Emperor Palpatine (voice of Seth MacFarlane) on the phone with Darth Vader in Robot Chicken: Star Wars.
© Cartoon Network
Star Wars, more than any other science fiction phenomenon, inspires a creative desire in those who love it most, which is why parodies like Star Wars: Robot Chicken and Family Guy: Blue Harvest, both now out on DVD, wear their devotion on their sleeves even as they send up the best and worst bits of the six-film franchise.
And the Star Wars franchise is, despite George Lucas's best (or worst) efforts, very much alive (there's a new movie out now, in case you haven't heard, setting up a CGI series coming in the fall), which means amateur Star Wars satire-tributes are still cropping up. YouTube is already littered with folks cutting their desktop special-effects teeth on videos in which AfterEffects clones try to kill each other with light sabers and finger-lightning, and the video snarks have jumped on the Star Wars bandwagon, creating clips that range from awful to hilarious to gasp-inducing (perennial parodists the Fine Brothers have discovered a use for a light saber so very, very wrong I can't even link to it).
The best of the lot is still Robot Chicken: Star Wars, if only because its rapid-fire blackouts are a perfect way to jar you into looking at Boba Fett, Emperor Palpatine, and all those minor characters only the true geeks know the names of, in a whole new way. And there's more geek-fest comedy to come: Cartoon Network has announced a sequel to the Robot Chicken special is in the works, slated to premiere Nov. 16. That's news good enough to make even Ponda Baba smile.