Robot Chicken Star Wars II

Saturday, 18 July 2009 15:57

Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II is out now on DVD. As per the first time, we travel to a galaxy far, far away to create a second, all new “Star Wars” themed feature special. Their second take on the biggest SF film franchise of all time combines the satirical sensibilities of Seth Green (Scott Evil in “Austin Powers”, Oz in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Chris Griffin in Family Guy) and Matthew Senreich’s Emmy Award winning Robot Chicken lampoons unforgettable moments and favourite characters from the “Star Wars” universe.

This special feature, directed by Green, is a follow-up to last years Robot Chicken: Star Wars. Adult Swim transforms “Star Wars” into a stop-motion animated world and features original “Star Wars” lead actress Carrie Fisher reprising her role as Princess Leia, Billy Dee Williams makes his comeback as Lando Calrissian. Seth MacFarlane portrays Emperor Palpatine, Breckin Meyer (“Road Trip”, “Clueless”) is Admiral Ackbar and Boba Fett, whilst Seth Green himself plays Ponda Baba and many other characters.

Robot Chicken Star Wars II DVDConan O’Brien (the legendary American talk show host) is Zuckuss and Donald Faison (Scrubs) are also part of the cast.

The mighty Lucasfilm Ltd commented officially: “We were big fans of the work that Matt and Seth had done, so when they approached us with the idea to make a Robot Chicken episode dedicated to “Star Wars” we were really enthusiastic about it. They caught the humour and fun side of “Star Wars” and put an entirely different spin on it. We think “Star Wars” fans are really going to enjoy it.”

Robot Chicken: Star Wars II reunites viewers with Emperor Palpatine who, tiring of Darth Vader’s incompetence, seeks advice from Alfonso, the hairdresser, during a routine trim. Gary the Storm Trooper is forced to take his daughter to work to keep the wife happy (not as simple as it sounds when your boss is the Dark Lord of the Sith) and Luke and Darth Vader bond over a father/son fishing trip.

This release, much like its predecessor from the Robot Chicken gang, falls into the category of what I describe as 'niche comedy'.  For people who are not fans of the Star Wars franchise, or at least have more than a passing familiarity with its story, plots and universe, the whole thing will go zooming over their heads.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with this - after all, who but Star Wars fans are going to want to watch a send-up of the franchise - apart from Robot Chicken fans, who already are noted down as fans of pop culture anyhow, so are going to at least allow the Chicken gang their indulgences in this episode.

To summarise, the Robot Chicken crew takes a twisted look at all six films in the franchise.  Extras include a pair of bonus Robot Chicken episodes (featuring the likes of The Simpsons and The Smurfs), “Chicken Nuggets” (extra production notes and video commentary through the episode), “The making of Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II” (5 mins), “Behind-the-Scenes: Sneak Peek” (3 mins), “Skywalker Ranch Premiere” (4 mins), “501st Visit” (Stormtroopers visit the studio - 3 mins), “Animation Meeting” (7 mins), “Accepted/Rejected” (Did the writers’ lines make the final cut or not - 4 mins), “Time Lapse” (watching stop motion being filmed from behind the scenes at high speed - 7 mins), “Production Design” (9 mins), “Video Blogs” (The Writing Process, Voice Recording and Puppet Making – 11 mins), “Deleted Animatics” (Prepare for disappointment – 30 seconds!), “Alternate Audio” (alternate voice artists try out, including Abraham Benrubi as Darth Vader, Ahmed Best as Jar Jar Binks, Hugh Davidson as Alfonso, Donald Faison as Gary the Stormtrooper, Breckin Meyer as Admiral Ackbar and Boba Fett, and Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian), “Promo Spots” (half minute spots featuring specific clips of Boba Fett, Emperor Palpatine, Lando Calrissian, Darth Vader, Chicken Season, and Generic Hoo-Ha), “On-Air Bumps” (short 15 second behind-the-scenes adverts for the special), and “Trailers” for the Robot Chicken series, as well as ones for Harvey Birdman, The Venture Brothers, Frisky Dingo, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Metalocalypse and the Tim and Eric Awesome Show.

Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II is the 10th DVD from US cult comedy and animation brand Adult Swim which launched its UK DVD franchise with the smash-hit Star Wars spoof Robot Chicken: Star Wars in August 2008, selling 13,000 copies in its first week alone. Adult Swim, Turner Broadcasting Systems US smash-hit channel launched in the US in 2001 and in the UK in late 2006. Adult Swim is available in the UK through the channel’s broadband website www.adultswim.co.uk which features non-conformist programming aimed at young adults. Due to its broad mix of humour spanning unconventional animation and live action comedy, Adult Swim has earned a discerning and cult following in the UK. Adult Swim is designed to appeal to young people who like their entertainment creative, cult and aren’t afraid to seek it out (it says here).

Robot Chicken: Star Wars II has a “15” certificate, with standard 22 minute and extended 38 minute versions, and around 113 minutes of extras in all. The RRP is £12.99, or buy it for less at www.culttvstore.com

Thanks to Revolver Entertainment and Cineology, you had a chance to put one of three copies of the Robot Chicken: Star Wars II DVD onto your mantelpiece, in our prize competition.  All you had to do was tell us the answer to the following question: Which character did Seth Green play in the “Austin Powers” movies? Of course, it was Scott Evil, and the three lucky winners were Derek Williams of Uxbridge, Michael O'Sullivan of Hanwell, and karla Baker of Watford. Well done all!

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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