The Chicken Strikes Back!
For those unfamiliar with Robot Chicken, it’s an Emmy Award winning stop-motion animated sketch comedy created by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, which employs toys and custom action figures to portray the characters – a perfect fit for George Lucas’ merchandising machine. Green voices many of the characters, alongside regulars that include Breckin Meyer, Seth MacFarlane, Mila Kunis, Donald Faison, and Sarah Michelle Gellar, while the series has also managed to attract a list of guest stars that reads like a who’s who of Hollywood.
The original special brought back a handful of Star Wars alumni including Mark Hamill, Ahmed Best, and even George Lucas himself, and featured a number of satirical sketches including Jar Jar Binks’ reunion with Darth Vader, an ‘On Ice’ production of The Empire Strikes Back, and Luke Skywalker confronting Palpatine in a ‘Yo Momma’ showdown. In addition, a number of skits were devoted to minor characters (such as Admiral Ackbar, Ponda Baba, and Zuckuss), with jokes that clearly appealed to the more die-hard fan, and helped to present a refreshing take on a subject that has been parodied for over 30 years.
Star Wars: Robot Chicken Episode II delivers more of the same and features sketches inspired from all six movies, albeit with a slight preference towards The Empire Strikes Back – particularly in terms of the bounty hunter characters – with Dengar and Bossk standouts alongside the returning Boba Fett. Meanwhile Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams return to the roles of Princess Leia and Lando Calrissian to recreate some classic scenes from the original trilogy, including an hilarious sketch where Darth Vader proves to Lando that “this deal is getting worse all the time”.
In short, Star Wars: Robot Chicken Episode II is a must-see for any fan of the franchise. It’s crude animation style is perfect for the subject matter (hey – I have that action figure!), and the jokes and sketches all move at a swift pace with countless inside references. The DVD delivers an extended edition of the episode along with almost two hours of special features, including bonus Robot Chicken episodes, behind-the-scenes and making-of documentaries, video blogs, animation meetings and more, and is released on July 27th 2009.
DVD Review – Robot Chicken Season 2