The story takes place on the deep-space cruiser Dark Star, where a crew of laid-back astronautsare assigned the task of blowing up planets with unsuitable life forms in order to make theuniverse safe for the human race. The leader is Commander Powell, who iscryogenically frozen after being killed in a freak accident. Next in line is Doolittle who tries to keep the rest of the crew in check. However, there is a lot of down time betweenplanetary explosions and the tediousness is starting to get to everyone. However, after a seriesof accidents, a smart bomb --i.e. a bomb that can talk and think on its own-- does not detachitself from the ship as planned and will explode within 24 minutes unless it can be cajoled intodisarming itself.