Rated PG 96 minutes 1987

Mel Brooks scours the Star Wars saga for signs of comic life (1987), though the main parodistic targets here are the merchandising spin-offs that surround the series. Brooks seems genuinely exercised by the crassness of it all (a pot-and-kettle irritation, it seems to me), which makes the humor more irascible than usual (is that really possible?) but also a bit more personal: for once he's not the uncommitted jokester, and some things are evidently worthier game than others. The film's low-tech styling is roughly the cardboard inversion of the cinematic machines it parodies, and Brooks seems less inclined than usual to push the overkill urges too far. Small compensations, I guess, but at least it's not the total washout you'd expect. With Bill Pullman and John Candy (spaceniks on the side of light), Daphne Zuniga, Rick Moranis (a diminutive Darth Vader villain), and Brooks himself in a double role.

Film Credits

Director: Mel Brooks

Producer: Mel Brooks and Ezra Swerdlow

Cast: Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, George Wyner, Michael Winslow, Lorene Yarnell, John Hurt, Ronny Graham and Jim J. Bullock

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