Okay, how I have had a website this long and not expose you to this? And what good timing as it’s April Fool’s Day? I didn’t even plan that.

After the success of the original Star Wars the doors of science fiction were once again open. Some were ripoffs, some were parodies, and some actually said “this is a revitalized genre, so let’s actually build on it”. From the parody side came a short film by director Ernie Fosselius. Hardware Wars follows the parody versions of the original characters in a parody version of the original story, with intentionally or acceptibly bad props and special effects being part of the joke.

Tonight we have a double-ish feature. I not only bring you the original version, but the Special Edition released on home video to coincide with the Star Wars Special Edition of “A New Hope”. This showed off how home brewed editing programs had advanced, though still not on today’s level where someone on YouTube could redo this whole thing and make it look almost like a modern movie. Compare the two as you enjoy.

The Original: 1978

I remember catching this on HBO in the very old days of cable television. I enjoyed it very much, so when I heard a home video “special edition” was being made to tie in to Lucas doing the same with his movie I ordered it just to see if I could spot the differences. It’s easier now when you have access to both versions.

The Special Edition: 1997

I’m actually a bit disappointed they didn’t replace more of the effects as part of the joke, but points for the unnecessary bonus backgrounds in the “not the ones you’re looking for” scene. At the Cannes Film Festival in 2001 producer Michael Weiss talked about the making of the original Hardware Wars.

Lucas must have been okay with it. According to a recent article by Bounding Into Comics, Lucas actually used Fosselius as one of the voices of the Rancor keepers and had him arrange one of the cantina songs in Return Of The Jedi.

I commented earlier about the Special Edition not replacing enough effects, which dims the joke slightly, but the effects used in the original were kind of cheap on purpose not because of the humor alone but…I mean look at the thing. The actors had to dub themselves because they didn’t have sound on stage (making the Darth Nader “I can’t understand you” joke a bit funnier because they could have easily made him easier to hear), the fishing wire that some effects experts had offered to get out of the footage but that would have ruined the joke so he turned them down, and just shooting random people in a western biker bar or whatever that place was. It’s a fun parody that isn’t out to attack the original. It just wants to poke some fun at it, which is a sign of a good parody.

Any of you see this in either form before today?


About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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