Synopsis: Star Wars and Robot Chicken are together again… like the twisted dream of feverish nerd who’s taken too much cold medicine! That’s right, the stop-motion pajama party from Adult Swim collides with the most revered fantasy film franchise of all time in a brand-new special with all the subtlety of a diarrhea-suffering Wookiee pounding on your bathroom door! We’re talking AT-AT races! The Galactic Empire’s Take-Your-Daughter-to-Work-Day! And more grisly Ewok violence that you can shake a gaffi stick at! And Since Boba Fett increases the sales of any Star Wars product by 800 percent, let us add: Boba Fett is on this DVD! Boba Boba Boba! Fett Fett Fett! (Ka-ching!)
Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II. If there’s a bright center to the entertainment universe, this is the DVD that’s farthest from it.
eyelights: same irreverent take on ‘Star Wars’ as the first special.
eyesores: fewer killer gags.
“You look like a mean pepper shaker.”
It’s strange… I still remember enjoying ‘Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II’ quite a bit back in the day. The Adult Swim programme, which was first broadcast on November 16, 2008, served up another 22 minutes of the same irreverent stop-motion animation as the first episode; I had enjoyed it slightly less, but still quite a bit.
This time, however, I found it far less satisfying. I even watched it a second time to be sure I wasn’t just out of it during the first viewing (it had gotten late, and I was nodding off towards the end…). Alas, ‘Episode II’ simply didn’t yield anywhere near the same number of laughs as its absolutely insane predecessor.
Here are, for me, the highlights:
- The episode begins with Boba Fett slaughtering the Ewoks in a variety of increasingly splatsticky ways. It wasn’t really funny, but it was satisfying in some strange way.
- It’s “Take your daughter to work day”, and a stormtrooper decides to bring his kid into combat with him, creating amusing situations – especially in the Empire’s attack on the consular ship at the beginning of ‘Star Wars’ (amusingly, Vader takes to the little girl immediately).
- In a scene spoofing ‘Revenge of the Sith’, Anakin goes to his happy place in order to kill all the young Jedi. Imagining them as sunflowers, he proceeds to mow them down, choke them, …etc. And then he offers a bouquet to Padme. Eek.
- On Hoth, two AT-ATs race each other to the sounds of hillbilly music. It’s mindless, delirious fun. Delirious. But quite mindless.
- After Leia tells Han that she loves him at the end of ‘Empire’, Chewy also makes an admission to Han. We don’t know what he said, but it certainly rendered Han speechless.
- On Cloud City, Vader keeps altering the deal on Lando to hilarious effect. It gets so absurd that this was pure joy to watch.
- Admiral Ackbar and Mon Mothma are ordering at a restaurant. “I’ll have the calamari.”, Mothma says, to which an offended Ackbar responds, “I’ll have the insensitive b!tch with a side of f- you!”. Hahaha! Priceless!
The latter is probably my favourite gag of the whole Robot Chicken: Star Wars’ series, but, at mere seconds in length, it’s just a blip on the radar. Hence why I enjoyed this episode less than the original. There are probably no bad jokes at all, but there are fewer truly memorable ones either. So it feels like more of the same, just less inspired.
I guess rare are the sequels that are better than their predecessors.
Post scriptum: While the original broadcast version of the episode was 22-minutes long, twice the length of regular ‘Robot Chicken’ episode, the DVD also comes with an extended version, clocking in at a robust 38-minutes. Frankly, I don’t think the extra sketches contributed that many more laughs, and feel that the more succinct version is ample.
Date of viewing: November 13, 2015