Hardware Wars (1978)

With only one movie under its belt in the series, and little resources, Ernie Fosselius’s “Hardware Wars” is a solid fan film for “Star Wars” and the first ever made. Fosselius doesn’t try to make a movie so much as a mock movie trailer that runs down the events of the first film with humorous results. It’s filled with literally nothing but satire about the original movie, even skirting copyrights by altering everything enough to avoid legal trouble.

Every character is given some kind of goofy name you’d expect from MAD Magazine like Fluke Starbucker, Chewchilla the Wookiee Monster, Augie Ben Doggie, and my favorite: Ham Salad. Most of their battles are conducted in well filmed spaceships made out of hardware equipment, while the theme song is “Ride of the Valkyries.” Director Fosselini is able to work around the limitations, filming some fun shots of space ships battling while the cast have fun spoofing the original characters.

There’s even a fun C3PO and R2 spoof played by a tin man and small vacuum named 4-Q-2 and Arty-Deco. I also love how Ben Doggie is prone to bots of over exaggeration, while the villain Darph Nader can barely be understood under his black welder’s mask. Ernie Fosselini’s fan film is very rough around the edges, but what can you expect for one of the first “Star Wars” fan films? It’s still a fun and tightly directed spoof, with some grade A comedy, and a genuine love for the material. When your fan film is acknowledged even by George Lucas, it’s a fan film most definitely worth seeking out and watching.