Spaceballs has long been a famed film of the incredibly hilarious Mel Brooks. Almost since its premiere in 1987, it became a cult classic. It was perhaps not the highest grossing film of that year…in fact it ranked number 31, beat out even by The Running Man. Number one being Three Men and a Baby…somehow.
So the relative obscurity of Spaceballs, right from the get-go, gave it quite a bit of ease with regards to hitting that cult classic status. And since that status was attained, all manner of crazy fan theories have crept up out of the woodwork. And once the internet became public domain…boy oh boy, theories just flooded the world wide web.
So, below are fifteen fun fan theories that will certainly make readers re-watch Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs to pick up on all the subtleties that might be the foundation of all these theories.
15. Lone Starr And Helmet Were Roomies?
Now, anyone who has watched Spaceballs, and in fact even many who have not, will know the famous line, when Lord Helmet says to Lone Starr, that he was his “father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate.” This may very well have been nothing more than a ridiculous line, for a ridiculous character, in a ridiculous film, but perhaps it’s something a little bit more.
Think about this for a moment. Lone Starr’s father’s brother, would be his uncle. His uncle’s nephew would be Starr’s cousin (if Starr’s father had two brothers, each with a son). Then finally, the cousin of that cousin would therefore be Starr himself. The logic is relatively sound, so long as one assumes the extended family of Lone Starr, that is. It’s an interesting theory, and Lord Helmet does seem to know who Lone Starr is from the first, so maybe there is some merit to it. Though it would change the meaning to the next two lines of the film. Lone Starr: “So what does that make us?” Helmet: “Absolutely nothing.”
14. Yogurt Is A Sith Lord!
This is a very interesting fan theory indeed. Kind of a scary one as well, actually. As it turns out, the ‘Schwartz’ is a very interesting Yiddish word in the context of this film, and this character. Yiddish is the language of a specific Jewish sect, and is a sister language to German. ‘Schwartz’, in translation means: dark, dirty, or illegal. Yogurt spends his time teaching Lone Starr to use the ‘Schwartz’. Which means…Yogurt is teaching Lone Starr how to use the “dark side”! That’s a mind-blowing fan theory right there. That means Yogurt, the whole time, was actually a Sith lord! There are some online who think the ‘Schwartz’ is nothing but a Jewish reference, by a Jewish filmmaker making dick jokes, but the notion that a Star Wars spoof would have some great reference humour…and some obscure, and villainous content as well, is just great.
13. Lone Starr Is A Descendant Of President Whitmore
Who would have thought that Lone Starr would have been a descendant of the President of the United States? Well, at least to be fair, with regards to the Independence Day sequel, actor Bill Pullman did play that very president whom fans think may be the ancestor of Lone Starr (also played by Bill Pullman). Sorry for the spoilers, but at the end of the second Independence Day it seems as though what’s left of humanity, and other alien species, will work together to overtake the galactic aggressors in the film. The theory goes that it stands to reason that, if humanity were to win out, there could perhaps become a galactic royalty from Earth, which might have began with President Whitmore. This might be a stretch of a connection to make, but Spaceballs is specifically mentioned to take place in the future, and so perhaps it’s not quite so far a stretch after all. And Whitmore and Lone Starr look so similar…
12. Set In The Star Wars Universe
There are a few reasons for this theory, and it is fairly sound, considering it is a spoof on Star Wars, and does have elements like lightsabers, and the infamous ‘Schwartz’, which has already been discussed as perhaps being the dark side of the force. But the biggest, most glaring piece of evidence to justify this theory is actually very simple, and surprisingly not noticed by everyone. When Lone Starr and Barf make a stop to fuel up, the space port is sporting several mobile-home-looking ships, but there is also one unmistakable little Easter egg, that might make anyone hope for Han Solo to make a cameo (though in the future, Solo would be dead – sorry for the spoiler on The Force Awakens). The Millennium Falconis parked, clear as day, and slightly removed from the rest of the ships. How could any fan not ponder the possibility of the two scoundrels, Solo and Starr, meeting at a seedy space port like this?
It’s no shock to anyone that Lord Helmet is perfectly fine with the idea of murder. After all, he is ready to suck the life out of an entire planet. There is a going theory that Lord Helmet murdered the entirety of Lone Starr’s family. And to be fair, he was certainly aware of them, since it seems like he could very well have been Lone Starr’s roommate. The theory goes further to suggest that Helmet went out of his way to murder all of the rest of the royalty in the galaxy so that Starr would eventually come out of the woodwork, discover who he was, and then be killed by Helmet. This gives a completely different meaning to Helmet’s line “I hope it’s a long ceremony, cuz it’s gonna be a short honeymoon” in reference to Vespa and Valium. The second part of the theory though, does seem to be a bit of a stretch, but it could very well be that he’s killed a great many royal family members in his time.
10. Druidia Is Earth
Just to look at the planet in the film, this should not be any sort of surprising fan theory, by any means, but it exists, for sure. And it doesn’t hurt its efficacy, given the notion that Lone Starr, and former President Whitmore are distantly related. Mix that with the fairly common, real life idea that we as a species will end up screwing up so bad that we may run out of breathable air, and there is a pretty solid case.
There are others who believe that, given the Star Wars quality of the film, Druidia is actually Alderaan. This second theory is quite impossible though. Star Wars takes place a long, long time ago, and if Spaceballs takes place in the future, then Alderaan would have long been destroyed by the Death Star. It is interesting though to think of Druidia as a future version of our planet (one that we’ve managed to screw up pretty accurately to the predictions that are present today).
9. Lone Starr Is The Rehabilitated Darth Revan
Now this is a wonderful theory! There are several points to its favour (though ultimately it does seem to fail), and it would be a wonderfully hilarious look at what happened to reformed Sith. The voice actor, Rino Romano happens to play Revan in the Knights of the Old Republic video game, and he also voices Lone Starr in the Spaceballs animated series (yes that exists). Starr is a scoundrel, and one can choose this as a character class in the video game. Both Revan and Starr have learned to use their powers with minimal training, and both don’t recall who they actually are. Now it is never revealed that Revan has any connection to royalty, and while this doesn’t fully debunk the theory, it does make one wonder why no one would make that mention at least once. Also it doesn’t help that, again, Lone Starr continues to use the ‘Schwartz’, which means he’s by no means reformed (given the earlier theory that this means he’s playing with the dark side).
8. Only One Non-A$$hole
Lord Helmet finds himself “surrounded by Assholes” on his gigantic ship, Spaceball 1. Now this isn’t a quality he sees in his crew, but the actual surname of almost every single member, save for one who does not raise his hand. Now, Michael Winslow (seen above, playing the radar technician), is the only man in the room who doesn’t raise his hand when Lord Helmet asks who is an Asshole, aboard his ship. As it happens, Winslow’s character may well be an asshole, but simply not in the familial sense. This could be why he is featured as often as he is, and with some degree of competency as well. Unfortunately for him, just one non-Asshole, in a sea of Assholes does not prompt anyone to show any leniency when it comes to destroying Spaceball 1, and ridding the galaxy of Lord Helmet and his dastardly deeds.
7. An Animated Plot
For those who have not seen the Spaceballs animated series…it might not be worth the watch, but one should at least check it out, if for no other reason than to understand why it was so reviled by critics and fans all over. And there is a theory as to why it was such a terribly trash show. This takes the characters and story of Spaceballs a bit more seriously than anyone should, but here it is: the idea is that the Spaceballs (the people themselves) plotted to make the animated series so horrible that the new generation of people watching this show would lose any sort of regard they might have had for the characters, or of the film that they may or may not have watched. The point of this? To weaken Yogurt by siphoning his finances, making him weak and easier to destroy. And while the Spaceballs aren’t a real people, Brooks (who played Yogurt), did say he was aiming to make a sequel, and to start shooting in 2016…there is still no film…
6. Vinnie Loves Pizza…
Everyone’s favourite criminal duo from Spaceballs: Vinnie and Pizza the Hut. Yes, of course Pizza the Hut is a play on Jabba, as well as famed pizzeria, Pizza Hut. Now given that Vinnie is already set up as a rather untrustworthy character, it should be no surprise that his line to Pizza “You’re delicious!” has somewhat more ominous tones than what the scene lays out for the viewer. The theory goes that Vinnie, and the rest of the gang that worked for Pizza decided to take Pizza for a ride one day. Once in a secluded place they called out “pizza party”, and devoured their former boss. None of this is ultimately substantiated, other than Vinnie’s earlier line about being delicious, and the fact that we learn Pizza had “[eaten] himself to death” at some point in the film. If I were made of pizza, I might do just the same, but it is quite the comeuppance for Pizza to have, for his gang to turn on him, eat him, and make it all seem like a suicide.
5. Don’t Forget To Breathe
There is a running theory that the Spaceballs were not actually running out of breathable air to begin with. Which does sort of throw a kink in much of the plot of the film. The idea being that somehow (not quite explained) the Spaceballs come to believe there is an air shortage. And places like Druidia capitalize on this idea by further convincing the space crew of Assholes, and then offering to sell off some of their planet’s air to them at significant mark up. Ultimately, if this theory were legit, this did not work in favour for the Druidians, given that the Spaceballs went about vacuuming out the air from Druidia. This is pretty well all conjecture, but it does seem to be a very interesting theory, especially given that it’s implied that people can actually just breath in space, a few different times throughout the film…in spite of the sinister plot to rid a planet of air.
4. The Galactic Cost Of Spaceball 1
The fact that someone went out of their way to try and compile an estimate on what the Spaceball 1 would cost in real life is…likely time consuming, to say the least. It seems as though, as best as anyone can guess, Spaceball 1 is approximately 4.7 miles long (7.5km). This is apparently 16.5 times the length of the longest ship we know to date (the Seawise Giant, which cost 1.24 billion dollars to build). The fan takes this figure, and multiplies it by 16.5 to get: approximately 19.8 billion dollars. And this is the ship alone, before adding crew, nuclear engines, and rocket propulsion. The engine work is estimated at $49.9 billion (comparing the prices of nuclear reactors and Saturn V rockets), and the crew is estimated at $91.2 million (assuming a crew of over 16,500 Assholes). Adding all of this together would give the Spaceballs a cost of about 50 billion dollars. It’s a damned good thing they steal everything, else they’d be scrounging for food stamps.
3. Spaceballs On Other Planets…
It is extrapolated, by some, that Druidia is by no means the first planet to suffer the Spaceballs’ Mega Maid. The defense for this theory is the very defense that apparently keeps Druidia breathing fresh: the air shield. The idea is that the shield exists because they are well aware of the Spaceballs’ air-sucking strategy to stay afloat. In the Star Wars-esque scrolling text at the top of the film, it is noted directly that the Spaceballs have a reputation for this sort of crime, so it is certainly not hard to believe that Druidia would therefore protect itself. And also, the fan theory just brought to bear its biggest bit of evidence. The text at the opening of the film alludes to previous crimes. That’s more than enough for belief. It also helps that Lord Helmet speaks poorly of his president saying that “10,000 years worth of air probably won’t last a hundred” under the ruling of the chatterbox, president Skroob (which is Brooks backwards – likely a self-stab from creator Mel Brooks).
2. Spaceballs: A Cultural Museum?
This is perhaps the most academic, and therefore most odd fan theory that exists out there (and there are some strange, and somewhat unfounded ones). In an actual book called Theories of Human Communication, there is a theory put forward that Spaceballs has a certain form of storytelling called “parodic tourism”. The idea is that the meta-quality of the film itself, teaches audiences a certain form of thinking, that apparently audiences have been thus far unaware of. Calling Spaceballs a “cultural museum, the authors of this book go on to say that the film trains its audience in a specific cognitive mode that allows viewers to make a mental shift from modernity to post-modernity; able to ‘address rapid, cultural changes'”. The crux of this theory is that Spaceballs ultimately teaches people to use their media in a more positive, and helpful way, to aid them through the everyday conflicts of life. A very deep theory indeed…and hopefully it does help people’s head in such a way…but I think people just like to laugh.
1. Spaceballs The Sequel
Shortly after the start of last year, there were some very interesting posters seen strewn about some New York City subways. A Mel Brooks sequel – Spaceballs: The Search For More Money. It seems like a pretty legitimate poster to me. And it has a wonderful reference to The Force Awakens, with the destroyed Darth Vader Helmet…or rather a destroyed Lord Helmet…helmet. However, as it turns out, these seemingly professional posters are nothing more than the wonderful work of a very devoted fan. Mel Brooks, after the death of John Candy (Barf), made clear mention that he would not do a sequel for Spaceballs, so integral was Candy’s comic relief. While this is not necessarily a fan theory in the sense of a direct pull from the original film, it certainly is a prod, or a very hopeful push towards a sequel. And this is a wishful thought that may come to fruition. After over twenty years since Candy’s death, Brooks has expressed intention for a sequel!