The Star Wars Movie Starring Veronica Mars You Can Stream Right Now

By Zack Zagranis | Published

Star Wars has become such a big part of our culture that a movie about going to see The Phantom Menace can get a green light. Fanboys, a 2009 comedy starring Kristen Bell and Jay Baruchel, focuses on four fans trying to steal a rough cut of Episode I for their dying friend. That synopsis might make the film sound like a poignant drama, but trust us, it’s more 40-Year-Old Virgin than Virgin Suicides.

The Problem With Adult Friends

In fact, Fanboys is in line with the other comedies that came out a decade before the “Me Too” movement. This isn’t to say it’s a bad film per se, but if you decide to check it out, remember that some of the humor definitely hasn’t aged well. If you’re expecting something like Galaxy Quest based on the subject matter, you’ll be sadly disappointed.

Fanboys is a lot like American Pie if the characters were trying to steal a movie by Prom Night instead of trying to lose their virginity. The film begins with a group of childhood friends reconnecting as adults. Like most friend groups, they realize as adults, they have nothing in common anymore—except for an unhealthy obsession with Star Wars.

A Dying Wish

When one of the friends is diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only a short time to live, the others decide to help him see The Phantom Menace before he dies. Unfortunately, with the official release of Episode I still several months away, the gang’s only option is to steal a copy of the film from George Lucas himself. Thus, the true plot of Fanboys gets underway as the five friends vow to make a cross-country trek to Marin County, California, to break into Skywalker Ranch.

Plenty Of Cameos

Like similar road trip movies of the time, Euro Trip (2004) and Sex Drive (2008), Fanboys is all about the journey. The gang gets into several humorous situations on the way to Skywalker Ranch, that are full of over-the-top side characters. These include picking a fight with a group of Trekkies led by Seth Rogan and accidentally eating peyote-laced guacamole given to them by Danny Trejo.

The Shat Man

Fanboys features a few cameos from Star Wars actors like Billie Dee Williams and the late Carrie Fisher. Surprisingly, there’s also a William Shatner cameo, in which the Star Trek actor ends up being the one to actually get the gang into Skywalker Ranch. When one of the group asks him how he could score maps and access codes for Skywalker Ranch, the Shat Man responds, “I’m William Shatner, I can score anything.”

Sadly, that moment is immediately followed by a cringey question about whether Shatner can “score” a pair of Jerri Ryan’s undergarments. It’s weird how the Porky’s-style sex comedy survived as long as it did into the 21st century.

Famous Nerds Are Still Nerds

Believe it or not, George Lucas was given an advanced screening of a Fanboys rough cut. The creator of Star Wars not only enjoyed the movie but also gave director Kyle Newman permission to use official Star Wars sound effects in the film. Director, podcaster, and known Star Wars fan Kevin Smith also saw a rough cut of the movie and liked it so much that he requested to be in the finished film.

Two Versions Exist, Only One Is Good

The film was initially set to be released in 2007, but after acquiring extra funds for reshoots, Newman changed the release to 2008. Sadly, the reshoots weren’t done on time and were directed by Steven Brill rather than Newman. Even worse, Brill’s reshoots focused on removing the cancer subplot from Fanboys and adding more vulgar jokes to replace it at the behest of the Weinstein Company, the studio producing the film.

Both the cancer version and one in which a bunch of drunk friends try to break into Skywalker for the lulz were screened for the public. When Weinstein realized that the cancer plot worked better as a motivation, they returned Fanboys to Newman and told him he had 36 hours to reassemble it. Somehow, Newman finished it in time for the finished film to screen at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con.

Streaming For Free


Fanboys wasn’t a critical or financial success, grossing less than $1 Million at the box office against an estimated budget of $3,900,000. The film faired better on video, quickly becoming a cult classic among Star Wars fans and geeks in general.

If you’re looking for throwback comedy from the less PC days of the ’00s or you think seeing William Shatner in a movie about Star Wars is a novelty worth watching (and it is), you can stream Fanboys for free on Freevee, Prime Video’s ad-supported free streaming service.