Spaceballs is a 1987 American science fiction parody film co-written, produced and directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Brooks, Bill Pullman, John Candy, and Rick Moranis, the film also features Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, and the voice of Joan Rivers. In addition to Brooks in a supporting role, the film also features Brooks regulars Dom DeLuise and Rudy De Luca in cameo appearances. Let’s see how many of these facts you didn’t know about this iconic movie!
1. The scene in which Dark Helmet is playing with his dolls was not in the script.
Director Mel Brooks came up with the idea on the set one day and told it to Rick Moranis, who then improvised the entire scene, including the dialogue.
2. The Millennium Falcon from “Star Wars” makes a cameo appearance in this movie.
Given a close look at the exterior shot of the Space Diner and it can be spotted parked there among the other space vehicles. George Lucas got a chance to read the script before production began and loved it so much that he decided to have his special effects company, Industrial Light and Magic, help make the film.
3. Every time Dark Helmet has his face covered, his voice is lower and more basal, similar to James Earl Jones when he played Darth Vader.
In the DVD commentary, Mel Brooks says that the idea of Dark Helmet’s voice changing whenever his face was covered was actually Rick Moranis’s idea.
4. Mel Brooks came up with the idea because he had a desire to spoof a space movie.
Mel Brooks came up with the idea for this film when he discovered he had yet to spoof space movies, since he already “destroyed” the western films with Blazing Saddles (1974), made fun of the horror genre with Young Frankenstein (1974), and gave silent movies the ax with Silent Movie (1976).
5. John Candy ad-libbed the line, “Oh, that’s gonna leave a mark,” after standing up without undoing his seat belt.
6. The director wanted to call in Planet Moon.
When coming up with a new title for the film, replacing the original title “Planet Moron,” they heard about the British science fiction spoof Morons from Outer Space (1985). Mel Brooks, Ronny Graham and Thomas Meehan went through all the letters of the alphabet to search for a word to add to “Space,” which Thomas Meehan suggested. Mel Brooks spilled a drink and shouted, “Balls!” and Ronnie Graham said, “Spaceballs!” which became the film’s new and final title, and they came up with the idea that the villains, The Spaceballs, would wear ball-shaped helmets.
7. The castle on Druidia is King Ludwig II’s Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria.
It has been modified by matte painting with additional ramps. Neuschwanstein Castle has been featured in many motion pictures, and it is the original inspiration for the castle at Disneyland.
8. The Barf costume was operated by three people. John Candy operated Barf’s tail using a hidden control in his paw, while two assistants each controlled an ear.
Candy’s costume was powered by a thirty-pound battery that he wore on his back.
9. The scene where the Megamaid sucks the atmosphere off the Druidian mountain is a parody of the Paramount Studios logo.
10. When President Skroob meets the Gallup twins, he tells them to “chew their gum.”
This is a reference to “Doublemint” commercials featuring twins.
If you enjoyed reading this article and want to find out where the cast of Spaceballs are now, then check out our article here.