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Film / Hardware Wars

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"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 was released in 1978, and was 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spoof, though — the underlying gimmick is that all of the spaceships and even some of the characters have been replaced by household appliances and tools: the R2D2 Expy is a canister vacuum, the Millennium Falcon is represented by a steam iron, Star Destroyers are flying toasters and hand-cranked egg beaters, 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. The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson liked it enough to slip an homage into the film.

This film provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of A New Hope. It was so popular, even George Lucas said on an interview that it was his favorite Star Wars parody.
  • 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!".
  • 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 during the "Blow Up The Death Star-Expy" exposition.
  • Flanderization: For Rule of Funny....The Luke Expy is even more dorky, whiny, naive and goofy 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.

  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Fluke's reaction on being given the flashlight is "Gosh! Wow-ee! Jeepers, golly willickers!"
  • Heroic Sacrifice: lampooned:note 
    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!
  • 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.
  • Logo Joke: 20th Century Foss and "ZZZ: The audience is tired of logos" for the THX logo in the 1997 special edition.
  • May the Farce Be with You: The last lines in the film. Given that it came out shortly after the real Star Wars, it's probably safe to call it the Trope Maker.
  • 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.
  • Obi-Wan Moment: Spoofed. Augie Doggie stays to fight Darph Nader, and the rest of the cast sarcastically call him a martyr as they leave.
  • Opening Monologue: "Meanwhile . . . in another part of the galaxy . . . later that same day."
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Richard Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries accompanies pretty much the entirety of the film. It's surprisingly appropriate.
  • 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 Century Foss".
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie: Hardware Wars is presented as a trailer.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Special Effect Failure: Invoked as part of the overall Stylistic Suck:
    • They wanted you to see the strings on the models, and used more lighting on the strings to this end.
    • They wanted you to see the flashlight as a flashlight, and the beam as its light scattered off fog.
    • 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.
  • Tagline: "You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll kiss 3 bucks goodbye", and "May the Farce Be With You".
  • Take That!:
    • The Darth Vader Expy is called "DarphNader".
    • The 1997 "Special Edition" with more special effects, in response to the revamped 20th anniversary re-releases with extended scenes added to the original trilogy installment.
  • The Unintelligible: Darph Nader.
    Darph Nader: [unintelligible]
    Anne Droid: I don't understand what you're saying!
    Darph Nader: [unintelligible]
    Anne Droid: What? I can't understand you! Are you talking to me?

    Darph Nader: [unintelligible]
    Augie Doggie: What is he saying, can anyone understand?
  • 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!"

All scenes depicting violence towards animals were deleted from the film. Also, some animals tasted better than others. People with special dietary needs should consult with a physician before digesting the flesh of once-living things.