"Spaceballs" pokes fun at science from start to finish, but science, being a good sport, takes the ribbing in stride. How can it not, when a Winnebago is considered a space-worthy craft and a radar dish can be "jammed" with "the raspberry"?
It gets even more bewildering when you consider characters such as Barfolmew the mog. Scientific-minded movie patrons would probably be best served by not extensively contemplating Barf's half-man/half-dog origin story. Then there's Vinnie, half-man/half-robot, and Pizza the Hut, half-man/half-pizza; the pair of them 100 percent unlikely.
Vacuums of all sorts feature prominently in "Spaceballs." For starters, there's the utter disregard for them when the plot requires a character to traipse around in space without so much as a breathing apparatus. And then there's the part when vacuums are exploited to suck up a planet's atmosphere after Spaceball One morphs into Mega Maid. Nothing fishy sounding there.
But perhaps the most outrageously unscientific part occurs when the Winnebago goes into hyperactive and Spaceball One must give chase. Pedestrian paces like light speed just won't serve. Spaceball One needs to hit ludicrous speed to catch their prey. What follows is – decidedly – ludicrous.
This film is in the top spot not because it's the worst offender, but because it so clearly knows what it's doing is completely unreal. In this one outlying case, we're OK with that.
Author's Note: 10 Crazy Examples of Horrible Movie Science
I remember watching many movies with my parents when I was growing up. My mom would frequently question the plot twists, character interactions and other facets of each movie, puzzled and annoyed by why things were unfolding the way they were. "Why did they do that? It didn't make any sense!" or "How come they didn't finish fixing that before they tried to make the other one work?" Whatever it was, my dad would invariably respond, "Because it's in the script."
I enjoy that take on anything created for entertainment. Personally, I'm not too particular when it comes to the accuracy of movies, scientifically speaking or otherwise. My judgment falls purely on an it-really-stunk to an it-was-pretty-good to an it-was-totally-awesome scale. End of story. But for those of you who do like to dwell on the details, I hope you enjoyed this article.
- Chivers, Tom. "The 20 worst science and technology errors in films." The Telegraph. Oct. 9, 2009. (Oct. 1, 2012.) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/6274053/The-20-worst-science-and-technology-errors-in-films.html
- Harris, Richard. "Questionable Science Behind "The Day After Tomorrow." NPR. May 28, 2004. (Oct. 1, 2012.) http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1915138
- IMBD. http://www.imdb.com/
- O'Neill, Ian. "'Titanic' Accuracy Tightened by Neil deGrasse Tyson." Discovery News. April 2, 2012. (Oct. 1, 2012.) http://news.discovery.com/space/neil-degrasse-tyson-tightens-titanic-accuracy-120402.html
- Phil Plait. "Bad Astronomy." (Oct. 1, 2012.) http://www.badastronomy.com/
- "Spaceballs: The Script." (Oct. 1, 2012.) http://www.evilwillalwaystriumph.com/script.htm
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