Since it was released 30 years ago, director Mel Brooks‘ send-up of the classic Star Wars trilogy, Spaceballs, has become a beloved classic in its own right. Following the adventures of Lone Star (Bill Pullman), his half-man/half-dog Barf (John Candy) and Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) as they team up to fight the notorious Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis), Brooks’ manages to balance a swashbuckling adventure with his trademark humor, resulting in a movie that appeals to fans of all types. Including hardcore sci-fi nerds.
To celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary, here are a few facts about the notorious and revered parody.
It Had The (Conditional) Blessing Of George Lucas
Brooks didn’t necessarily need the approval of George Lucas to make Spaceballs because it was a parody, but out of respect he nonetheless wanted the creator of Star Wars to sign off before he started filming. While Lucas liked the script, there was one condition he insisted on. Brooks told Maxim back in 2013 that “he gave me one incredibly big restriction: no action figures.” Apparently, Lucas feared that any Spaceballs merchandise would look too much like the ones he’d made for Star Wars as a part of the merchandising that Spaceballs and Brooks (as Yogurt) so cleverly lampooned.