Are you looking forward to the third instalment of Seth Green's Star Wars parody? Possibly not as much as blogger and fan Steven Ellis
I'm excited about an upcoming release with the Star Wars logo on it. No, I'm not talking about the Blu-ray versions of the saga, I've bought quite enough copies of those films, thank you George. I'm referring to next month's release of the third instalment of the Robot Chicken Star Wars specials.
Over the years there have been plenty of Star Wars related comedy efforts, from the Weird Al Yankovic songs to the Space Balls movie, even Friends had a few SW jokes. Remember Rachel in the slave girl outfit? Yeah, you do…
It's to be expected, Star Wars is part of pop culture, replete with references everybody will get. It's ripe for comedy lampooning.
Strangely enough two US comedy cartoon series both turned their attention to the Star Wars universe around the same time a couple of years ago. Within months of each other Robot Chicken and Family Guy both released a Star Wars themed episode. Odd considering Seth Green and Seth MacFarlane are involved with both shows and feature heavily in all of the parodies. I wonder if there was some friendly rivalry going on there?
Robot Chicken went first with an episode dedicated to comedy skits and sketches where as Family Guy re-made the films with their own characters taking the lead roles. Both approaches worked well. But Family Guy 's second and third efforts, parodying Empire and Jedi , lost their way a bit.
You could tell the episodes were made with real care and attention to the SW universe but I think they stayed too close to the original source and that didn't leave much room for the comedy. The high point for Family Guy (aside from some stunningly recreated space scenes) was the "Well stay here and rot, you stuck up bitch" line when Chris (as Luke) goes to rescue Lois (as Leia) from the Death Star prison cell. The low point was a rather crude murder-the-AT-AT-foetus joke.
Another drawback was the inclusion of American Dad characters when they started to run out of Family Guy characters to use. I'm not a watcher of American Dad so these characters all fell flat for me.
Robot Chicken on the other hand started well and just seemed to get better and better with each new episode. The second episode is my favourite of the three but there is very little between them. The jokes come fast and furious; from tiny five second sketches to longer more involved scenes, they hit the mark time and again. The three episodes are full of quotable lines and the characterizations are spot on, if a little removed from George Lucas' visions.
There are many memorable scenes over the three episodes, from a Vader/Luke vs Jango/Boba father-and-son dance-off competition to the repeated massacre of Ewoks by various means. Every character you can think of shows up, well known and background characters get equal levels of ridicule from the Robot Chicken crew. From Admiral Ackbar selling fish products and comedy bounty hunters talking good manners right through to JarJar Binks as a Force Ghost and Gary the Stormtrooper's take your daughter to work day, everyone is a target.
Two character stand out above the rest; the Emperor and Boba Fett . The Emperor as a grumpy sarcastic old man, and Boba Fett as the cooler-than-cool ladies man bounty hunter. They appear far more than anyone else and they get all of the best jokes and lines. Oddly enough the guy who played young Boba Fett in the prequels, when asked what trait he's most like to have from the character in an SFX interview, said that he'd like to have Boba's luck with the ladies and I'm pretty sure it's the Robot Chicken Boba he's thinking of and not the Lucas one.
If you're a fan of Star Wars and you haven't yet seen these shows I urge you to get your hands on them and give them a watch. If you have seen them before, watch them again, they're a lot funnier than you remember, either way you won't regret it. These shows prove to me that there is still a lot of love for Star Wars out there, even thought Lucas fumbled the ball with the prequels, someone still cares enough to parody Star Wars mercilessly and still show nothing but love and reverence whilst doing so.
Steven Ellis is one of our regular bloggers. Meet them all here .