Friday, June 30, 2006
I can say, with some certainty, that I am one of the few Americans my age who did not grow up watching Star Wars. My family did not have the collectors' edition of the trilogy. We never watched it together when it was on television. In fact, the first and only time that I ever saw more than clips of the movies was in middle school when some of my friends dragged me to the re-release. While I enjoyed the films, I didn't get as obsessed as everyone around me. Ultimately, I just wasn't interested in the genre.
For this reason, I failed to get much of the humor in Mel Brooks' Spaceballs. While some of the jokes were classic Mel Brooks silliness, the majority of them depended on the fact that the audience was already aware of science fiction classics such as the Star Wars trilogy and the Star Trek series.
For me, he high point of the film was Mel Brooks' Yogurt. While I never got into the science fiction craze, it was impossible to ignore the incessant marketing. Strangely enough, I know people who would love to have their own Spaceballs t-shirt or talking Yogurt doll.
While I didn't necessarily understand all the jokes in the film, the beautiful thing about parodies like this is the fact that they're virtually ageless. As long as science fiction films are popular, especially classics such as Star Wars, there will always be an audience for Spaceballs. However, next time I'm in the mood for a silly Mel Brooks film, I'll pick up Blazing Saddles instead.