Since tomorow is a day I dread, a day people have proclaimed “Star Wars Day” for no other reason than the tired and barely clever pun, “May The Fourth Be With You.” Because of that, quite possibly the lamest joke ever created by nerds, one that should bring the harshest scorn and shame upon anyone who utters it, I decided to pick a short film that demonstrates that stupid humor based on Star Wars can exist without being completely insipid.
Hardware Wars is a 1978 short film parody of a teaser trailer for the science fiction film Star Wars. The thirteen-minute film, which was released almost 18 months after Star Wars, mainly consisted of inside jokes and visual puns that heavily depended upon audience familiarity with the original. The theme song is Richard Wagner’s famous “Ride of the Valkyries.”
This is the work of Ernie Fosselius, who has had an amazing career that includes being a founding member of The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, directing several short films for Sesame Street, sound design for several acclaimed motion pictures and providing the voices for The Rancor Keeper in Return of the Jedi, and the Martians in Mars Attacks.
Near misses in the career of Fosselius include turning down the chance to direct Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and the authorship of several unproduced screenplays including one for Zippy The Pinhead.
He’s currently working with animatronic puppets in a gallery show, and has a few dozen other ideas floating around. Enjoy Hardware Wars, and please stop making that awful joke.
And yes, that is Paul Frees, doing the narration.