7 best Star Wars parodies, ranked

Peter, Chris, Brian, and Herbert as "Star Wars" characters in "Family Guy."

There may be no franchise in history more beloved than Star Wars. While not everyone considers themselves a fan, there are plenty of people who do, even if no one can agree on which movies are actually good. What we can hopefully all agree on, though, is that a great Star Wars parody is almost as good as the real thing.

Because the franchise is so beloved by so many, there have been tons of great parodies over the years. We’ve pulled together a list of seven of the best parodies in the history of Star Wars, ranked from pretty good to undeniably great.

7. Hardware Wars

Hardware Wars: The Original Star Wars Parody 1978

The original Star Wars parody, and one of the more obscure today, Hardware Wars was released just a year after Star Wars hit theaters. The short film was made for just $7,000, and while it definitely shows its budget, it was also a beautiful companion to Star Wars for fans who just couldn’t get enough of the original film.

Much of the humor of Hardware Wars relies explicitly on the assumption that you have seen the original movie, but its jokes about Ham Salad and the Red Eye Knights never fail to elicit a chuckle, even if they are a wee bit obvious.

6. Spaced

Spaced – Phantom Menace Sucked

Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg have made genuine masterpieces together and Spaced was where it all started. Although Spaced was set in a pretty grounded reality in which a man and woman decide to start living together even though they barely know one another, it also had time for flights of fancy.

Given how important Star Wars is to Pegg and Wright and to the series’ characters, several of those flights of fancy involved the franchise in one way or another. That’s not to mention all the arguments the characters get into over the prequels.

5. Robot Chicken

The Best of Star Wars | Robot Chicken | adult swim

Robot Chicken decided to dedicate an entire episode to parodying Star Wars, and fans should be glad that they did. Although the series doesn’t even attempt any sort of overarching plot or premise, almost every individual joke here works, from C-3PO setting off a metal detector and assuming it’s his keys to Luke having a “Yo Mama” battle with Palpatine and ultimately defeating him.

Are some of the jokes of the moment? For sure, but few Star Wars parodies have come up with more great ideas that poke fun at the original trilogy without suggesting that Star Wars is stupid.

4. Saturday Night Live — Undercover Boss

Star Wars Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base – SNL

Adam Driver is one of the more successful hosts in the history of Saturday Night Live, and his Undercover Boss sketch, in which he pretends to be a regular employee on Starkiller Base when he’s actually Kylo Ren is one of his very best efforts. Every joke in this sketch lands, especially the ones in which Kylo is simply unable to contain his rage at everyone around him.

The miracle of this sketch is that Driver is able to play Kylo Ren as a serious character in the films, and in a sketch like this, he’s able to turn the dials just enough so that the character reads as comedic instead of deadly serious.

3. Phineas and Ferb

Sith Ferb vs. Phineas | Phineas and Ferb | Disney XD

One of the more under-discussed Star Wars parodies, whenever Phineas and Ferb took on a topic, it was almost guaranteed to do something clever with it, and Star Wars was no exception. Instead of just rehashing the story of Star Wars with the brothers taking on the central roles, the series decided to leave those original characters intact and just shift the perspective a la Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.

This perspective shift allows for some genuinely original jokes, but the overall effect is to create a loving tribute to one of the most beloved franchises in the history of movies.

2. Spaceballs

Spaceballs (1987) | Official Trailer | MGM Studios

Mel Brooks has made funnier movies than Spaceballs, but that’s not a knock on the film’s quality. The film’s parody of the Star Wars story is a brilliant combination of the most obvious kinds of Star Wars jokes (the villain has a giant helmet), and the kinds of even sillier jokes that only Brooks could pull off.

Spaceballs is totemic for many, and with good reason. It may be the definitive parody of Star Wars, one that gets what made the series so great and also knows exactly how to poke fun at its many ideas.

1. The Blue Harvest Series — Family Guy

Family Guy: Blue Harvest (Clip) | TBS

Seth MacFarlane is obviously a huge sci-fi nerd (if The Orville wasn’t enough of a clue), and his Family Guy parodies of Star Wars seem to affirm that he knows exactly how to make fun of the series without stepping over a line. The premise of the parody is that Peter is retelling the story of Star Wars after the power has gone out, with some obvious embellishments.

What comes across, though, is just how much MacFarlane truly loves Star Wars. Blue Harvest is great precisely because it spends so much of its time paying tribute to Star Wars, even as it also pokes a little bit of fun.

Editors’ Recommendations