Schlocky, schticky, and a hell of a lot of fun, #StarWars parody #Spaceballs has become one of the greatest cult films of the past 30 years. #MelBrooks directed and starred in 1987's zany comedy, which was a clever riff off the Star Wars movies before the likes of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer sucked all the comedy out of spoof films.
A brilliant mix of Joan Rivers, John Candy, #RickMoranis, and #BillPullman, Spaceballs arguably had a better cast than the combined might of the first three Star Wars films put together. Now, with Spaceballs celebrating its 30th anniversary, and reignited talks of a possible sequel, Pullman has looked back at his time on set.
The Lone Starr Ranger
In a special anniversary interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Pullman reflected on his role as Lone Starr, the not so subtle pastiche of Harrison Ford's Han Solo. In his flying Winnebago dubbed the Eagle 5, Lone Starr was tasked with saving the fiery Princess Vespa from an evil race of "Spaceballs." Brooks played the incompetent President Skroob to replace Ian McDiarmid's Emperor Palpatine, Moranis the ineffective Dark Helmet as the film's own Darth Vader, and Pullman effectively played the parts of both Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. With a cocksure stance and roguish demeanor, Pullman's Lone Starr was the perfect Ford-inspired lead.
While Brooks had clearly done his Lucas research to create the likes of the Chewbacca-esque Barf, villainous Pizza the Hutt, and Dark Helmet, Pullman had a shocking revelation for us all. The 63-year-old confessed that he had never seen Star Wars before he stepped foot inside the Eagle 5:
“I missed it the first time around. I just needed Mel to tell me what was going on. I didn’t need to see Star Wars to know what the whole thing was.”
Known for his parts in While You Were Sleeping, Casper, and Independence Day, Spaceballs is one of Pullman's most memorable roles to date. Given how much Pullman's finished performance was like Ford's portrayal of the nerf herding smuggler, it is testament to Brooks' skill as a writer that he was able to get so close.
A Starr On The Rise
While Lone Starr ended up being the film's shining star, Pullman said that he is still convinced that Brooks struggled most with creating the film's brash lead:
“I think Mel was having trouble writing Lone Starr. It was the last character he felt conformable with because there wasn’t a voice or shtick or something that was clear. I remember at one point during rehearsals Mel asked, ‘Does this tire you out?’ I must have had a look of exhaustion. I told him I was fine, and he said ‘Well, I just don’t want you to be doing the press tour and go, ‘Oh, I know how to play the line now!’”
Given that A New Hope was a decade old by the time Spaceballs came out, it is insane to imagine that Pullman hadn't watched the original Star Wars trilogy; it is a bit like those who say they haven't watched The Godfather. With the character clearly written as a Han Solo doppelgänger, it is hard to see how Pullman could've taken the role without watching the world of the Falcon and the Force. Each to their own, I guess, but I wouldn't expect Pullman to be cast in Colin Trevorrow's upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX.
Check out Pullman in action for Spaceballs and don't forget our poll below.
Would you like to see a sequel to 'Spaceballs'?
(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)