- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 30, 2011

A long time ago (2005 to be precise)in a Burbank warehouse far, far away (at least compared to my location), Seth Green, Matthew Senreich and a merry band of stop motion animators made the world a much happier place by bringing action figures to life in Cartoon Networks’ Adult Swim television series “Robot Chicken.”

Their level of loving mockery continues to envelope every corner of pop culturedom including the most sacred lot of the bunch, the Star Wars universe.

Well, the third part of their skewering of George Lucas‘ famed science fantasy epic is on Blu-ray in Robot Chicken: Star Wars III (Warner Home Video, not rated, $14.98) and fans, as well as Skywalker haters, will love the lunacy.

Built around the Emperor reflecting upon his life as he plummets into a Death Star abyss, viewers get 44 minutes worth of sketches delving deep into the Star Wars canon. Kudos to the voice of Family Guys’ Seth McFarlane for his grouchy narration as the Emperor throughout.

To not spoil the guaranteed belly laughs for the sophomoric male demographic, I’ll simply pose a few burning questions that are more than adequately answered in the show.

What happens when Max Rebo is late for a gig? How does a Wampa ice creature pump gas? Can Boba Fett hold his liquor? What and who does it take to aggravate a Sarlacc?

Or, more burning queries such as why won’t the Emperor enter an elevator full of Quarrens? Can Darth Vader do the Hustle? What were the first 65 orders? (get ready for a song) and why is Jedi High Council member Yarael Poof always responsible for getting the pizza?

It’s solid gold silliness throughout and, before I’m finished, let’s bow our heads and not forget the level of artisanship that goes into creating any of these scenes, one painful frame at a time.

Also, what’s refreshingly amazing is how much better the Robot Chicken parodies are compared to the woeful Family Guy: Star Wars episodes.

I suggest Seth McFarlane become Seth Green’s padawan for a while before launching any more Skywalker attacks.

Best extras: The “all you can listen to” babble buffet is open for business on the single Blu-ray disk and every part of the episode is deconstructed using an abundance of onscreen interviews, featurettes and optional commentary tracks.

Nearly every member of the Robot Chicken team pipes in including Mr. Green and Mr. Seinreich, writers Dan Milano, Hugh Sterbakov, Tom Root, Zeb Wells and Matthew Beans, character fabricators Rob Ronning and Pia Dulu, actors Bob Bergen, Brecking Meyer and even the Billy Dee Williams (the original Lando Calrissian who reprises his role vocally in a cute Lego homage).

And, remember, that includes introductions of every skit (turn the chicken nugget option on to control) and opinions on 26 unused animatics.

It’s a ton of material to wade through for the super fan and includes a sit-down with George Lucas at the Skywalker Ranch. I’ll note, Mr. Lucas handles the geek squad’s rambling quite well.

Suffice to report, viewers will be uncomfortably full after digesting this much useless, but humorous, fodder from the Robot Chicken family.

Read all about it: Robot Chickens roots tie directly to Twisted Toyfare Theatre, a cartoon strip featuring stills of action figures with dialogue bubbles and found in Wizard Entertainment’s monthly Toyfare magazine. 

Wizard offered multiple compilations of the strip over the years concluding with a 10th Anniversary Collection ($29.99) in 2007 loaded with more than 250 pages worth of pop-culture ribbing.



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