Thumb Wars. The Star Wars Parody You Forgot Existed.


The 1977 hit film Star Wars (Later retitled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope) is considered one of the biggest science fiction movies of all time. The film spawned a franchise with multiple films, television shows, books, comics, video games and more. Its characters and story are some of the most iconic of all time.

Therefore, it isn’t uncommon for large franchises to revive parodies. The most well known Star Wars parody is the 1987 film Spaceballs. Various other creatives took a crack at it with both Family Guy and Robot Chicken made their own versions. But perhaps one of the strangest parodies is one you may have forgotten even existed. 

In 1999 leading up to the release of The Phantom Menace the company O Entertainment released the half-hour film Thumb Wars: The Phantom Cuticle. The project was helmed by Steve Oedekerk. Odekerk has previously directed and worked on multiple films such as Ace Venture: When Nature Calls, The Nutty Professor and Patch Adams. He is perhaps best known for helping co-create the Jimmy Neutron franchise.

The film is a tongue in cheek parody of A New Hope where instead of live actors they combine puppets that are shaped like human thumbs and a technique called synchro-vox where human mouths and eyes are placed over the puppet’s faces.

The film has many of the same story beats, albeit with over exaggerated delivery. There are also a few risqué jokes, including looking up the princesses’ dress and both the C-3PO and R2-D2 stand-ins having an “intimate moment”.

Following the film’s release Oedekerk decided to continue the thumb-based parody concept and would go on to do spoofs of the 1989 Batman, The Godfather, Titanic, Frankenstein and The Blair Witch Project. A parody of The Matrix was planned but ultimately canceled.

The film faded into obscurity until Cartoon Network decided to air it leading up to the premier of the then upcoming Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series. The version that aired was trimmed down and censored some of the more adult jokes.

After drawing decent numbers Cartoon Network would then air a handful of the other thumb parodies like Frankenthumb and Bat Thumb.

In 2019, after 17 years Steve Oedekerk announced a new thumb film, Thumb Wars: The Thighs of Skyskipper, which serves as a parody of the recent Sequel Trilogy. Sadly, no news has come out since its announcement. Hopefully we’ll see it soon.

Do you remember this strange film? Did you see it back in 1999? Or did you watch it on Cartoon Network back in 2008? Let is know.

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