Before the Youtubers, Robot Chicken, Family Guy or even Space Balls, there was Hardware Wars.

Shot for around $7,000 over four days by Ernie Fosselius, a Sesame Street alumni, it is the first major parody of the Star Wars franchise. Gloriously horrible by design and something of a commentary on movie trailers and special effects of the era, it succeeds on many levels. It's twelve minutes of stupid puns, Jedi jokes and no-rent special effects as Fluke Starbucker and his pals, droids run around reenacting most of the key scenes from Star Wars. Released in 1978, not long after Jedi fever had already set in, it grossed in the range of three million dollars, making it one of the most profitable short films ever and George Lucas has claimed this tome of absurdest humor to be one of his favorite parodies.

It's easy to see why:

The one thing that may have the most zing is the tag line "You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll kiss three bucks goodbye." Three bucks to see a movie? Those were the days.

A 30th Anniversary re-release and a few other versions can be found here.

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