Spaceballs: The Wiki

"You went over my helmet!?"

Dark Helmet expressing anger at a Spaceball.[src]

Dark Helmet was a villainous Spaceball who possessed the The Downside of the Schwartz and assisted President Skroob in gathering more air for Planet Spaceball.


On one occasion, he boarded Spaceball I, then used the Schwartz on Sergeant Rico by hitting his crotch for going "over [his] helmet" by contacting the President before he did.[1]

Soon, while watching radar, Dark Helmet saw a runaway Princess Vespa of Planet Druidia in range and, realizing she'd be the perfect pawn in acquiring more air for Planet Spaceball, proceeded to kidnap her. Her father, King Roland, proceeded to make an offer with Lone Starr and Barf to rescue her for 1,000,000 spacebucks.[1]

Once Lone Starr got in position, he and Barf jam Spaceball I's radar with a giant jar of raspberry jam. As the jam leaked all over the radar screen, Dark Helmet proclaimed that his old enemy, Lone Starr, must be trying to foil their scheme. Spaceball I then pursued the Eagle 5, before it went into hyperactive. Dark Helmet ordered Spaceball I to go into Ludicrous Speed to catch up. This only resulted in the ship passing over the Eagle 5, and Dark Helmet crashing into equipment as a result of a sudden stop.[1]

At the suggestion of Colonel Sandurz, Dark Helmet used an "instant cassette" of Spaceballs to track the heroes to the Moon of Vega. An attempt by the henchmen to "comb the desert" for them proved fruitless until they ditched the giant combs, and Helmet used the Schwartz to track Vespa down to Yogurt's lair. He lured Vespa and her robot Dot Matrix into his grasp by disguising himself as her father.[1]

Helmet demanded King Roland that he give the code to Planet Druidia's air shield, or else he will have Vespa undergo a nose job that would undo the one she received for her 16th birthday. Roland gave in, and divulged the code: 1-2-3-4-5. Thus, Vespa was locked in a dungeon with Dot instead of undergoing the surgery. However, Lone Starr and Barf traveled to Planet Spaceball and rescue her.[1]

After Spaceball I opened the air shield, it transformed into Mega Maid and began sucking the air up from Druidia into a giant vacuum cleaner. However, Lone Starr foiled the plan as he used the Schwartz to switch Mega Maid's vacuum from "suck" to "blow," blowing all the air back onto the planet. He proceeded to infiltrate Spaceball I in search of a way to destroy the ship.[1]

Once Lone Starr entered the room containing Spaceball I's self-destruct button, Dark Helmet dueled him to keep him from pressing it. During the fight, Helmet tricked Lone Starr into giving him his Schwartz-ring. However, Yogurt told Lone Starr that the Schwartz is actually in him, so when Helmet aimed the Schwartz of his ring at Lone Starr's "two best friends," Lone Starr deflected it with a mirror, pushing Helmet into hitting the self destruct button with his helmet.[1]

Dark Helmet met his ultimate end after he, Sandurz, and Skroob failed to reach escape pods before Spaceball I exploded, landing them on the Planet of the apes.[1]

Alternate timeline[]

Dark helmet

Dark Helmet was born Panakin Crybaby. When he was a child, he and his mother were slaves to President Skroob's father in his department store, where Panakin invented a K-cup bra. Shortly after Panakin introduced his invention to his mother, Yogurt visited the store in search of a birthday bra for his wife, Yenta. Yogurt quickly settled on the K-cup bra and noticed that Panakin was strong in the Schwartz, so offered to purchase him. However, Panakin had just been purchased by the Sithee, Outlet Mall. Panakin challenged Mall to a NasPod race. They agreed that if Panakin won, he would go with Yogurt, and if he lost, he would go with Mall and work for double-free.[2]

During the race, Mall tried several tactics to ensure Panakin's loss, but at Yogurt's urging, he fixed his self-made racer (which resembled a giant bra) and burned his mother's tax forms for fuel, launching him past the finish line just ahead of Mall. Panakin tearfully said goodbye to his mother, who was too busy paying attention to the television show Desperate Houseslaves.[2]

Yogurt took Panakin to Yogurt's Academy of Schwartz Mastery and Dirty Dancing, where he was trained in the way of the Schwartz for five years. Soon, the academy was visited by Princess Harley Van Patten and Panakin used the Schwartz to seduce her.[2]

Panakin went to Beggar's Canyon to find his mother, who was bitter over her financial situation, owing money to the Galactic Revenue Service (GRS). Two GRS agents briefly pursued Panakin's mother until she tripped and hit her head on a rock, in her dying breath wishing she had worn a helmet. Panakin used his Schwartz-ring to slaughter the GRS representatives.[2]

Upon his return to the academy, Panakin asked Harley to marry him, but she could not because he was yet to be a Schwartz Master. He offered to Yogurt to return the students who had been taught the ways of the Sithee by Outlet Mall. He confronted Outlet Mall near a bottomless pit and the two fought, ending in Mall falling down the pit and Panakin having a bump on his head. Skroob emerged, offering to bring Panakin to the Schmart side of the Schwartz, where he'd immediately be made a master, thus able to marry Harley.[2]

Panakin returned to Harley with the news that they could marry. However, she was disgusted by the bump on his head and left. To cover the bump, Skroob placed a helmet on Panakin's head, christening him Dark Helmet.[2]

Behind the scenes[]

  • The scene in which Dark Helmet is playing with his dolls was not in the screenplay. Writer, producer, and director Mel Brooks came up with the idea on the set one day and told this to Rick Moranis, who then improvised the entire scene. (Some of this dialogue reveals that Dark Helmet has a crush on Princess Vespa.)
  • Spaceballs marked the fourth time that Rick Moranis worked with John Candy, the actor who played Barf. First, they both became regular cast members in SCTV. Then, they both played secondary roles in Brewster's Millions. Later, Moranis landed the male lead role of Little Shop of Horrors, and Candy made a cameo. Unlike all those other works, though, Moranis and Candy never share a scene.
  • Another connection to Candy and Moranis is Ghostbusters. John Candy had previously worked with director Ivan

    In 2017, the original screen used helmet worn by Rick Moranis was put on auction. It sold for around $10k. 

    Reitman and actors Bill Murray and Harold Ramis in Stripes. Reitman and Ramis had seriously considered Candy for the role of Louis Tully, and early draft storyboards showed drawings of Candy fleeing a "Terror Dog" in one of the film's iconic scenes. However, Candy backed out of filming, and Rick Moranis was ultimately cast as Louis Tully. John Candy, however, did a cameo in Ray Parker Junior's music video Ghostbusters, which was the monster best-selling title soundtrack.
20200505 011543

Dark Helmet's Helmet compared to the Stalhelm.

  • From the side, his helmet looks a lot like a massive version of the Stahlhelm, the German soldier helmet used primarily in the second world war.
  • The helmet was made of vacuum formed plastic for the exterior, with a construction helmet inside to fit Rick Moranis' head. The visor or faceplate was screw hinged so it could move up and downand featured vents for breathing. The mouthpiece was made out of a shower drain and the eye lenses were tinted see through plastic.
Adam vs Helmet

Adam Goldberg fighting Helmet

  • Rick Moranis voiced the character again in Season 5, Episode 21 (entitled "Spaceballs") of The Goldbergs. In the episode, Adam Goldberg starts a Mel Brooks fan club after watching Spaceballs, but Jackie mistakes his club advertisement for political satire. Near the end of the episode, he encounters Dark Helmet in a dream sequence. The two battle it out with Schwartz-rings, until Helmet accidentally drops the script for Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money. Helmet uses his figurines to act it out, which Adam loves. Adam and Helmet agree to work together to make the sequel before Adam wakes up.


  • Dark Helmet is a parody of the Star Wars franchise's Darth Vader.
  • Dark Helmet lowers his voice when closing his helmet, and speaks at a normal tone after opening it. (Rick Moranis himself decided to do this.)
  • Dark Helmet claims to be Lone Starr's father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate. When Lone Starr asks, "What does that make us?" Helmet answers, "Absolutely nothing, which is what you are about to become!" However, he reveals he is the former roommate of Lone Starr's cousin.
  • In the animated series, Dark Helmet is much shorter, as opposed to him being nearly as tall as President Skroob and Colonel Sandurz in the film.
  • It's possible that Dark Helmet has redeemable features, as he sticks his tongue out and makes mean faces at President Skroob in one scene. This suggests that, deep down, he hates working for President Skroob, one of the reasons is that Dark Helmet is jealous of him because of his ability to get two twin girls to sleep with him.
  • Dark Helmet's rank on the 5-Bad Band would be the Dragon, since he is the right-hand man of the series' main antagonist, President Skroob.
  • Helmet's line "Ready, Kafka?" Is a reference to the book 'Metamorphosis' by Franz Kafka, written in 1915. It tells the story of a man who turned into a giant insect overnight.


  • "What the hell am I looking at?"
  • " Evil will always triumph because good is dumb."
  • "I am your father's, brother's, nephew's, cousin's, former roommate."
  • "How many Assholes we got on this ship anyhow?" (...) "I knew it, I'm surrounded by assholes!"
  • "I see your Schwartz is as big as mine."
  • "No, you fool. We're following orders. We were told to comb the desert, so we're combing it."
  • coughing through helmet* *coughing through helmet again* "I can't breathe in this thing!"
  • "What? You went over my helmet?"
  • "What's the matter, Sandurz? Chicken?"
  • "Ludicrous speed, GO!"
  • "What have I done?! My brains are going into my feet!"
  • "So, the combination is 1-2-3-4-5. That's the stupidest combination I ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!"
  • "Fuck! Even in the future, nothing works."
  • "Smoke if you got 'em."