Robot Chicken: Star Wars (DVD Review)15 Jun, 2008 By: John Latchem
Prebook 6/17/08; Street 7/22/08
Voices of Seth Green, Seth MacFarlane, Breckin Meyer, Malcolm McDowell, Conan O’Brien, Robert Smigel, Ahmed Best, George Lucas.
It can’t be said that “Star Wars” fans don’t appreciate a good parody of their favorite saga. Only a troupe of real fans could assemble something as witty and spot-on as this collection of spoofs from Adult Swim’s “Robot Chicken.”
As it is with the regular series, the creators — led by Seth Green, who won an Annie Award for directing it — find their primary inspiration in re-casting the Star Wars characters in everyday situations, re-imagining scenes from the film with the mundane moments we don’t see. For example, the Walrus Man who gets his arm cut off by Obi-Wan Kenobi in the cantina in Episode IV, it is explained, was a simple architect who worked across the street and stopped in for a quick drink while his buddy decided to have a little fun with the fact that no one could understand his alien language.
The special has the most fun with the Emperor. As voiced by “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, Palpatine morphs into a variation of Stewie Griffin — a sarcastic bureaucrat more interested in a good time than the nitty gritty details of running the galaxy. In one sketch, he interrupts a meeting to take a phone call from Darth Vader and doesn’t know quite how to react to the news that the Rebels blew up the Death Star. In another, he tries to convince construction workers on the second Death Star (a nod to Clerks) to stop making so much noise while he’s berating Luke Skywalker with his evil voice.
Other sketches detail Boba Fett taunting a carbonite-frozen Han Solo, a bizarre Ice Capades adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back, and Darth Vader finally ridding himself of Jar Jar Binks.
Behind-the-scenes material dominates the DVD. The sheer number of aborted storyboards and unused audio should make us grateful for what made it into the final show. Most interesting are the glimpses at the lengthy stop-motion animation process, including the creation of the sets and puppets.
This DVD is a must-have for fans of “Star Wars” and “Robot Chicken.”