions are about Star Wars lore, the other half are about their knowledge of sex and the woman's body. The fact that only Zoe was able to answer the sexual questions correctly proves their geek-cred.
- Nerds Are Virgins:
- Subverted, as Windows claims to have had one sex partner.
- Windows also gets with Zoe by the end.
- Also discussed in the below Nerds Speak Klingon incident.
- Nerds Speak Klingon: The main characters run across a group of Trekkies and then try to start a fight with them.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)
- Nitro Boost: Hutch has installed this in his van. 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.Zoe: See that? Man's immune to sweater yams.
- An non-sexual example — When the Trekkies find Eric and 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.
- Zoe flashes Windows with no reaction in order to demonstrate how nothing can distract him when he's in his Nerd Zone.
- Not So Above It All: Eric is the Straight Man, yet he is prone to having his immature moments just like the rest of the guys.
- Oh, Crap!:
- Eric, Linus and Hutch have this reaction when they realize that Rogue Leader is a 10 year old girl. Windows follows suit when he puts his glasses back-on.
- The moment everyone else realizes that Linus fell out of the side of the van as they tried to leave the hotel in Vegas.
- "What if the movie sucks?"
- Opening Crawl: Twice, once during the beginning, the other during a peyote trip that read: "You are very, very, very, very high."
- Papa Wolf: Harry Knowles beats up Windows for (albeit unknowingly) sexting his 10-year-old niece, explicitly telling him not to say a word to her ever again.Harry Knowles: Now you listen to me, perv. If you ever e-mail my niece again, I will hunt you like a T-1000!
- Percussive Maintenance: As a Shout-Out to how Han Solo fixes the Millennium Falcon.
- Period Piece
- 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 from 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. And, as mentioned in the Anachronism Stew entry above, several late-90s comic books are shown on the comic store's shelves.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
- 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 and is designed to replicate the trash compactor from A New Hope.
- William Shatner can score anything.
- Revenge Before Reason: Upon finding Eric and Linus in Vegas, the Trekkies from Riverside are so concerned with getting revenge for their earlier fight that they ignore that William Shatner is in conversation with the duo at the time.
- Road Trip Plot
- 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.Hutch: (imitating Palpatine) I can feel your anger growing and... oh, wait a minute. Time out, time out!
- Serious Business:
- 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 Iñigo 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.
- Hutch does an Indy Hat Roll variant when they escape from the memorabilia room, diving between the enclosing Death Star-style door's sections and then reaching back through to flip off the Ranch's security guards.
- 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.
- Straight Man: Eric.
- 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 and has actually forbade them from using any Star Trek costume, prop or character likenesses under threat of lawsuit.
- 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.
- This Is Going to Be Huge: The pimp has an enormous tattoo of Jar Jar Binks on his back.Pimp: That guy's gonna be the shit!
- This Loser Is You: The fanboys are depicted as a bunch of childish losers who have nothing to work for and put their love of Star Wars above everything.
- Ticket-Line Campout: In the final scene, Bottler, Windows, and Zoe emerge from a tent outside a cinema where The Phantom Menace is premiering.
- Trekkie: As mentioned above, the gang run into fanatical and borderline psychotic Star Trek fans.
- 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. Apparently, Viacom agreed to the placements in the convention scene but explicitly forbade their IP being used in this scene.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: The titular fanboys are selfish, hedonistic manchildren with a tendency to wreak havoc and harass rival fan groups.
- Wimp Fight: The "battle" between the fanboys and the Trekkies is just as pathetic as it sounds.