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Adult Swim Hopes Force Is With 'Robot Chicken: Star Wars'

<i>Robot Chicken: Star Wars</i>
Robot Chicken: Star Wars

By John Latchem | Posted: 26 Mar 2008

Cartoon Network's Adult Swim hopes to put some ‘Star Wars'-sized marketing muscle behind its upcoming DVD release of Robot Chicken: Star Wars. For that reason, Warner Home Video has pushed the street date to July 22 to coincide not only with the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con International July 24-27, but also the Aug. 15 theatrical release of the CG-animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

“We think ‘Robot Chicken' fans are going to buy this,” said Erik Resnick, senior director of Cartoon Network Enterprises. “We want to expand that circle to include ‘Star Wars' fans as well. We're trying to be everywhere ‘Star Wars' fans will be.”

The half-hour special, which debuted on Cartoon Network last year, features stop-motion animated parodies of the “Star Wars” movies and pop-culture phenomenon, in the style of the “Robot Chicken” sketch-comedy show created by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, and co-written by Breckin Meyer.

Green won an Annie Award for Directing in an Animated TV Production for the episode.Voice cameos include Conan O'Brien, Malcolm McDowell, Hulk Hogan, James Van Der Beek, Robert Smigel, Donald Faison, Abraham Benrubi, Joey Fatone, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, and even “Star Wars” creator George Lucas.

“We're working really closely with Lucasfilm,” Resnick said. “The DVD is advertised on the home page of the [StarWars.com] Web site.”

The $14.97 DVD includes two hours of bonus material, including commentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes, alternate audio tracks, deleted scenes and panel discussions.

“The special features go on and on and on,” Resnick said. “Seth's name isn't just on it as an executive producer. He knows about every aspect of what goes into making the show. Those guys put so much thought into them.”

Resnick has reason to be optimistic about the potential success of Robot Chicken: Star Wars. Three years after the last live-action “Star Wars” film, the franchise remains popular. The Aug. 15 Clone Wars movie kicks off a new animated series on Cartoon Network. And a DVD of a special “Family Guy” episode spoofing the original “Star Wars” film earned the No. 1 sales spot the week it was released in January.

“‘Family Guy' is a phenomenon,” Resnick said. “But ‘Robot Chicken' has a different place in the market. It's more niche.”

Resnick hopes the wealth of bonus materials and inexpensive price will entice “Star Wars” fans who aren't already familiar with the material.

The DVD promotional tour kicked off with the Wizard World Los Angeles convention in March, and continues at the New York Comic Con with a “Robot Chicken” panel featuring Green and Senreich. At San Diego Comic-Con International, Green and Senreich are scheduled to appear at the annual Lucasfilm panel, and Cartoon Network is planning an evening “Robot Chicken” event, Resnick said. Also in the works is a merchandise line that includes an array of T-shirts.

The DVD was originally set for May 20. Prebook date remains April 15.

Robot Chicken: Star Wars follows the successful DVD release of the first two seasons of “Robot Chicken.” Resnick said the “Star Wars” special will be a standalone DVD and the episode will not be included with the future third-season DVD release.

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