Star [1982]

Robot Chicken's finest half hour is more savvy than Spaceballs, more inside than Family Guy: Blue Harvest, and funnier, even, than The Star Wars Holiday Special. This Very Special Episode of Comedy Central's stop-motion animated series parodies and goofs on all things Star Wars, from a disgruntled Empire janitor to an ad for Admiral Ackbar Cereal ("Your tongues can't repel flavor of that magnitude"). Twenty three minutes goes by like the jump to hyperspace with such priceless bits as the collect phone call to Emperor Palpatine from Darth Vadar to inform him of the Death Star's destruction, awkward morning-after pillow talk between Luke and Leia ("That was so wrong"), and George Bush's newfound Jedi powers. Co-creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich and company immerse viewers in the Robot Chicken universe with generous bonus features, including storyboarded deleted scenes (with self-deprecating commentary), behind the scenes footage of animation meetings, and alternate audio takes. Good sport George Lucas, who gave his blessing to this episode, boldly goes where William Shatner went before by voicing himself in a Star Wars convention sketch that concludes with a Lucas-worshiping geek telling his son that meeting his idol was the best day of his life. What about his son's birth? "Not even close," dad replies. But you don't have to have that kind of devotion to Star Wars to be amused by this weather forecast for Cloud City: "Cloudy, followed by clouds." --Donald Liebenson.

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