Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the Movie urban legends featured so far.
MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Spaceballs had a deal that involved them agreeing to do very limited licensing tie-ins with their film.
One of the most famous scenes in Mel Brooks’ Star Wars parody, Spaceballs…
was the scene where Brooks (as the Yoda parody “Yogurt”) mocks the proliferation of Star Wars merchandising by telling the other characters in the film that the real money is in merchandising!
Amazingly enough, the film Spaceballs actually did not have any notable tie-in merchandising of its own.
Why was this?
You see, when Brooks decided to make the parody, he cleared it first with George Lucas. Lucas signed a fair use agreement with Brooks that stated that Brooks’ use of the characters based on Lucas’ Star Wars characters was fair use and not copyright infringement (Brooks might have been able to prevail under a parody defense, but obviously he did not even want to deal with it).
A condition of Lucas signing the agreement, however, was that Brooks agreed to not release any merchandise based on the film that would be considered as competing directly with Lucas’ Star Wars products on the market place, whether the film they were based on was a parody or not. Brooks agreed, and that is why the action figures that Dark Helmet plays with in the film…
are the only action figures of the characters you’ll likely ever see (unless you know people who make custom figures, of course).
The legend is…
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