Open Letter to Star Wars Fans Regarding the Movie "Spaceballs"

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Open Letter
Title: Open Letter to Star Wars Fans Regarding the Movie "Spaceballs"
From: Anonymous
Addressed To:
Date(s): September 1987
Medium: print
Fandom: Spaceballs and Star Wars
Topic: fan campaigns
External Links:
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Open Letter to Star Wars Fans Regarding the Movie "Spaceballs" was an open letter by an anonymous fan asking fellow Star Wars fans to boycott the movie Spaceballs.

It was printed in Southern Enclave #16. From the remarks regarding the movie by fans in the same issue of the letterzine the open letter was printed in, it appeared this fan had an uphill battle to climb in terms of keeping others away from the film.

It is also an example of fannish extremes, something the editor of "Southern Enclave" pointed out.

The Letter

If you are a true STAR WARS fan who cares deeply about the Saga, I urge you to please read this letter. The person writing this wishes to stay anonymous as my only want is to protect the integrity and good image of my beloved galaxy, and I need no attention to myself. I am very serious about what you are about to read and it's extremely important for everyone that loves STAR WARS to listen to what I have to say and take it seriously. A disgusting movie spoof of SW called SPACEBALLS will be released soon. I was unfortunate to see an advance preview of it and am abhorred by what I saw. I consider myself to be a dedicated and loyal SW fan. I love that universe as my home and those characters as my best friends, and I hate anyone that does anything against SW. Considering that, I know what I'm talking about in this letter. Well, SPACEBALLS goes way beyond just doing something against SW. The whole movie is one long ludicrous, hideous put-down of everything in SW. It makes Leia look like a gunslinging whore, makes Han look like he's a stupid idiot, and makes Voda look like a foolish master of nothing. SPACEBALLS then goes on to reach the height of bad taste in making fun of every other character, place and thing in the SW galaxy. I was outraged to see how the movie had the gall to ridicule and laugh at all the things in SW that the fans take very seriously. SPACEBALLS makes all the SW characters look like jerks and reduces all the intimate aspects of the Saga, like Leia and Han's relationship or Luke's Force training, into a series of uncalled for and tasteless jokes. I find nothing funny about making fun of SW. No real fan would, either. This sick movie should be considered high sacrilege and extreme offense against all SW fandom. I ask everyone reading this to please don't go see the movie. To be serious, I beg you in the good name of SW, DO NOT go see this movie in any way, shape or form. If you love Leia, and the others, and if you are a real, true fan, you will stay far away from SPACEBALLS. Tell everyone you know - - Everyone -- that the movie is a complete absurdity and tell them to go see it. I beg you to spread the bad word about this insult to SW called SPACEBALLS. No one can call themselves a true SW fan if they go to see or support in any way a movie or person that makes fun of SW. You and I and all of SW fandom owe it to the characters to see that SPACEBALLS is successful. It would not be fair to them (the characters) if a movie putting them down is a success. We can't let it be. It is a threat to the reputation and integrity and good image of the SW saga. Spread the bad word and send letters of protest to MGM Studios. DO NOT go to see SPACEBALLS. If you truly love STAR WARS, you won't go to see it and you'll do your best not to let anyone else see it, either. This letter is to be taken dead seriously and deserves deep concern and action from SW fans. DO NOT go to see SPACEBALLS. Our Saga's reputation is at stake.

The Editor of Southern Enclave's Response

It's too bad Anonymous didn't have enough conviction to stand behind her/his strong feelings and sign this letter. I'm sure everyone out there would like to respond to it. For myself, I shook my head and started to throw it in the trash, then decided to print it. I actually feel very sorry for Anonymous. Although I don't doubt that s/he is quite serious in her/his feelings and has every right to them, it is very sad that a fictitious universe should play so important a role in a person's life that they should feel so threatened by a parody of it. The ability to laugh at ourselves is a pivotal part in keeping life in perspective and in facing the future with optimism and good humor. Anonymous sounds very lonely to me. I wish we knew who s/he was so we could all write and let her/him know that there people out here who care. [1]

Other Fans' Reactions to the Open Letter

As an afterword. I'd like to comment on the anonymous letter about the film SPACEBALLS. I agree totally with Cheree that the letter's author needs help from true SW fans who will lead him/her into the light. While I found the film itself to be a big disappointment (it could've been sooo good), it certainly was not offensive. C'mon, people, let's reach out to our fellows and make sure they know reality from our common fun and games. Dreams are wonderful but life must be lived, no matter how difficult. That's why fandom's so great! We can be "crazy" with each other, band together against the "isolated lonelies" and still help each other see our fantasies for what they are—good wholesome fun. Agree? [2]
Anonymous: I consider myself a true fan of the SW universe. I love Han, Lei a. Luke and all the other characters but I did go see SPACEBALLS- I really loved it, too. It was great. The movie was only a parody, nothing more- Since George isn't providing us with a new SW movies, I'll take what I can get and I say thank you, Mel Brooks. [3]
To "Anonymous", Paterson. NJ: In my opinion, people who write anonymous letters are cowards. Maybe I'm being too harsh here, but who are you to say who is or isn't a "true fan"? You've just convinced me to go and see SPACEBALLS at first opportunity! Sorry, but this is the perverse reaction your anonymity has inspired. I'd have had more respect if you'd had the courage to sign your name. [4]
Re SPACEBALLS and the anonymous letter. Thank you for printing it, Cheree. Your editorial comments were right on target and there is little I can add. I doubt many will share the writer's opinions. Personally, the film came across as simply as very fun film. Not of the calibre of Brooks' best (YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN being my fave), but wholly enjoyable—especially for sf fans who could get the jokes more easily than non-fans. What surprised me about Anonymous' letter was how someone who considers themself a fan of a series of films that are so rich in humor has such a limited sense of humor. To our anonymous LoCer, please rethink your position. Don't take the film as an insult. Rather. give yourself a chance to laugh and enjoy the film. In a way, you may find you are enjoying the SW films (and all those other sf films parodied) in a different light.[5]
SPACEBALLS was not intended to make fun of SW in a mean way. There is a difference between laughing aX. something and laughing with it. I think you have simply become too paranoid about people putting down SW. I'm aware of your opinions toward the Big Three (Mark. Carrie and Harrison), but does that condemnation now extend to George Lucas himself? After all, he consented to the making of SPACEBALLS. Do you claim that he's putting down SW? If so, what right do you have to say that? It's his universe to begin with, and if he wants to make a comedy about it, who are you to condemn him for that? Being a fan doesn't give you the right, just as being fans doesn't give the rest of us a right to demand the rest of the movies.[6]
Let me first say that I do know who wrote this LoC and, though I'm certainly not defending this person's view of SPACEBALLS, I must tell you that, although this person does take the saga more seriously than most others do, it's not really out of loneliness. If you knew this person, you'd understand. I could give you a name, but it probably would not be familiar to the majority of you, so there's no point in it. I want to respond to the letter, though, as objectively as I can, for this person to hopefully see and read. I really don't know where to begin. How about, I disagree with every word of the LoC. I consider myself to be a real, true SW fan. Even though I've seen each movie over 100 times, I still watch them every month or so. I am involved in fandom, though not always as actively as I'd l ike to be. In the name of fandom, Barbara and I have been putting up with each other for well over a year and a half, and together we've joined the fight to keep SW fandom alive and well by starting up our own SW newsletter. It takes sheer devotion to the SW saga to keep the newsletter going sometimes, but we do it. I am a true SW fan and I also loved SPACEBALLS![7]

Some Reactions to the Movie Itself

Has everyone seen SPACEBALLS by now? (Since it's not released until June 26th, I haven't yet, of course. But I plan to arrive early this Friday at the nearest Cinema V's premiere, and I'll be (somewhat grudgingly) representing Dark Helmet (some of the movie's prods toward Darth tend to make me grit my teeth...), and my friend will be the (ahem) wonderful Princess Vespa. (Such pre-movie preparations are greatly aided by STARLOG and already having read the book... Now, if only we could have a real SW movie! [8]
SPACEBALLS, THE MOVIE! My first reaction to this movie is that it's an elaborate MediaWest Saturday night play. I love those plays and I like the movie, but then again, I usually do enjoy Mel Brooks' style of humor. Very funny movie. Love the scene in which Dark Helmet is playing with SPACEBALL dolls. [9]
One more quick note to everyone: GO SEE SPACEBALLS!!!!! This has got to be the funniest movie I've seen in a LONG time! For those of you who have never seen it, is it just me or does everyone still crack up when they remember the scene where Dark Helmet realizes that Lone Star's Schwartz is the same size as his? [10]

References

  1. from Southern Enclave #16
  2. from Southern Enclave #17
  3. from Southern Enclave #17
  4. from Southern Enclave #17
  5. from Southern Enclave #17
  6. from Southern Enclave #17
  7. from Southern Enclave #17
  8. from Southern Enclave #16
  9. from Southern Enclave #16
  10. from Southern Enclave #16