Fans of the classic spoof movie Spaceballs can now place bids to win Rick Moranis' helmet from the film. In certain circles, the Star Wars parody is almost as beloved as the movie that inspired it. Directed by the legendary Mel Brooks, Spaceballs takes apart the Star Wars universe in hilarious fashion, re-imagining the Force as a mystical energy called the Schwartz and re-envisioning the menacing Darth Vader as a clueless ninny called Darth Helmet whose intimidating face mask flips up to reveal that underneath he is actually the eternally hapless and hang-dog comedy star Rick Moranis.
With Star Wars now firmly back in the public consciousness thanks to the two movies Disney has already put out and the endless succession of future films being promised, many are clamoring for a Spaceballs sequel. Mel Brooks and MGM have heard the cry and are reportedly talking about putting together a Spaceballs 2, though nothing is imminent. In the meantime, Spaceballs fans can satisfy their craving to re-connect with that movie's crazy universe by bidding on a very significant piece of memorabilia.
As reported by THR, the actual original Dark Helmet headgear worn by Rick Moranis in Spaceballs is now available as an auction item through the firm Invaluable. At last report, the bidding for the Dark Helmet helmet was at $8,000. Here is the official item description:
"Consisting of 20-inches around by 14-inches tall, the cartoonish Darth Vader-stylized helmet is constructed of a heavy vacuum formed plastic component shell affixed to internal construction worker’s hard-hat liner to fit the actor [and] screw-hinged movable faceplate section featuring vents, metalized shower drain mouth piece and triangular embedded tinted see-through lenses."
Among all the comedic performances in Spaceballs, possibly the best and most memorable is Rick Moranis' portrayal of Dark Helmet, a man with a clear inferiority complex who compensates by wearing a scary mask that he has no qualms about removing in order to reveal his true face (perhaps Dark Helmet was actually the inspiration for Kylo Ren?). Some of the best moments in Spaceballs involve Dark Helmet trying to be all intimidating and tough, and then flipping up the face mask and hilariously destroying the effect, making the helmet itself one of the great props in comedy history.
Considering all the talk about a possible Spaceballs 2, perhaps someone at the studio should buy the helmet and make sure it's available if/when the sequel goes into production. Then the only challenge would be luring Rick Moranis out of retirement to put the helmet back on again (which might actually be an impossible task, given Moranis' unwillingness to appear in anything except the odd McKenzie Brothers reunion).
The same auction offering the Dark Helmet helmet also features other bits of Spaceballs memorabilia, including the miniature of Lone Starr and Barf's Eagle 5 space Winnebago that was used for filming, with bidding on that item starting at $20,000. No word on the availability of President Skroob's luggage with the password 1-2-3-4-5.