Robot Chicken Star Wars (2007)

The Good

Those familiar with one of [adult swim]‘s more popular shows will already know exactly what to expect from this special Star Wars-centric episode; lots of nerdy, puerile humour, genuinely well-observed sight gags, celebrity voice acting and some geek-a-rific in-jokes. While the regular show is geared towards nerds who will appreciate jokes based on TV programmes, movies and pop culture that they grew up with in the 70′s, 80′s and, to a slightly lesser extent, the 90′s, this special episode is exclusively catered towards Star Wars fans. The structure of Robot Chicken couldn’t be simpler. It consists of a series of quick-fire skits featuring a cast of characters made up of anything from Barbie dolls and miscellaneous altered childrens toys to cleverly produced claymation.

The good news is that you don’t have to be a Star Wars obsessive to be in on the gag, there’s lots for even the most casual viewer to enjoy as well and cinephiles will have lots of fun listening out for cameos from Mark Hamill, George Lucas and Malcolm McDowell as well as cast regulars like Seth Green (who also takes a director credit), Donald Faison and Breckin Meyer. Highlights include an Admiral Ackbar ceral bar advertisment, C-3PO struggling to get through airport security, Jar Jar Binks being blithely unaware that Anakin Skywalker is now Darth Vader and Chewbacca hilariously attempting to groom himself. The DVD contains a wealth of extras which more than make up for the paltry running time of the actual episode and the skits come so thick and fast that it’s impossible for any of them to outstay their welcome.

The Bad

It’s possible to watch this special episode and find lots to enjoy even if you’re not familiar with the Robot Chicken format but this will almost certainly go over the heads of anyone not familiar with the Star Wars universe and mythology, whether in a casual or more strict sense. It is also very short and feels like it’s over in the blink of an eye but it does have a great re-watchability, a tonne of extras and spawned two subsequent special episodes which more than make over the short running time.

Overall

While hugely imaginative, incredibly well observed and constructed with a great affection for the films they’re parodying, the humour here is definitely quite immature and while I don’t necessarily consider that to be a bad thing, those looking for something remotely highbrow should turn around walk away immediately because they won’t find it here. It’s clever, quotable and there is absolutely no confusion regarding what it is and why it exists. I challenge you to watch it and not get the theme tune stuck in your head for days!

Rating: ★★★★★★★½☆☆

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