It's A Trap: Family Guy Jedi

Thursday, 13 January 2011 13:31

Family Guy has completed its homage (or demolition, depending on your viewpoint) to the original “Star Wars” trilogy with the release, in widescreen Blu-ray and DVD, of “It’s A Trap”, their retelling of “Return of the Jedi”.  Right from the scrolling opening text monologue, the team are keen to beg fans to reduce their expectations, even suggesting they’d effectively had a gun put to their heads to do this third instalment.

Indeed, the cast welcome into their brethren assorted characters from the ‘sister’ show, American Dad, something commented on by Stewie as showing they haven’t got enough of their own number to call upon to fill in the various roles. In the crew commentary, there’s note made that Lucasfilm was very forgiving of the more cruel aspects of this episode, and there’s an admission that if they do the next “Wars” trilogy, they’ll probably leave that to The Cleveland Show!

It's A Trap - Family Guy does Jedi on Blu-ray & DVDFor those of you who wonder what I’m prattling on about, a quick recap – thanks to a series of power cuts, Peter Griffin has previously entertained his family with retellings of the “Star Wars” saga, casting himself as Han Solo, with rest of the family filling in the other major roles. And so a third power outage strikes, and once more they’re off to parody those adventures in a galaxy far, far away.

Following on from 2005’s “Family Guy: Blue Harvest” and 2009’s “Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Dark Side”, Luke Skywalker (son Chris) and Princess Leia (mother Lois) travel to Tatooine to free Han Solo (Peter) by infiltrating the stronghold of Jabba the Hutt (friend Joe), the galaxy’s most loathsome and feared gangster. 

Once reunited, the Rebels team up with a tribe of Ewoks to combat the Imperial forces on the forest moon of Endor.  Meanwhile, the Emperor (father-in-law Carter Pewterschmidt) and Darth Vader (baby Stewie) conspire to turn Luke to the dark side, and young Skywalker is determined to rekindle the spirit of the Jedi within his father. The Galactic Civil War has never been more outrageous, as the Rebel forces gather to attack the seemingly defenceless and incomplete second Death Star in the battle that will determine the fate of the galaxy. 

There’s many a cameo within the voice cast of this episode - including Patrick Stewart and Michael Dorn reprising their roles from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Anne Hathaway, and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia herself, previously seen getting involved in “Wars” spoofoonery in the 2008 movie “Fanboys”). And that really is ‘Talk Radio Host’ Rush Limbaugh playing himself as The Rancor, a lumbering monster!

Were the production team right to ask fans to lower their expectations? Well, there’s a few more misses in the humour this time around that the two previous outings, but the direct hits in mirth make up for these.  There’s little shock value in the core characters now, as we’re used to who’s who, so it’s up to ‘new faces’ to raise a giggle from such stunt casting. Roger, the alien from American Dad, manages to scene-steal as Moff Jerjerrod, while goldfish Klaus from the same show remains in his bowl on top a body as Admiral Ackbar.

The running joke of daughter Meg having virtually nothing to do in any of the retellings is maintained, as she becomes the sarlacc, a creature at the bottom of the Great Pit of Carkoon.

As usual, we can rely on extra value from the Blu-ray and DVD extras that are added to the Family Guy releases.  This one is no exception, with the following included:

  • Audio commentary featuring Seth MacFarlane, David A Goodman, Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, Kara Vallow and Peter Shin – some interesting behind-the-scenes nuggets.
  • A Very Special Message from Darth Stewie – Answerphone messages directed at Luke Skywalker.
  • Star Wars Trivial Pursuit: The Ultimate Championship. Four of the production staff challenge each other to a battle in playing this board game.
  • Drawing with Peter Shin – Development of the animation.
  • Sock Puppet Outtakes – the green-skin single shot was not as easy as you might think.
  • Animatic – Early versions of key scenes.
  • Making the Scene – How a couple of scenes developed from their inception.
  • Digital copy – play the feature on your mobile device.

To summarise, the team do the best they can with the source material not quite matching the two previous films in the trilogy, but if you liked the first two “Wars” parodies, then you’ll still find plenty to love in this one.  Well worth a punt of your cash!

Family Guy – It’s A Trap is out now from TCFHE, with a ‘15’ certificate, a running time of 60 minutes approx, and a RRP of £15.99 (DVD) and £19.99 (Blu-ray). “Laugh It Up Fuzzball – Family Guy Star Wars Trilogy Box Set” also has a ‘15’ certificate and all the extras from previous releases, with a RRP of £29.99 (DVD) and £39.99 (Blu-ray).  All variants can be bought for less at www.culttvstore.com

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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