This past decade, babies took on a new life. Everyone wanted to be a baby, and particularly in 2019, where babies dominated the meme cycle. This babyfication — turning everything into a baby including ourselves (snapchat filters) and beloved characters. Unlike infantilization, babyfication suggests a corporate strategy, foresight about how turning users or characters into babies will spur brand visibility. Mel Brooks cannily anticipated this craze for ‘cute’ younger versions of characters in his 1987 Star Wars spoof Spaceballs when as the Yoda-like sage Yogurt, he introduced ‘Spaceballs the doll – me!’
The Dinks find heroes Lone Starr (Bill Pullman), Barf (John Candy), Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga), and Dot Matrix (voiced by Joan Rivers) stranded in the desert, and proceed take them to Yogurt’s temple, a spoof of Yoda’s hideaway from The Empire Strikes Back. The group initially seems confused about where the Dinks are leading them, but once they see Yogurt, they become elated to meet him, having heard about his wisdom and power.
Yogurt shows the heroes his ‘Schwartz’-ring, as well as various pieces of Spaceballs merchandise/junk. Before Lone Starr and Barf leave for Planet Spaceball, Yogurt expresses hope that they’ll all meet again in Spaceballs 2: The Search For More Money.
Fun Facts: Brooks originally wanted to call the picture Planet Moron – but the alleged UK comedy Morons from Outer Space (1985) put paid to the idea.
Rick Moranis (Dark Helmet) also weighed in with Spaceballs III: The Search for Spaceballs II as a possible title. John Hurt cameoed as a character very similar to his hapless Gilbert Kane in Alien, whilst for reasons best known to Brooks, Michael (Basil Exposition from Austin Powers) York provided the voice for an Planet of the Apes-style primate.
Wow. Didn’t think this would turn into a Spaceballs reminiscence…
May the Schwartz be with you!