If considered only in comparison to the original, Airplane II: The Sequel is not in the same league as that uniquely gut-busting trendsetter. But it still stacks up quite well against most parodies, and a lot of other comedies in general. Setting this doomed flight on a space shuttle widens the lampoon to include sci-fi movies and opens up a new spectrum of possible jokes, including the ship getting fixed on a collision course with the sun by its shipboard computer, a goof on the H.A.L. 9000. Sure, the jokes are obvious, but part of the film's gleeful appeal is that it revels in that very obviousness. By bringing back dozens of the characters, including many of the passengers, and using an almost identical structure, the sequel might even be considered a parody of the original, rather than just its extension. Easily its funniest element is William Shatner, who takes over the Robert Stack role of the grizzled veteran on the ground trying to talk pilot Striker down. Although there had always been a winking self-awareness to Shatner's overacting, Airplane II was his first real opportunity to let loose, and it brought big laughs. His flip-out over the apparent meaninglessness of all the blinking and flashing lights in his moon base is classic. Apparently, after two installments, the "been there, done that" quotient was high enough for Paramount to leave well enough alone -- the Airplane III promised in the closing credits has never materialized.