Family Guy: It’s a Trap!
Directed by Peter Shin.
Featuring the voice talents of Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis Mike Henry, Patrick Warburton and Dee Bradley Baker.
Return of the Jedi gets the Family Guy treatment as Han Solo (Peter), Chewbacca (Brian), Princess Leia (Lois) and Luke Skywalker (Chris) continue their battle against Darth Vader (Stewie) and the Evil Empire.
Back in 2007 Seth MacFarlane and his Family Guy team earned rave reviews (not to mention an Emmy Award nomination) for Blue Harvest, their hilarious parody of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope that saw characters from the hit animated show recast into roles from a galaxy far, far away. Two years later it was the turn of The Empire Strikes Back with the sequel Something, Something, Something, Dark Side, and now the circle is complete with this latest offering, It’s a Trap!, which – perhaps unsurprisingly, given its source material – results in the weakest instalment in the trilogy. But hey, even Lucas couldn’t keep it up for this long.
Following the same set-up as the previous episodes, It’s a Trap! begins with the Griffin household losing power before segueing into the familiar Star Wars opening crawl, this time littered with self-referential gags about how the writers are all out of ideas and have been coerced into completing the trilogy by the suits at Fox. I guess they’re only partly joking with this disclaimer, for while they aren’t completely out of ideas the episode just doesn’t live up to the standard of its predecessors. That’s not to say it isn’t funny (it is) but the allegations of filler that surrounded the previous instalments really comes to the front here and at times you feel you’re just watching an animated recreation of Return of the Jedi (which, depending on your persuasion, could be a good thing or a bad thing).
So, getting past the fact that It’s a Trap! isn’t the greatest of episodes, what’s good about it? Well, it’s Family Guy doing Star Wars, and for fans of either that should be more than enough to secure a purchase. And of course there are some great, laugh-out-loud moments that include sock-puppet ‘Special Edition’ enhancements, an extended sequence of nodding as our heroes prepare to face the Sarlaac monster, hilarious interaction between Darth Stewie and Carter Pewterschmidt’s Emperor and Stewie criticising Seth Green to tempt Chris towards the Dark Side. There’s also some funny guest appearances from Seth MacFarlane’s other animated shows, including American Dad!’s Roger and Klaus and The Cleveland Show’s Rallo and the bears, while Patrick Stewart and Michael Dorn also pop up to reprise their roles from Star Trek: The Next Generation in a quick cameo.
It’s a Trap! marks the first time I’ve seen Family Guy in glorious 1080p high definition and the improvement in picture quality between the Blu-ray and DVD really is impressive. The colours are bright and vibrant and the recreation of the space scenes in particular look absolutely fantastic. I’m yet to be fully converted to the HD bandwagon but this has went some way to convincing me otherwise and if you have a Blu-ray player then this is certainly the way to go (and as it’s released in Triple Play format, you can see the difference for yourself). Meanwhile both the DVD and Blu-ray come with a decent selection of special features including ‘A Very Special Message From Darth Stewie’, production featurettes, sock puppet outtakes and the obligatory audio commentary.
Scheduled to air in the US in May 2011, Family Guy: It’s a Trap has just received a North American release on DVD and Blu-ray and hits UK shelves on December 27th.