Planet Spaceball, led by the incompetent President Skroob, has squandered all of its fresh air. Skroob schemes to force King Roland of the neighboring planet Druidia to give them the code to the shield that protects Druidia, allowing them to steal all their air, by kidnapping his daughter Princess Vespa on the day of her arranged marriage to the narcoleptic Prince Valium. Skroob sends the villainous Dark Helmet to complete this task with Spaceball One, an impossibly huge ship commanded by Colonel Sandurz. Before they can arrive, Vespa abandons her wedding and flees the planet in her Mercedes spaceship with her droid of honor, Dot Matrix.
Roland contacts mercenary Lone Starr and his “mawg” (half man, half dog) companion Barf, offering a lucrative reward to retrieve Vespa before she is captured. Lone Starr readily accepts, as he is in major debt to gangster Pizza the Hutt. In their Winnebago spaceship, Eagle 5, Lone Starr and Barf are able to reach Vespa before Spaceball One, rescue both her and Dot, then escape. Spaceball One tries to follow at light-speed, but Helmet orders the ship to “ludicrous speed”, causing it to overshoot the escapees by a large distance.
Out of fuel, Lone Starr is forced to crash-land on the nearby “desert moon of Vega”. The group travels on foot in order to evade the Spaceballs, but they eventually pass out under the blazing sun. They are found by the Dinks, a group of diminutive sparkly brown-clad aliens, and are taken to a cave occupied by the sage Yogurt, who introduces the group and the audience to the film’s merchandising campaign. Yogurt later teaches Lone Starr about the metaphysical power known as “the Schwartz”, and gives him a ring which can be used to control the “Upside” of the Schwartz. During this time, Lone Starr and Vespa develop romantic feelings for each other, but Vespa insists she can only marry a prince.
Helmet and Sandurz break the fourth wall by using a VHS copy of Spaceballs to discover Vespa’s location, and Helmet orders Spaceball One to go to the moon of Vega. When Helmet discovers Yogurt’s lair, he lures Vespa out by pretending to be Roland and captures both her and Dot, taking them back to planet Spaceball. He then threatens to reverse Vespa’s nose job, forcing Roland to reveal the code to Druidia’s shield. Helmet and Sandurz take Spaceball One to Druidia, while Lone Starr and Barf rescue Vespa and Dot from the Spaceballs prison complex. When they arrive at Druidia, Spaceball One transforms into Mega Maid, a Statue of Liberty-like colossal robot maid with a vacuum cleaner. The vacuum is activated and begins sucking the air off the planet. When the vacuum bag is almost full, Lone Starr uses the Schwartz to reverse the vacuum, blowing the air back onto the planet.
The group then enters Mega Maid and attempts to destroy it. Helmet intercepts Lone Starr and reveals that he is his father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate. Lone Starr and Helmet fight using lightsaber-like weapons created by their Schwartz-rings, until the former loses his ring. Yogurt speaks to Lone Starr, telling him that the ring was a Cracker Jack box prize and that the real Schwartz is inside him. Lone Starr defeats Helmet, causing him to involuntarily strike the self-destruct button. Lone Starr and his friends escape the ship, while Skroob, Helmet, and Sandurz fail to reach any escape pods in time, trapping them in the robot’s head as the ship explodes. They subsequently crash-land on a nearby planet, much to the chagrin of its Planet of the Apes-like population.
With Lone Starr’s debt to Pizza nullified by the gangster’s untimely death, he returns Vespa to Roland and leaves, taking only enough money to cover his expenses. After a lunch break at a diner and a strange incident involving an alien and an astronaut similar to the events in Alien, Lone Starr finds a final message from Yogurt, informing him that the medallion necklace Lone Starr has been wearing reveals that he is a prince, and thus eligible to marry Vespa. He reaches Druidia in time to stop her wedding to Valium, announces his royal lineage, then marries Vespa.
The final scene shows Eagle 5 flying off into the stars, its glowing exhaust revealing a message to the audience: MAY THE SCHWARTZ BE WITH YOU.
A fun spoof off Star Wars. I normally don’t enjoy the spoof films but this is a classic.