How George Lucas Stopped Spaceballs Merchandising

“I thought, science fiction,” Brooks writes in his book All on me! My remarkable life in show business, Going through Literary pole. “Now there is a genre that I haven’t destroyed yet.”

The idea opened up the possibility of skewering beloved galactic debris like “Star trek, Battlestar Galactica, and, returning for more fun, the unique and campy director of Ed Wood Plan 9 of outer space. It was a genre rich in opportunities for devastating satire.

The genre is also rich in a great wealth of toys, gadgets and collectibles. Rick Moranis, who parodied Star wars‘villainous Darth Vader as Dark Helmet, “brilliantly improvised one of his most famous scenes from the film, the one in which he gets caught playing with small action figure versions of Lone Starr, Princess Vespa and himself, ”said Brooks. .

As perfect as it sounds on screen, it never materialized on the loading docks of store shelves. “Even though in the movie itself Dark Helmet plays with action figures, we never sold any,” Brooks said.

Despite the recurring gag that crosses Space balls, no actual merchandise has ever been traded. The film was made for this and the concept was incorporated into the film, but no collectibles were ever used to promote the film, sold in stores or peddled at conventions. The decision came from above.

“In the same way that I called Alfred Hitchcock to obtain his blessing Strong anxiety, I sent the Space balls script for Star wars creator George Lucas, ”Brooks wrote. “He said he had seen Flaming saddles and Young Frankenstein and was a huge fan. He enjoyed the script and had only one real caveat for me: no figures.