The 1978 Star Wars parody, Hardware Wars, is getting a Blu-ray release. The short film will be restored in 2K format from the original negative of the Ernie Fosselius-directed project. According to blu-ray.com, the release is presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. It includes various special features such as audio commentary, a director’s cut, a prequel featurette, and various interviews.
Hardware Wars Is A Star Wars Spoof
Hardware Wars is a spoof of the original Star Wars: A New Hope movie, which was released a year earlier. It is often considered the most famous parody of the faraway galaxy and played a significant role in the rise of fan-made, comedic takes on the Star Wars franchise. The film is a low-budget slapstick that replaces the high-tech space opera elements of Star Wars with household appliances and hardware.
Fluke Starbucker and Ham Salad
Some of the notable parodies include a heroic character named Fluke Starbucker (a play on Luke Skywalker), Princess Anne-Droid (a play on Princess Leia), and Ham Salad (a play on Han Solo).
Hardware Wars also features other silly characters like Augie “Ben” Doggie (a spoof of Obi-Wan Kenobi), and a pair of robots called Artie Deco and 4-Q-2 (parodies of R2-D2 and C-3PO).
Even The Droids Get Spoofed
Hardware Wars starts with a parody of 20th Century Fox’s logo with the words “Fox” replaced by “Foss” – a reference to the movie’s director Ernie Fusselius.
A toaster shoots toast at a household steam iron as it flies through space, escaping the evil Empire. The steam iron is accompanied by two robots named Artie-Deco and 4-Q-2, who resemble the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz.
Hardware Wars Just Makes Star Wars Look Silly
After feeling the Empire in an escape pod, the steam iron lands on a desert planet called Watermelon and is found by Fluke Starbucker, who plays a saved video message on the canister vacuum cleaner.
It is a loop of Princess Anne-Droid saying, “Help me, Augie Ben Doggie, you’re my only hope.” When Fluke finds Augie “Ben” Doggie, he receives his father’s lightsaber (a flashlight), and the story continues.
Hardware Wars is intentionally campy and relies on puns and wordplay for its humor. The film also featured narration by Paul Frees, which added to its comedic appeal. Although it only has a runtime of about 13 minutes, the movie gained a cult following among Star Wars parodies. Ernie Fosselius continued to work on indie films, which established him as an influential figure in cinema.
Not The Only Star Wars Parody
Stars Wars has been parodied in several shows over the years. In 1997, Kevin Rubio released a 10-minute mockumentary called Troops that, unlike Hardware Wars, features high production values.
The mini-movie follows the misadventures of a group of stormtroopers stationed on Tatooine. But the film is styled like the television show COPS.
Throughout Troops, viewers see how the stormtroopers came to be and learn about the fate of the Jawas and the sandcrawler.
They also find out why the stormtroopers were burned to the ground, even though they did not attack anything. Troops was one of the pioneers of the Star Wars fan film awards, receiving the Pioneer Award in 2002.