Coming home from a recent weekend getaway, we found ourselves on an airplane watching some episodes of Family Guy and Robot Chicken on iTunes. And of course, we landed on some of the best work both shows have done: their Star Wars parodies.
Sadly, it’s RUINED the original Star Wars films for me.
The folks at Robot Chicken have long included brief scenes poking fun of the Star Wars films, but they had the brilliant idea in 2007 of compiling them together into a special episode. “Robot Chicken: Star Wars” included favorite spanning the Star Wars franchise, including the original trilogy and the later prequels. The show was an immediate hit, winning awards and fan acclaim.
A few months later, Family Guy opened the sixth season of their animated show with “Blue Harvest” which focused purely on the original Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope film and retold it using Family Guy characters. It had a uniquely Family Guy feel to it, with characters like Han Solo and Luke Skywalker taking on some of the characteristics of the FG characters that portrayed them.
Not to be outdone, Robot Chicken came out with a “Star Wars Episode II” special in 2008. Like their original compilation, in includes scenes from many different Star Wars films. Actors from the original films even added their voices to the effort, including Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) reprising their roles and others.
Next up is the special Family Guy episode “Something, Something, Something, Dark Side“, released on DVD in December 2009 and broadcast on the air in May 2010. Like its predecessor, this one focused on one film in the Star Wars series, this time on Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
All of these are great — but there’s an unfortunate side effect to enjoying them. After watching the parodies, we came home and decided to watch the actual Star Wars films themselves. And while watching Episode IV and Episode V, we found it impossible not to think of the parodies we had just finished. I worry that they will never be the same for me now!
And of course, Family Guy’s “We Have a Bad Feeling About This” (parodying Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi) will be coming sometime next season, and “Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III” is scheduled to air this summer.
I am sure I will laugh hysterically at both, and find more pieces of the Star Wars series impossible to take seriously. I can’t wait!