The Force is strong today with fans across the world — and surely in a galaxy far, far away — celebrating all things Star Wars. Ever since Luke and Darth Vader entered pop culture, the film series has been the subject of countless tributes, spoofs and parodies over the years. While Robot Chicken, Family Guy, Chad Vader and other tributes have gained cult status in recent years, there are some great and not so great tributes you might have forgotten about.
May the fourth be with you friends as you enjoy these Star Wars from a past, far, far away.
1. Hardware Wars
“You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll kiss three bucks goodbye.” For Star Wars parodies it all goes back to Hardware Wars. The first Star Wars parody that came out in 1978, it traded in lightsabers for egg beaters and was full of bad puns and equally bad names like Ham Salad and Darph Nader. And just like George Lucas’ Star Wars special edition re-release in 1997, Hardware Wars got an update with over 20 new “special defects.”
One of the funniest Star Wars tributes ever done, the 1997 mockumentary had its debut at San Diego Comic-Con and follows the Black Sheep Squadron on patrol in Tatooine. Oddly enough, it also was included as a bonus feature on the 20th anniversary DVD of the very TV series it parodies, COPS.
3. The Adam And Joe Show
Before Robot Chicken’s take on all things Star Wars, there was The Adam And Joe Show. The British comedy show put good use to those 1980s Star Wars action figures, giving viewers the glorious drunk Obi-Wan Kenobi.
4. The Muppet Show
Now that both Kermit and Darth Vader are Disney employees it’s only a matter of time before they reunite. The Muppet universe first collided with the Rebel Alliance in 1980 when Mark Hammil and Peter Mayhew brought The Force to the Jim Henson variety show.
5. The Muppet Babies
One of the best aspects about The Muppet Babies cartoon was how it often combined animation with various live action gags and the Star Wars episode provided plenty of opportunity for this. Plus, the Death Star as a giant tomato, yes!
6. Star Warp’d
This claymation parody actually works as a tribute to not only Star Wars, but a number of other sci-fi classics like Predator, Star Trek, The X-Files, Alien and E.T.
7. That ’70s Show
Only on That ’70s Show would Obi-Wan call Luke Skywalker a dumbass.
8. Thumb Wars
If you were watching UPN in 1999, you might have been lucky enough to catch Thumb Wars in between an episode of Moesha and Shasta McNasty. Acted out completely with thumbs and fingers, the half hour program centered on — ready for it — Thumbellion Resistance Fighters battling the evil Thumbpire.
9. The Star Wars: Holiday Special
What’s even more confusing than the existence of The Star Wars: Holiday Special is that Harrison Ford agreed to be a part of it. The only redeeming aspect of the hour and half special is animated Boba Fett segment, though meeting Chewbacca’s dad, Itchy, is something to the world needed to see.