Flash Gordon—both the ‘30s comic strip and the serials that followed—has had an immeasurable impact on the landscape of science fiction. George Lucas, in particular, counts the space opera among his myriad inspirations for the original Star Wars trilogy. The old-fashioned wipes between scenes are straight out of Flash Gordon. Princess Leia’s famous cinnamon bun hairstyle might be, too.
There’s one element of Flash Gordon, however, that sadly didn’t make its way to the Galaxy Far Far Away. That element is Flash Gordon’s booty shorts.
Gaze upon the gloriously bare thighs of Buster Crabbe and weep for what might have been.
Flash, savior of the universe, stands slightly askance, leaning against a giant bird statue. His come-hither expression and raised eyebrow tell us exactly what he's thinking: "Sooooo... You like the shorts, huh? Most men can't rock a 2-, 3-centimeter inseam. But I say, when you put as much effort as I have into cultivating this lush garden of thigh hair, it would be a shame to deprive the lllllllladies.
"And most men, they'd be insecure rocking a belt the width of a credit card. Think it'd make 'em look insecure, like they're overcompensating or something. But not me. I know I have nothing to worry about—not with my short shorts showing every nook and cranny. What's to hide? And what's a credit card? I don't know. I'm in a vision of the future invented in the '30s. We don't have those here.
Oh, and the sword? The sword is my penis."
Imagine what we could have had. A New Hope came out in the '70s, after all; short shorts and body hair were fashionable for men. Luke Skywalker baring his tender inner thighs to the harsh winds of Tatooine. The soft swish swish of Darth Vader's short shorts alerting terrified Imperial officers to his incoming presence. Han Solo getting his ass stuck to the leather seat of the Millennium Falcon. Old Ben Kenobi, dressed in the typical robes of the Jedi Order, but underneath: booty shorts.
What a world.