Back in 1999, when the Star Wars prequels we’re still but a wonderful dream that we’re embraced with giddy anticipation, Steve Oedekerk and pals had an idea. You know that game kids play? Thumb Wars? What if… it was a Star Wars parody?
And thus a really terrible pun that would be barely passing for a child’s joke book became an entire franchise. Thumb Wars: The Phantom Cuticle debuted prior to The Phantom Menace and would be re-aired ahead of The Clone Wars cartoon on the Cartoon Network. (Despite the subtitle, the show would parody primarily A New Hope.)
Yet it was but the first of their parodies. Eventually Oedekerk and his team would make Thumbtanic, The Godthumb, Batthumb, Frankenthumb, and, my favorite, The Blair Thumb. The humor in all of these is really cheesy. During the ill-fated camping trip in The Blair Thumb, our film crew is attacked at night… by a shark. They get into a debate over calling the “nose” a “snout”, and one admits they’ve never seen the Discovery Channel because they don’t have cable.
Also, in Batthumb, the city is renamed Gaaathumb City, which is SO STUPID that I’m rewarding it with a sensible chuckle.
Oedekerk stopped making these around 2002, but he’s always on the lookout for more thumb-based parodies. Among parodies considered but never made were Superthumb, Spiderthumb, Jaws Thumb, Thumbbusters, and Viva Thumb Vegas. Lately, he seems to be in the middle of working on a Thumb Wars sequel: Thumb Wars IX: The Thighs of Skyskipper. (There were no Thumb Wars II to VIII, in case you were wondering.) The primary voice actor seems to be Oedekerk’s daughter. A passing off of the Thumb franchise to a new generation, perhaps?
Thumb Wars IX was supposed to be released on December 1 ahead of the last Star Wars movie, but for some reason that never happened. Still, the trailer seems to indicate that this one’s a feature film —- longer than the other half hour parodies —- so the post-processing might be taking a while. If you want to check out on its progress, go to thumb.com, where Oedekerk informs us “The Beast is still COOKING!”
But do NOT misspell that and put an “s” at the end of “thumb”. That’s taking you to a very questionable website not safe for work.