Crash Nebula is the twenty-first episode of Season 5. It aired on July 2, 2004, but is considered part of Season 5 in production. Butch Hartman created this episode as a pilot episode for a planned Crash Nebula spin-off show, but the show was never made.
Ever wondered how Crash Nebula became Crash Nebula? Well, Timmy Turner sure did! And luckily for him, they're showing it on TV! "When Sprig Speevak comes to the rescue of an Alien Princess, he becomes the first Earth kid ever to be enrolled in the prestigious 'Celestial Academy!'
The episode chronicled Sprig Speevak, the alter-ego of the hero Crash Nebula.
One day, while Sprig Speevak is doing his "chores" (laying around reading comic books), he sees a giant space ship appear. Out runs a butterfly-esque creature, being chased down by bugdroids. Leaping into action, Sprig saves the creature, who thanks him and introduces herself as Princess Galaxandra. In return for his heroism, she gives him a free scholarship to the Celestial Academy. Sprig happily accepts. When his family hears of it, his parents happily congratulate him, and his father gives him the family manure. His little sister, Sprout, only happily claims that she'll have his room.
Sprig boards the school's bus, expecting the other (alien) students to accept him, especially since he saved the Headmistress. However, he only gets made fun of, with the bully Ving claiming that Sprig was just another free-loader. Sprig luckily makes a friend in the gelataneous Dif, and develops a crush on the popular Ani, who has no interest in him whatsoever.
Throughout the entire day, Sprig gets made fun of and beaten up by Ving, Rockwell and Felos, the destructive trio. When it's time for Galactic Defense 101, Ving and Sprig compete to get the Nebula 3000 Suit, which is the dream of every Celestial Academy student.
Unfortunately, a portal into space is opened (thanks to Sprig) and Ani is in danger of being sucked into space. In a desperate attempt to rescue her, Sprig dons the Nebula 3000 Suit and uses its abilities to get Ani out of harm's way. Unsurprisingly, the suit's batteries run low, leaving both Sprig and Ani in danger.
Sprig remembers his family's manure, and quickly uses it as a fuel source. With the suit powered back up, Sprig closes the portal, causing major damage in the process. When he and Ani are safe, she yells, "You idiot! You crashed the Nebula!"
Sprig exclaims, "That's it!" and calls himself Crash Nebula from that day forth.
The episode included two segments of Timmy, one at the beginning of the where Cosmo and Wanda are trying to guess what the episode is about. When Timmy finally yells at them which episode it is, the Crash Nebula episode had ended, and Timmy missed the whole thing.
Sprig Speevak/Crash Nebula: (James Arnold Taylor) Sprig was just a normal earthling until one day he was sent to the "Celestial Academy". There, he must survive space school, earn the crash suit, and become: "Crash Nebula; Space Hero!"
Dif: (Jim Ward) An alien that Sprig met in the Celestial Academy, he's just one big blob with a big heart. He immediately became friends with Sprig.
Chuck: (Richard Horvitz) Another alien Sprig met in the Celestial Academy, Chuck's a turkey, but he's not just any turkey. Upset him, and he'll get his missiles out. So don't mess with Chuck... especially about treating turkeys in a "harmful" way.
Sprout Speevak: (Tara Strong) Sprig's annoying, bratty sister. Like most siblings, she and Sprig tend to get into fights.
Ving: (Justin Berfield) The big, bad bully at the Celestial Academy, he became Sprig's enemy right away. Ving wears a black cape & has pointed ears, making him look like a vampire. Ving's jealous of Sprig because he saved Princess Galaxandra and became her favorite student. Ving has the power to turn into a huge giant and do some massive damage.
Felos: (Carlos Alazraqui) One of Ving's pals. He's a big blue cat alien with black stripes, and huge claws. He can give you quite a scratch with those claws, but he's easily distracted. So if you're Felos' enemy, be sure to have a ball of yarn handy.
Rockwell: (Michael Clarke Duncan) He, along with Felos, and Ving are the destructive trio. Rockwell is an alien that looks to be made of rock, giving him great strength, but his weakness is his brain, and he also has no ears.
Ani: (Nika Futterman) A girl from an anti-matter universe. At first, she didn't like Sprig. After he saved her life, she begins to warm up to him. Ving claims that she's his soon-to-be girlfriend, but Ani wouldn't date him even if he were the last guy in the universe.
Pam Dromeda: (Queen Latifah) The toughest teacher in the Space Celestial Academy. She teaches Galactic Defense 101. Princess Galaxandra assigned her to tutor Sprig on the Nebula 5 Battle Suit.
Princess Galaxandra: (Susan Blakeslee) The Headmistress of the Celestial Academy. Sprig saved her life when she was being chased by little bug-like androids (bugdroids). She shows her gratitude by having Sprig enroll in the Celestial Academy. She sees true greatness in Sprig.
Delays and cancellation
After a long while of speculation, Butch Hartman confirmed on January 24, 2006 that the whole project was called off and that the series was not going to be made. He does, though, intend to "keep trying", and the concept may come back someday. According to character designer Ben Balistreri, Nickelodeon's decision to shelve the series idea was because the pilot didn't focus test well.
The concept was also written as a movie script and pitched to Paramount Pictures as a feature film. It would have been entitled Crash Nebula: The Movie. However, it was rejected, as there were too many similarities to Sky High, a movie already being put out by Walt Disney Pictures. Crash Nebula is very similar to and possibly inspired by an earlier cartoon, Galaxy High.