Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out (DVD Review)10 Apr, 2013 By: John Latchem
Spoofs of pop-culture icons tend to be hit or miss, but a Lego spoof is usually pretty reliable.
The Empire Strikes Out is the second Lego “Star Wars” parody to make it to disc (there are several online shorts), following last year’s The Padawan Menace, but works completely as a standalone piece as well. Whereas Padawan mostly dealt with elements from the prequels, the follow-up explores a hypothetical period that could take place between the original film and The Empire Strikes Back.
After the destruction of the Death Star, the rebels evacuate to Hoth, while Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia lead a mission to destroy a Stormtrooper base on Naboo. C-3PO and Chewbacca are accidentally left behind and take the Millennium Falcon to try to rescue them when the Empire attacks.
Meanwhile, the Emperor starts construction on a new Death Star, and brings back Darth Maul to taunt Darth Vader.
Telling an original story sets the Lego versions apart from conventional spoofs, which usually just try to ape the plot of the movies and layer on a bunch of jokes.
It’s a lot of fun to see original and prequel trilogy elements mixed together. And the movie takes full advantage of the “Lego” part of the title, building in a lot of clever gags involving the use of “Lego physics” to solve problems such as not having an escape ship ready to go. Ships don’t explode, but break into their block components. And, of course, the new Death Star is just an oversized Lego set with a massive instruction manual.
These are adventures and gags that force fans to look at well-known aspects of the films in a new light. And it doesn’t hurt that they’re really funny to boot.