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Robot Chicken: Star Wars DVD


Having grown up during the time before the STAR WARS franchise dissolved into one of the most atrocious, half-assed, soulless, creatively devoid, childhood memory-raping, merchandise driven, money making exercises ever witnessed by mankind, the more astute of you may have picked up upon the hint of bitterness which creeps into my posts, whenever the subject of said saga arises. In the past I’ve attempted to qualify myself as an offended former fan of the Star Wars movies, but never have I seen my feelings about the saga put into a more succinct manor than by the writers of a particular ROBOT CHICKEN sketch.

The sketch in question is one which wasn’t created specifically for the Robot Chicken: Star Wars special, instead it comes from an earlier episode of the series and is a parody of the classic scene from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK where Darth Vader reveals that he is Luke Skywalker’s father. The sketch progresses with Vader revealing more and more ‘spoilers’, and with Luke’s frustration growing as each revelation seems less and less plausible. I’m not suggesting that the writers of Robot Chicken are as bitter about the demise of the Star Wars franchise as I am. There is most certainly though, evidence that they acknowledge what’s become of George Lucas’ creation, however they manage to do it in a much funnier manner than I ever could… and with far fewer expletives.

In reality there isn’t too much more to say about the Robot Chicken Star Wars Special itself, at least not without ruining a lot of the gags. I will say that, after watching the DVD (twice), it’s abundantly clear that a phenomenal amount of ‘research’ has gone into the creation of these Star Wars themed sketches and that very little from the universe far far away remains ‘right side up’ by the time the Robot Chicken crew have had their way with it. While I mentioned my own bitterness before, it’s pretty clear that the writers of these sketches come at them from a place of fondness for the franchise and their barbs and arrows are more like the ones that you throw at a good friend when he’s being a tool, than anything that can be taken as a serious slight.

The Special itself is rather short, and it’d be completely reasonable to dismiss the idea of buying this DVD on that bases had the thing not been packed to the rafters with bonus content. There’s a pile of shorts, most featuring the creators / producers Seth Green, Matthew Senreich and writer / voice actor Breckin Meyer, extra audio tracks, a panel presentation and stacks of production oriented extras. The quick, hit and run, nature of Robot Chicken sketches means that any attempt at a normal commentary track is rendered utterly pointless, however the Robot Chicken Star Wars DVD works around this by including a ‘chicken nuggets’ commentary. Basically this extra allows the viewer to click away from the feature and watch a short video of Green and Senreich discussing the creation of the sketch (often three or four times longer than the sketch itself).

I really can’t speak highly enough of Robot Chicken and this special really is some of the best stuff we’ve seen from these guys. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ll love it. If you’re an embittered former Star Wars fan (like me), you’ll love it too. But most of all, If you’re a Robot Chicken fan, or just a fan of great animation and well written sketches, then you really owe it to yourself to grab this DVD. [source]

Programme content, package design and supplementary material © 2008 Cartoon Network. ADULT SWIM, the logo, ROBOT CHICKEN and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © 2008 Cartoon Network. A Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.
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    Robot Chicken is, as you so well described, great at throwing crap onto things they love, have loved or wish they could love again. Its great piss-taking humour done in a very unique way. My only gripe with your good read mate, is the whole ‘childhood memory-raping’ thing. What I dont understand is how can you let something that you don’t like have such a horribly detailed effect on your childhood memories?

    I for one loved the original Star Wars movies, and nothing since them has ‘raped’ any part of the kid in me that still gets goosebumpts at John Williams’ score when Luke stands outside his house and you see them moons. I find it a shame that people ‘let’ this newer stuff ruin their appreciation of the world as a whole.

    Robot Chicken Star Wars would hopefully remind you that sometimes the best way to get back at something you feel as aggrieved you is to not scream ‘rape’ but ‘you suck’. And take the DVD out of the player. Or something.

    /end rant

  • I’d agree… if I were able to purchase the same versions of the movies that I saw as a kid on my viewing media of choice today… like I can with movie that were made 10 and even 20 years before the original Star Wars movies.

    It’s not JUST the fact that Lucas has taken two and a bit awesome movies and surrounded them with new, crappily written, ‘stories’ which actually detract from the very heart of the original movies… but that he’s even fucked with the original movies.

    Three words for you Morgs: Han.shot.first

    Maybe you’ll find more of my perspective in this post:

    ~ love elroy

  • The majority of Robot Chicken i’ve seen is related to this DVD. Hilarious, and by 2008, I’ve seen it/heard it all.

    StarWars occupies a unique space in the pop arena – it’s so ubiquitous that even an hour of jaded parody doesn’t necessarily compromise it for me. Let’s put it this way – if Lucas didn’t manage to put me off the whole franchise with Ep1, 2 and 3, Robot Chicken isn’t going to either.

    Thanks to the 100 odd novels that Lucas hasn’t been involved with, the StarWars Universe is still quite bright for me!

  • You misunderstood Buzzmoo. I wasn’t at all suggesting that the Robot Chicken guys has anything to do with my Lucas related bitterness.

    I think that my perspective on this subject is a little bit hard for you guys to understand. I’ve got a few years on you two and as such actually remember a pre-Star Wars era… I don’t just mean that I remember a time before I saw Star Wars, but I mean I remember a time before ANYONE saw anything like Star Wars. You guys have grown up watching movies and seeing television shows that have only existed because of the impact that Star Wars made on the world.

    I don’t just mean technically either. While its technical achievements are widely regarded (by everyone apart from Lucas, it would seem) as being landmarks in film making. Its real impact resonated through everything else that followed from it. It’s impossible to list the names of people who are now creating the television shows and movies that we love today BECAUSE they live in a post Star Wars universe. It’s also impossible to name the shows and movies that were only ever made because Star Wars proved that there was potential to make a profit with science fiction or fantasy films.

    As far as I’m concerned that makes Star Wars sacred ground… or at least it was before Lucas build a casino there. Morgs, you’re probably right, ‘raping’ is probably too harsh a term, but it’s a lot easier to use than “sat me down and explained that Santa Clause, the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny and Kwanzaa bot are all imaginary, that my puppy is dead, and then stole my piggy bank… and deleted all my midget porn.”

    I respect your opinions guys, but I’m pulling a Grand Pa Simpson on you this time and that’s all there is to it….

    … back in my day, we wore an onion on our belts, which was the fashion at the time…

    Apparently I’ve been incorrect in my belief that you can’t get the original versions of the original trilogy anymore. But Furious informs me that I have to buy the special edition versions to get them… f that.

  • I will try to keep this short as I am posting from my iPhone as it is presently the only computer with Internet access I have, but I’ve got to agree with Elroy here, I can’t even watch the original movies now without knowing what I know thanks to the prequels (though I haven’t seen Ep3 and am unlikely to). I grew up the biggest Star Wars nerd at school, even into highschool it wasn’t far from my mind, and had the story ended there I could probably look back with fond memories, now I only look back with shame, disgust and self-loathing. It seems shocking to me now that I could have invested so much time into a series that would ultately be undone by it’s creator, a man I once revered, who now I only think of as “that fat fuck”.

    If someone else had taken up the mantle and continued Georgie’s work (say if he’d died like Robert Ludlum had) then I probably wouldn’t mind so much. It might well have been a better prequel series than we currently have.

    Then again, that might not have been true either, look at what happened to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie. Though I think that was screwed even before Douglas Adams shuffled off this mortal coil.

    See? Told you I’d keep it short.

  • That could have been a lot shorter if you’d just posted “I’ve got an iPhone” and not worried about all that stuff that you pretended you wanted to say as well :P

  • PRE-Star Wars era? Never heard of it.
    But that would be, like, 10PSW = ten years before A New Hope?
    I wonder how long ABY that makes it to be. Or would that be BBY..

    I own Phantom Menace on VHS (for some reason) and nothing else – I wouldn’t be apposed to buying a box set with all versions in.. there’s some footage from the Widescreen edition that I really like that didn’t make it past VHS afaik, plus there’s a laser disk version I understand..

    In fact I’m going to threaten once again to cut a StarWars MEGA EDIT…

  • […] the thought provoking and steadily deepening StarWars conversation over at Elroy’s review of Robot Chicken: StarWars DVD. It’s likely The Force is involved somehow (The Unifying kind, not the dark/light […]