Spaceballs is a 1987 American parody film co-written and directed by Mel Brooks and starring Brooks, Bill Pullman, John Candy and Rick Moranis. It also features Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, and the voice of Joan Rivers. It was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on June 26, 1987, and was met with a mixed reception. It later became a cult classic on video and one of Brooks' most popular films. Its setting and characters parody the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as other sci-fi franchises including Star Trek, Alien, and the Planet of the Apes films. The plot mirrors that of the 1934 film It Happened One Night.
Planet Spaceball, led by the incompetent President Skroob, has wasted all of its air. Skroob schemes to steal air from the planet Druidia by kidnapping Princess Vespa, the daughter of King Roland on the day of her pre-arranged wedding to the narcoleptic Prince Valium. Skroob sends the villainous Dark Helmet to complete this task with Spaceball One, an impossibly huge ship helmed by Colonel Sandurz. Before they can arrive, Vespa herself abandons her marriage and flees the planet in her personal Mercedes spaceship along with her Droid of Honor, Dot Matrix. King Roland contacts mercenary Lone Starr and his mawg (half-man, half-dog) sidekick, Barf (which is short for "Barfolomew"), offering a lucrative reward to retrieve Vespa before she is captured. Lone Starr readily accepts, as he is in major debt with the gangster Pizza the Hutt. In their Winnebago space ship (Eagle 5), Lone Starr and Barf are able to reach Vespa before Spaceball One, rescue both her and Dot, then escape. Spaceball One tries to follow, but Dark Helmet foolishly orders the ship to "ludicrous speed," causing it to overshoot the escapees, who land on the nearby "desert moon of Vega." The escapees travel on foot in a blazing sun and pass out. They are found by The Dinks, a group of red-clad little people, and are taken to a cave occupied by Yogurt, who is old and wise. Yogurt introduces Lone Starr to the power of "The Schwartz." Yogurt also introduces the audience to the film's merchandising campaign. Lone Starr and Vespa begin to flirt, but Vespa insists she can only be married to a prince. Spaceball One, by breaking the fourth wall (obtaining a VHS copy of the film and fast-forwarding to the part where the heroes crash-land), tracks down Lone Starr, captures Vespa, and returns with her to planet Spaceball. Her captors threaten to reverse Vespa's nose job, forcing Roland to give over the code to the shield that protects Druidia. Dark Helmet takes Spaceball One to Druidia, where he transforms the ship into Mega Maid, a giant robotic maid with a vacuum cleaner that begins sucking the air from the planet. Lone Starr, after training in the Schwartz with Yogurt's help, returns to Druidia, reversing the robot's sucking action to return the air to the planet. Lone Starr and his allies enter the Mega Maid to attempt to destroy it. Lone Starr is forced to fight Dark Helmet with light sabers near the ship's self-destruct button. He manages to defeat him, causing Dark Helmet to accidentally strike it himself. Lone Starr and his friends escape the ship, while Skroob, Dark Helmet, and Colonel Sandurz fail to reach any escape pods in time. Stranded aboard the robot's head as it explodes, they land on a nearby planet, much to the regret of its ape population. With Lone Starr's debt to Pizza nullified by the gangster's untimely death, he returns Vespa to Roland and leaves, taking only enough money to cover his expenses. After a lunch break at a diner and a strange incident involving an alien and an astronaut, Lone Starr finds a final message from Yogurt informing him that he is a prince and thus eligible to marry Vespa. He manages to reach Druidia in time to stop her wedding to Valium, announces his royal lineage, then marries Vespa himself.