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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 11 E 06 Starcrash

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"Starcrash positions, everyone!"

Tom Servo: [singing] Star Wars, this isn't Star Wars! Even with Plummer, it's not even close!
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Film Featured: Starcrash

The Segments:

Prologue
  • Jonah and the bots are playing Spin the Bottle. When Crow has to kiss Tom Servo, the game falls apart.

Segment 1

  • Invention exchange time. Kinga "invents" the Band-Eat-O: a full Mexican bandito outfit where every accessory is a condiment holder.note  Jonah turns Tom Servo into BB-Servo, guaranteed to be the hottest item on everybody's Christmas wish lists (if the Lucasfilm lawyers don't get to him first).

Segment 2

  • Crow tries his hand at writing an epic space opera. Jonah and Tom Servo help him workshop his script, World War Space.

Segment 3

  • Crow and Tom Servo have a chance run-in with their new role model, Akton. He's not all he's cracked up to be.

Segment 4

  • Freak Masterstroke, big-time space investor, drops by Moon 13. None of Kinga's inventions impress him. Meanwhile, Jonah gives Tom Servo eyes.
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Segment 5

  • Jonah and the bots, who may or may not be insane by this point, reenact the torpedo scene from the movie.


Tropes featured in this episode:

  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The Emperor turns to look around as he continues his speech. Tom Servo quips, "He can't even pay attention to himself."
  • Bond One-Liner:
    • When Thor knocks out Akton and takes over the ship:
      Servo: (As Thor) That felt good. I've gotta start actin' on my feelings more. Y'get it? Akton? Anyway, where was I?
    • Later, after Akton deflects Thor's "deadly rays" back at him:
      Crow: (As Akton) Hmph. I learned to kill at Juilliard!
  • Brick Joke: Tom Servo sings during the opening credits, but gets cut off by the movie's start. At the very end, he sings his cut-off line right before leaving the theater: "And Lewis Coates did his darnedest!"
  • Broken Pedestal: When Akton defeats Thor, the bots suddenly decide he's their new hero and role model. When they meet Akton in person, he admits that he actually has no idea what he's doing, and he just snarks at everyone to cover up his own insecurity. The bots immediately wonder what they ever saw in him.
  • Call-Back:
  • The Cameo: Jerry Seinfeld as Freak Masterstroke, the space-themed businessman that Kinga and Max pitch various money-making ideas to.
  • Chekhov's Gun: "Wait, they're actually paying off something they set up earlier in the film? That's cute. It's acting like a real movie!"
  • Comically Missing the Point: "Now they're just openly ripping off Spaceballs!"
    • What's amusing about this line is much earlier in the film Servo says how awesome it would have been if this film had pre-dated Star Wars. It obviously didn't, but it did come years before ''Spaceballs''!
  • Complexity Addiction: The space ship has a device like an elevator, except it rotates instead of moving up and down. "So, they created this massive device, just so they wouldn't have to go around corners?"
  • Cool vs. Awesome: "I never thought that a robot shooting lasers at a caveman could be this boring."
  • Curse Cut Short: As the bots are spouting famous movie quotes:
    Crow: Yippee-ki-yay, mother[gets yanked off-screen] Oh!
  • Disney Owns This Trope: During the Invention Exchange, Tom Servo shows up as BB-Servo, an amalgam of Servo and BB-8. During the space of one more scene at Moon 13, Lucasfilm crashes off-screen and forces Tom to stop, the hard way. Jonah is consoling a crying Servo while putting him back together.
    Servo: (crying) They said they'd smash my globe.
  • Drunk with Power: The Emperor orders one unnamed officer to "Gather together all our legions. And order the attack." As soon as the officer steps off-screen:
    Servo: (as the officer) Did you hear what the Emperor asked me to do? I'm in charge! I'm somebody! He asked me! This is going to be great! I'm gonna put on my special armor. Hey, gimme that flag! Hand it over here!
  • Elevator Floor Announcement: In the elevator inside the Count's planet-weapon, Crow stands up and pretends to be the elevator attendant.
    Crow: Step back, folks. Welcome to Crow-Mart. Lotions and notions, level two. Elder pumps, level three. Lady things, levels four, five, and six.
    Jonah: You've never been in a store, have you?
    Crow: No, and I'll sit down.
  • Ending Fatigue: Jonah and the bots mistake a giant explosion for the movie's end, and start to walk out of the theater (muttering something to the effect of "Finally!") before realizing their mistake. Twice.
  • Filk Song: At one point, Jonah and the 'bots pick up an acoustic guitar and sing a little ditty In the Style of... The Beach Boys about Stella getting into a space ship she knew nothing about after escaping prison, complete with references to Star Wars, Star Trek, and even Mystery Science Theatre 3000 itself.
    Jonah: On the Kessel Run, (Bots: Yeah, nobody can touch her!)
    Let me be the Picard! (Bots: To your Beverly Crusher!)
    The gangway's extended, and we're ready to go!
    Won't you come along, baby, in my UFO!
    All: Surely no danger, getting in a stranger's UFO!
  • Flipping the Bird: Upon seeing that evil Count Zarth Arn's fortress is shaped like a hand, Crow immediately realizes:
    Crow: Oh, I get it now. During the big space-battle scene, the two fingers to the right and the two fingers to the left are either gonna fold down or get blown off. Am I right? Am I right? Yeah?
    [Jonah high-fives him.]
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Upon first seeing Akton, the riffers think he's a "loofah-human hybrid."
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X":
    Count Zarth Arn: I want to wipe out the Emperor from the whole of the universe.
    Jonah: You said "hole" sir.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Tom Servo and Crow are clearly getting turned on by the female colossus, and that just grosses Jonah out. Seconds later, Stella rolls in the sand, wearing a Stripperific outfit, and Jonah admits "Okay, now I'm grooving on this," and the bots are suddenly grossed out by him.
    • Then again, there IS a species difference...
  • I'm Standing Right Here: The bots have Stella snub Elle's affection by openly pining for Akton right in front of Elle.
    Crow: (as Stella) Are you there, God? It's me, Stella. I pray for Akton to finally fall in love with me.
    Servo: (as Elle) What?!
    Crow: Or please reincarnate me as a giant brain so he'll find me more attractive.
    Servo: I cannot believe my robot ears.
    Crow: When I think of that lithe, tan body of his, that unruly bushy hair, with not a speck of it reminding me of a robot—
    Servo: I'm right here! I can hear all of this! I'm less than thirty inches away!
    Crow: Oh, Akton.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    Akton: (to the giant brain) And what's your problem, ship's computer, huh?
    Jonah: I know it's the future, but I'm not ready for this love scene.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Jerry Seinfeld's cameo appearance isn't quite as left-field as you might think; he and Joel Hodgson bonded while they were working the same stand-up circuits in their pre-TV days.
  • Just Friends:
    Stella: You're the most faithful companion a woman ever had.
    Elle: And I, too, respect you, Stella.
    Crow: Aw, don't do that. She's putting you in the friend zone! You don't want that!
  • Laser Blade: "Thank God for my completely original weapon, the illumination sword!"
  • Merchandise-Driven: Essentially the whole reason Crow pens World War Space.
    Crow: Suddenly, Lord Licorice's troopers attack, each wearing different armor so we can make toys out of all of 'em.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The trio mock the strange getup Stella ends up in after being captured, which consists mostly of a black leather bikini with some bondage straps and an inexplicable high red and black collar: "Why is she wearing vampire lingerie?" She goes through several costume changes over the course of the rest of the movie, almost all of them similarly skimpy.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Akton demonstrates previously-unmentioned superpowers at various points throughout the story with no rhyme or reason nor any explanation. So Jonah's portrayal of Akton has no idea how his powers even work. He just holds his hands out and hopes for the best.
    Jonah: (as Elle, to Akton) Speaking of powers, now would be a great time for you to tell us if you got any other ones this movie hasn't shown us, but might turn out to be totally crucial.
  • Notable Original Music: In the theater: Filk Song "UFO", In the Style of... a Beach Boys Driving Song.
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: When there's a closeup of the Emperor's Flying City, Jonah and the bots name all the parts they recognize that went into making the model.
  • Off with His Head!: Jonah gets so sick of Tom's Overly Long Gag of being a commercial pitchman for a Starcrash toy line, he grabs Tom's dome, yanks it off and throws it away to shut him up. Tom just looks to the side, then back at Jonah who just shrugs like it was a one and done thing.
  • Overly Long Gag: During the overly long scene of starfighters taking off from the Emperor's ship, Jonah and the bots turn it into an advertisement for Starcrash toys, and they make up silly names for every single ship. The bots try to rehash the gag a few minutes later, and Jonah tells them to knock it off—and when Servo keeps going anyway, Jonah pulls his dome off and throws it away.
  • Padding:
    • Jonah has the opportunity to play the aforementioned Filk Song due to an incredibly long, dialogue-free scene of Stella Star exploring an open UFO. It's not the only scene like that in the film, either.
    • And then there's the long shot of the Flying City as it departs, which prompts:
      Jonah: Join Akton, Stella, Thor, and Elle on next week's rousing space saga, Nothing Ever Happens!
      Crow: Alright, we get it. It's just the majesty of space. Let's move on! [beat] Come on!
      Servo: [as Rodney Dangerfield] If the Force has Awakened, it's already back asleep, I tell ya!
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Crow lampshades that Stella and Akton, allegedly dangerous criminals, never actually commit any crimes in this movie (unless you count fleeing arrest).
    Stella: I'm gonna have a look.
    Crow: (as Stella) And then we're gonna ransack the place. We are criminals, after all. Horrible, wanted, space criminals.
  • Poor Man's Substitute: invoked "Caroline Munro — the store-brand Marilyn Monroe."
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: The Emperor has so many dramatic pauses in his speeches, Tom Servo speculates, "He's paid by the pause."
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Like Paul in Cry Wilderness and Danny in The Time Travelers, Jonah and the Bots mock Akton for being a perm-wearing goofball. However, once he reveals he has super powers during his fight with Thor, they change their minds automatically and cheer him on.
  • Rooting for the Empire: When Thor betrays the heroes and tries to kill Akton, the riffers all cheer on Thor.
  • Running Gag:
    • This film is like Star Wars; let Jonah and the 'Bots count the ways.
    • Jokes about Elle's Southern accent.
      Elle: Thor, a traitor. I cannot trust my own logic circuits anymore.
      Servo: (as Elle) Goldarn it, it just do not com-pute!
    • Jokes about Elle having a crush on Stella—while Stella would prefer the company of literally anyone besides Elle.
    • Jonah and the bots keep leaving the movie thinking it's over, just to come back when it's revealed otherwise.
    • Stock riffs: "And chili peppers burned its guts!"
  • Sanity Slippage: The final host segment starts off as Jonah and the bots reenacting the final battle from the movie, but it gets increasingly surreal and meta, until Jonah walks away in disgust.
    Max: Does... that... count as driving them insane?
    Kinga: I don't even know anymore.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Crow tries to walk out during the giant female colossus scene, but Jonah stops him. A few minutes later, when the colossus gets shot down by the heroes' ship, Tom Servo gives up in disgust and hovers away. He returns in the next scene when he notices the movie's back to killing humans.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product:
  • Shooting Superman: Thor shoots Ackton with a laser gun, but it has no effect, so he just keeps shooting. "Yeah, just push the button more. That always works."
  • Shout-Out:
  • Space Is Noisy: Boy, is it.
  • Space "X": Jonah and the bots slap "space" in front of nearly everything here. "I love the smell of napalm in the morning in spaaaaace!"
  • Special Effect Failure: invoked While watching Stella and Akton go into hyperspace: "When these special effects are done, I bet it's gonna look really cool."
  • Swiss Army Weapon: In Crow's space opera script, the bad guy's ultimate weapon is the Swiss Army Planet.
  • Too Soon: "A vanilla pudding pop... Hey, Stella, are we far enough in the future that we can make Bill Cosby jokes again? Boy, I hope so."
  • Truth In Riffing: During Christopher Plummer's first incredibly low-energy scene, the bots encourage him by saying, "You can do it, Christopher! Think of the hospitality suite!" This is absolutely accurate; Plummer has said in interviews that he did this movie solely to score a free trip to Rome.
  • 2-D Space: When the protagonists are "completely surrounded by fighter ships", Tom notes that there are no ships beneath them and that they could drop down.
  • Visual Gag:
    • Crow stands up inside the elevator and makes awkward small talk with the guy already in it.
    • Tom Servo sleds down a hill on the snow planet.
    • When Akton dies and turns into lasers, Tom Servo and Crow grab sticks and roast hot dogs over him.
  • With Lyrics:
    • Tom Servo sings "Star Wars.... This isn't Staaar Waaaars..." along with the opening credits music.
    • And then when he sees the Emperor's Flying City: "Space Chuuurch... You're welcome at Spaaace Chuuuuurch...!"



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