Life in the Slow Lane

August 7, 2008

The best of ‘Star Wars: Robot Chicken’

Filed under: Television — pauljlane @ 10:23 am

Here are some video clips from the “Star Wars: Robot Chicken” DVD. This show is seriously one of the funnier things I’ve ever seen. Following the clips are my original review of the DVD that appeared in Night & Day.

Short of meeting George Lucas, the “Robot Chicken Star Wars” special is as close to nirvana as any “Star Wars” fan can get.
Made for “Star Wars” fans by “Star Wars” fans, the Cartoon Network Adult Swim series devoted a full half-hour episode to parodies of the film franchise.
For the uninitiated, “Robot Chicken” was co-created by Seth Green and uses stop-motion animation to put popular toys into ironic situations (Super Mario and Luigi from the video game “Mario Kart,” for example, driving through the streets of “Grand Theft Auto”).
That off-beat sense of humor is put to great use on the new DVD, as much of the 23-minute special focuses on what might have happened in between scenes from the movies.
Criss-crossing through dozens of short sketches, “Robot Chicken” imagined what it was like when Darth Vader told Emperor Palpatine that the Death Star was blown up; “That thing wasn’t even fully paid off yet,” the Emperor told Vader. “Do you know what that’s going to do to my credit?”
The special also will please haters of Jar-Jar Binks — that is, anyone who likes “Star Wars” — by imagining his ultimate fate (one hint: It involves him reuniting with Anakin Skywalker long after he was transformed into Vader).
When sketches don’t fill in the series’ gaps, they combine elements of the movies with real life, such as President George W. Bush discovering he has Jedi powers.
If that’s not enough, there’s a full-blown skating production called “The Empire on Ice,” which includes clever lyrics plugged into the films’ orchestral arrangements like ‘”The Imperial March.”
Some of this material isn’t meant for younger fans, but that’s part of the reason it’s so funny: Seeing these beloved characters put into such strange situations. This special clearly was a labor of love for everyone involved with the show, and its quality reflects that.
More than 90 minutes of extras also come on the DVD. Some of them might be hard to sit through for even the most die-hard fans, but don’t miss the making-of featurette and bumps segment, which splices together a series of promos that were shot for the special’s original airdate, during which the entire evening’s Cartoon Network lineup was devoted to “Robot Chicken.”
Every single sketch of this show will make any “Star Wars” fan laugh; it might actually be more quotable than the original movies. In any case, this DVD is as much a must-have as the “Star Wars” series itself.

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