REVIEW: LEGO STAR WARS: THE PADAWAN MENACE

LEGO 10

CAST (VOICES)

Anthony Daniels (The Lego Movie)
Nika Futterman (The Boxtrolls)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Tom Kane (The Powerpuff Girls)
Katie Leigh (The Real Ghostbusters)
R. Martin Klein (Power Rangers In Space)
Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs)

This latest example of another series of writers and filmmakers exploring the Star Wars mythos. This time it’s the gang behind the popular LEGO toys who have chosen to send up the series, and boy do they do a remarkable job. In just 22 minutes, LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace packs alot of laughs and exciting action. The surprisingly good story centers in on Yoda and a group of young padawans. After a Sith battle ensues at the Galactic Senate, the group is split into two. The padawans get stuck with C-3PO and R2-D2 on Tatooine. Yoda is marooned on Hoth with a clone and a stowaway, an orphaned young boy whose nametag reads Ian. To say much more would spoil the fun, not to mention some amusing twists and turns along the way.

The Padawan Menace brings LEGO Star Wars to Cartoon Network

Probably one of the most impressive aspects of the short are the animated visuals themselves. LEGO Star Wars has slowly evolved over the years, from stop motion to crude CG animation. The Padawan Menace is a top-notch animated production, with photo realistic visuals, stunning shading, lighting and shadow work, and terrific atmosphere. While this series is computer-generated, it looks a lot like stop-motion, in all the right ways.

Lego Star Wars The Padawan Men

 

LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace might not be a long film, but it’s a tremendously worthwhile experience, one I hope LEGO continues to explore in the future. Not only is the story rather well done, but the set pieces, sight gags, and witty sense of humor are hilarious and sure to garner more than a few belly laughs from avid Star Wars fans.

Lego Star Wars The Padawan Men

Extras are rather lightweight, but incredibly worthwhile. First up, there are two other CG-animated shorts, “The Quest for R2-D2” and “Bombad Bounty.” Both run about six minutes, and are well worth a look. There are also two more shorts, “Star Wars in 2 Minutes (Part 1)” and “Star Wars in 2 Minutes (Part 2)” which return to the traditional stop-motion style of old school LEGO animation. The first part takes on the original trilogy, and the second part pokes fun at the prequel trilogy. And finally, there’s about 12 minutes worth of animated LEGO Star Wars comics. Extras are presented in high definition. Disc two includes a DVD copy of the film. As a fun added bonus, the two-disc set also comes with a free LEGO toy – a young Han Solo, who inexplicably has Justin Bieber emo hair.

Lego Star Wars The Padawan Men
Star Wars: The Padawan Menace is a cute, inventive, funny little short with plenty of fun gags and some seriously terrific animation.

REVIEW: SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

CAST

Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!)
Woody Harrelson (Rampart)
Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones)
Donald Glover (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Thandie Newton (Westworld)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Man Up)
Joonas Suotamo (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
Paul Bettany (Avengers: Infinity)
Erin Kellyman (Raised By Wolves)
Jon Favreau (Iron Man)
Lind Hunt (Kindergarten Cop)
John Tui (Power Rangers SPD)
Warwick Davis (Leprechaun)
Clint Howard (Apollo 13)
Anthony Daniels (The Lego Movie)
Kiran Shah (Legend)
Sam Witwer (Smallville)
Ray Park (X-Men)

Alden Ehrenreich and Joonas Suotamo in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)On the planet Corellia, orphaned children are made to steal in order to survive. Lovers Han and Qi’ra make an escape from the clutches of a local gang. They bribe an Imperial officer with stolen coaxium, a powerful hyperspace fuel, in exchange for passage on an outgoing transport, but Qi’ra is apprehended by their pursuers before she can board. Han vows to return for her and joins the Imperial Navy as a flight cadet. When the recruiting officer asks for his surname, Han says he is alone with no family, so the recruiter gives him the last name “Solo”.Three years later, Han is expelled from the Imperial Flight Academy for insubordination and is serving as an infantryman on Mimban. He encounters a group of criminals posing as Imperial soldiers led by Tobias Beckett. Han attempts to blackmail them into taking him with them, but Beckett has him arrested for desertion and thrown into a pit to be fed to a beast—a Wookiee named Chewbacca. Able to understand Chewbacca’s language, Han persuades him to cooperate to escape. Beckett, aware of the usefulness of a Wookiee’s strength, rescues and enlists them in the gang to steal a shipment of coaxium on Vandor-1. The plan goes awry when the Cloud Riders show up, led by Enfys Nest, resulting in the deaths of two crew members, Rio Durant and Beckett’s wife Val, and the destruction of the coaxium.Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, and Alden Ehrenreich in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)Beckett reveals he was ordered to steal the shipment for Dryden Vos, a high-ranking crime boss in the Crimson Dawn syndicate. Han and Chewbacca volunteer to help him steal another shipment to repay the debt. They travel to Vos’ yacht where Han finds Qi’ra, who has joined Crimson Dawn and is Vos’s top lieutenant. Han suggests a risky plan to steal unrefined coaxium from the mines on Kessel; Vos approves but insists that Qi’ra accompany the team. She leads them to Lando Calrissian, an accomplished smuggler and pilot who she hopes will lend them his ship. Han challenges Lando to a game of sabacc, with the wager being Lando’s ship. Lando cheats to win but agrees to join the mission in exchange for a share of the profits.Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)After reaching Kessel in the Millennium Falcon and infiltrating the mine, Lando’s droid co-pilot L3-37 instigates a slave revolt. In the confusion, they steal the coaxium, but L3 is severely damaged and Lando is injured during the escape. With the help of L3’s navigational computer, hotwired into the ship’s systems, Han pilots the ship through the dangerous and uncharted Kessel Run to elude an Imperial blockade. The Falcon, badly damaged, lands on the planet Savareen to process the coaxium.Alden Ehrenreich and Joonas Suotamo in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)During a confrontation with Enfys, who tracked the team from Vandor, Lando flees in the Falcon. Enfys explains to Han that she and her crew are not pirates, but rebels trying to prevent the syndicates and Empire from gaining power. Han becomes sympathetic to their cause and tries to trick Vos, but Beckett has already alerted him to the double-cross. Vos sends his guards to kill Enfys, but the Cloud Riders overpower them instead, leaving Vos defenseless. Having anticipated Vos’ strategy, Han tries to take the coaxium, only for Beckett to betray Vos, escaping with it and taking Chewbacca hostage. Qi’ra kills Vos and sends Han after Beckett; once alone, she contacts Vos’ superior, Maul, to inform him of the mission’s failure and claim Vos’s position. She avoids speaking of Han’s involvement, instead blaming everything on Beckett.Donald Glover, Alden Ehrenreich, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)Han catches up to Beckett and confronts him. Han shoots Beckett first before he can shoot him, and with his dying words Beckett tells Han he made the smart choice. Qi’ra leaves in Vos’ yacht, while Han and Chewbacca turn the coaxium over to Enfys. She offers Han a chance to join the rebellion against the Empire; when he declines, she gives him a vial of coaxium, enough to buy a ship of his own. Han and Chewbacca locate Lando and challenge him to a rematch in sabacc, once again wagering the Falcon. Han wins, having stolen the card Lando was keeping up his sleeve in order to cheat, and he and Chewbacca leave for Tatooine, where a “big-shot gangster” is putting together a job.Woody Harrelson, Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, and Joonas Suotamo in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)As expected, the film has been met with huge criticism, which in my opinion is wholly unjust and just another opportunity for so called ‘star wars’ fans to voice their disapproval for Disney. Solo is not the biggest and boldest SW feature by any stretch, but it is true to the original trilogy material without resorting to overly complicated plots, ropey CGI effects and forced comedy. It provides action , excitement, great dialogue, romance and a vast array of alien creatures and genuinely feels like a SW film, albeit with an interesting western inspired spin. Its Star Wars with everything we love about the saga.

REVIEW: ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

CAST

Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
Diego Luna (Milk)
Alan Tudyk (Powerless)
Donnie Yen (Highlander: Endgame)
Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal)
Forest Whitaker (Arrival)
Jimmy Smits (NYPD Blue)
Wen Jiang (Devils on The Doorstep)
Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises)
Guy Henry (V For Vendetta)
Riz Ahmed (Four Lions)
Genevieve O’Reilly (The Legend of Tarzan)
Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones)
James Earl Jones (Conan The Barbarian)
Anthony Daniels (The Lego Movie)
Ingvild Deila (This Is Not Happening)
Warwick Davis (Leprechaun)

Research scientist Galen Erso and his family are in hiding on the planet Lah’mu. Imperial weapons developer Orson Krennic arrives to press him into completing the Death Star, a space station-based superweapon capable of destroying planets. Galen’s wife Lyra is killed in the confrontation while their daughter Jyn escapes and is taken to safety by Rebel extremist Saw Gerrera.
Fifteen years later, cargo pilot Bodhi Rook defects from the Empire, smuggling a holographic message from Galen to Gerrera on the desert moon Jedha. Rebel intelligence officer Cassian Andor frees Jyn from an Imperial labor camp at Wobani before bringing her to the Rebel leader Mon Mothma, who convinces her to find and rescue Galen so the Alliance can learn more about the Death Star. Cassian is covertly ordered by General Draven, an Alliance military officer, to kill Galen rather than extract him.
Jyn, Cassian, and reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO travel to Jedha, where the Empire is removing kyber crystals from the holy city to power the Death Star while Gerrera and his partisans are engaged in an armed insurgency against them. With the aid of blind spiritual warrior Chirrut Îmwe and his mercenary friend Baze Malbus, Jyn makes contact with Gerrera, who has been holding Rook captive. Gerrera shows her the message, in which Galen reveals he has secretly built a vulnerability into the Death Star and directs them to retrieve the schematics from a high-security Imperial data bank on the planet Scarif.
On the Death Star, Krennic orders a low-powered shot from the superlaser to destroy Jedha’s capital. Jyn and her group take Rook and flee the planet, but Gerrera remains to die with the city. Grand Moff Tarkin congratulates Krennic before using Rook’s defection and security leak as a pretext to take control of the project.
Rook leads the group to Galen’s Imperial research facility on the planet Eadu, where Cassian chooses not to kill Galen. When Krennic orders Galen’s team killed for causing the security leak, Galen confesses that he is responsible. The research team is executed anyway. Jyn makes her presence known moments before Rebel bombers attack the facility. Galen is wounded and dies in his daughter’s arms, before she escapes with her group on board a stolen Imperial cargo shuttle. Krennic is summoned by Darth Vader, to answer for the attack on Eadu. Krennic seeks his support for an audience with the Emperor, Vader ignores it and orders him instead to ensure no further leaks about the Death Star occur.
Jyn proposes a plan to steal the Death Star schematics using the Rebel fleet but fails to get approval from the Alliance Council, who feel victory against the Empire is now impossible. Frustrated at their inaction, Jyn’s group is supported by a small squad of Rebel volunteers intent on raiding the databank themselves. Arriving at Scarif via the stolen Imperial ship, which Rook dubs “Rogue One”, a disguised Jyn and Cassian enter the base with K-2SO while the other Rebels attack the resident Imperial garrison as a distraction. The Rebel fleet learns about the raid from intercepted Imperial communications and deploy in support. K-2SO sacrifices himself so Jyn and Cassian can retrieve the data. Îmwe is killed after activating the master switch to allow communication with the Rebel fleet. Rook is killed by a grenade after informing the Rebel fleet that it must deactivate the shield surrounding the planet to allow the transmission of the schematics. Malbus dies in battle shortly after. Jyn and Cassian seize the schematics, but they are ambushed by Krennic, who shoots Cassian.
Krennic corners Jyn, declaring the Empire’s victory, but Cassian, who has survived, shoots and wounds Krennic. Jyn transmits the schematics to the Rebel command ship. The Death Star enters orbit above Scarif, where Tarkin uses another low-power shot from the superlaser to destroy the Empire’s base. Krennic is killed instantly, while Jyn and Cassian embrace on a beach before dying in the blastwave. The Rebel fleet prepares to jump to hyperspace but are intercepted by Vader’s flagship. Vader invades the command ship and kills many rebels in his pursuit of the schematics, but a small starship escapes with them on board. Aboard the fleeing ship, Princess Leia declares that the schematics will provide hope for the Rebellion.I would find it hard to believe anyone would not be impressed by this movie, if you are a serious Star Wars fan. Perhaps if you don’t take Star Wars seriously but prefer films that are all action and special effects you might find the slow build hard to take. But for me, and a large number of other Star Wars fans this is the best Star Wars movie since Empire Strikes Back. It may be a dark time for the Rebellion, but its a great time to be a fan of Star Wars.

REVIEW: STAR WARS – EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE

CAST

Mark Hamill (Batman: TAS)
Harrison Ford (Blade Runner)
Carrie Fisher (Sorority Row)
Peter Cushing (Dracula 1958)
Alec Guinness (Doctor Zhivago)
Anthony Daniels (The Lego Movie)
Kenny Baker (Labyrinth)
Peter Mayhew (Killer Ink)
David Prowse (Comic Book: The Movie)
James Earl Jones (Conan The Barbarian)
Denis Lawson (The Machine)

The galaxy is in a civil war. Spies for the Rebel Alliance have stolen plans to the Galactic Empire’s Death Star, a heavily armed space station capable of destroying planets. Rebel leader Princess Leia has the plans, but her ship is captured by Imperial forces under the command of the evil Sith lord Darth Vader. Before she is captured, Leia hides the plans in the memory of an astromech droid, R2-D2, along with a holographic recording. The droid flees to the surface of the desert planet Tatooine with fellow droid C-3PO.
Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
The droids are captured by Jawa traders, who sell them to moisture farmers Owen and Beru Lars and their nephew, Luke Skywalker. While cleaning R2-D2, Luke accidentally triggers part of Leia’s message, in which she requests help from Obi-Wan Kenobi. The next morning, Luke finds R2-D2 searching for Obi-Wan, and meets Ben Kenobi, an old hermit who lives in the hills and reveals himself to be Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan tells Luke of his days as a Jedi Knight, former Galactic Republic peacekeepers with supernatural powers derived from an energy called The Force but were wiped out by the Empire. Contrary to his uncle’s statements, Luke learns that his father fought alongside Obi-Wan as a Jedi Knight. Obi-Wan tells Luke that Vader was his former pupil who turned to the dark side of the Force and killed Luke’s father, Anakin. Obi-Wan offers Luke his father’s lightsaber, a Jedi weapon.
Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
Obi-Wan views Leia’s complete message, in which she begs him to take the Death Star plans to her home planet of Alderaan and give them to her father for analysis. Obi-Wan invites Luke to accompany him to Alderaan and learn the ways of the Force. Luke declines, but changes his mind after discovering that Imperial stormtroopers searching for C-3PO and R2-D2 have destroyed his home and killed his aunt and uncle. Obi-Wan and Luke hire smuggler Han Solo and his Wookiee first mate Chewbacca to transport them to Alderaan on Han’s ship, the Millennium Falcon.

Upon the Falcon’s arrival at the location of Alderaan, the group discover that the planet has been destroyed by order of the Death Star’s commanding officer, Grand Moff Tarkin, as a show of power. The Falcon is captured by the Death Star’s tractor beam and brought into its hangar bay. While Obi-Wan goes to disable the tractor beam, Luke discovers that Leia is imprisoned aboard and, with the help of Han and Chewbacca, rescues her. After several escapes, the group makes its way back to the Falcon. Obi-Wan disables the tractor beam and, on the way back to the Falcon, engages in a lightsaber duel with Vader. Once he is sure the others can escape, Obi-Wan allows himself to be killed. The Falcon escapes the Death Star, unknowingly carrying a tracking beacon, which the Empire follows to the Rebels’ hidden base on Yavin IV.

The Rebels analyze the Death Star’s plans and identify a vulnerable exhaust port that connects to the station’s main reactor. Luke joins the Rebel assault squadron, while Han collects his payment for the transport and intends to leave, despite Luke’s request that he stay and help. In the ensuing battle, the Rebels suffer heavy losses after several unsuccessful attack runs, leaving Luke one of the few surviving pilots. Vader leads a squad of TIE fighters and prepares to attack Luke’s X-wing fighter, but Han returns and fires on the Imperials, sending Vader spiraling away. Helped by guidance from Obi-Wan’s spirit, Luke uses the Force and successfully destroys the Death Star seconds before it can fire on the Rebel base. Leia awards Luke and Han with medals for their heroism.

Here begins the greatest cinematic epic of all time, and arguably one of the greatest stories ever told. Originally conceived as a serialized popcorn movie in the manner of the old action movies that Lucas grew up with, Star Wars surpassed even George’s keen and bombastic imagination to become a central part of movie history.

REVIEW: FAMILY GUY – IT’S A TRAP

CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Flashforward)
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
Seth Green (IT)
Mila Kunis (Black Swan)
Mike Henry (Ted)
Jennifer Tilly (Curse of Chucky)
Patrick Warburton (Scream 3)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Michael Dorn (Star Trek: TNG)
Carrie Fisher (Star Wars)
Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)
Marty Hart (Love Affair)
Patrick Stewart (American Dad)
Adam West (60s Batman)

 The Griffin family experience another power outage, forcing them to reluctantly go through Return of the Jedi.Rather than setting up the plot, the opening crawl states that Fox insisted Seth MacFarlane complete the trilogy. It makes reference to his then-upcoming film Ted in the sentence, “But Fox suddenly had dollar signs in their eyes, and they said, ‘Seth, if you don’t do Jedi, we’re not gonna let you leave to go direct your movie.”Darth Vader (Stewie) arrives on the new, partially constructed Death Star, where Imperial Moff Jerjerrod (Roger from American Dad!) informs him that the new battle station no longer has the design flaws of its predecessor, except for a hole that could destroy the station if fired upon. Vader warns Moff Jerjerrod that they should fix that problem before the Emperor (Carter) arrives.On Tatooine, R2-D2 (Cleveland) and C-3PO (Quagmire) find Jabba the Hutt (Joe)’s palace in order to initiate a plan to save Han Solo (Peter), still frozen in carbonite for posterity. Leia (Lois) unfreezes Han, who releases a long fart. Their reunion is cut short when Jabba captures her and she is outfitted provocatively, and shackled by Jabba’s side. Han, meanwhile, is thrown into a prison cell with Chewbacca (Brian), who got caught eating out of Jabba’s garbage.Luke (Chris) arrives at the palace and attempts to bargain for the release of his friends. Jabba opens a trap door and Luke falls into a pit where he battles and kills the Rancor (Rush Limbaugh). Afterwards, Jabba orders Luke and his friends to be eaten by the Sarlaac (Meg). During the execution ceremony, Luke gives Jabba one last chance to release him and his friends. When Jabba refuses, Luke initiates an assault on Jabba’s crew with the help of Lando Calrissian (Mort), disguised as one of Jabba’s henchmen. Many of Jabba’s men are knocked into the Sarlaac including Boba Fett (Ernie the Giant Chicken) (according to a dying guard, Boba just fell off). Distracted by the carnage, Leia chokes Jabba using her slave chains while her fellow rebels commandeer a transport ship. Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, Lando, R2-D2, and C-3PO all fly to safety.Luke and R2-D2 fly to Dagobah so Luke can finish his training with Yoda (Carl) while the others rejoin the rebel fleet. On Dagobah, Yoda explains the final part of training is to face Vader. In his dying words, Yoda reveals that Luke has a sibling. The spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi (Herbert) appears to Luke and further explains that his sibling is Princess Leia, “the only damn woman in the galaxy.” The rebels begin planning an assault on the new Death Star. Admiral Ackbar (Klaus from American Dad!) explains that the plan will be the same as the last time they destroyed the Death Star, except now they must first destroy a shield generator located on the forest moon of Endor.In order to land on the forest moon of Endor, Han uses a stolen Imperial ship and old access code to sneak past the Empire’s blockade. Vader allows them passage on to the moon, knowing Luke is aboard the ship. When they reach the moon’s surface, the rebels are spotted by Imperial soldiers. The soldiers attempt to retreat to warn others of the rebel attack, but Luke and Leia stop them in an elaborate bicycle chase sequence. Separated from the others, Leia is befriended by Wicket the Ewok (Tim from The Cleveland Show). Luke, Han, Chewie and the droids fall into an Ewok trap while searching for Leia. They are captured and brought to the village where Leia is being housed. The Ewoks believe C-3PO is a god and begin to worship him. Luke tells Princess Leia they are siblings, but Leia claims to have already known that. She then introduces a Conway Twitty cutaway.Following Yoda’s advice, Luke surrenders to Vader in order to confront him. Vader tries to convince Luke to turn to the dark side. Luke refuses, but is delighted to find out that it is taco night. The two meet with the Emperor, who reveals that Luke’s friends are walking into a trap on the forest moon. When this revelation fails to anger Luke, the Emperor begins to mock actor Seth Green (who voices Chris). Luke defends Green saying that he’s been in successful projects, only to have The Emperor saying the negative side of Green’s roles. Luke becomes enraged and begins dueling with Vader. Back on the forest moon, Han leads the rebels to the shield generator. Complaining about a lack of dark plot content, he forces the three technicians inside to dig their own graves with their helmets, then ordering one of them to stab his companion to death and wear his face. Before they can carry out Han’s disturbing orders, however, the company is ambushed. The Ewoks help the rebels escape from the Imperial troops and destroy the shield generator, while Lando and Nien Nunb (Rallo from The Cleveland Show) lead the attack on the Death Star.Luke finally subdues Vader after Seth Green is further mocked, but he refuses to execute him and join the dark side at the Emperor’s request. The Emperor then incapacitates Luke with his powerful Force lightning. Because Luke asks Vader politely for help, Vader gathers his remaining strength and kills the distracted Emperor by throwing him into the reactor core. Vader and Luke manage to flee the Death Star before Lando and his crew blow it up. Unfortunately, when Vader asks Luke to help him remove his mask (to “look on you with my own eyes”), Luke accidentally twists and breaks Vader’s neck. Everyone rendezvous back at the Ewok village to celebrate the rebels victory over the Empire. While the Ewoks kill the wounded Imperials, the spirits of Obi-Wan and Yoda appear to Luke, alongside the spirit of the redeemed Anakin Skywalker (Stewie), who angrily accuses Luke of murdering him and starts swearing at him.The Griffins’ power returns just as Peter concludes the story, Meg then asks Peter “What about the prequel trilogy?” with Peter suggesting that The Cleveland Show might do the prequels (though that show’s subsequent cancellation has made such parodies impossible). After that, Chris asks Peter another question about how come he says in the story that Seth Green is a douche. Peter answers saying that in his opinion that Green has done a lot of unsuccessful projects and that Green sucks. Chris retaliates with saying that he thinks Seth MacFarlane is a douche. Peter, Stewie and Brian (all voiced by MacFarlane) defend MacFarlane as a talented young man with fresh ideas and good humor. Chris tells the three in anger that he got the whole idea of Family Guy off The Simpsons, with Meg and Lois supporting Chris that MacFarlane “only brings ten new episodes of the show a year” and “we get it, he watched a lot of television in the ’80s” (a reference to the show’s many cutaway gags referencing 1980s television). The argument ends with Peter claiming that people will just remember the laughter, before the family looks awkwardly at each other.

Anyone who has enjoyed the previous chapters of this separate feature series will find more of the same here, and if you’re like me, you will only find that a good thing. Although I must say, it also helps to refresh your memory by watching the original Star Wars film before trying this to pick up the more subtle references!!

REVIEW: FAMILY GUY – SOMETHING, SOMETHING, SOMETHING DARKSIDE

CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Flashforward)
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
Seth Green (IT)
Mila Kunis (Black Swan)
Mike Henry (Ted)
Jennifer Tilly (Curse of Chucky)
Patrick Warburton (Scream 3)
James Caan (Las Vegas)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
James Woods (Another Day In Paradise)

As the Griffin family is watching television, the power suddenly goes out, leading Peter to retell the story of The Empire Strikes Back.
After the “opening crawl” an Imperial Star Destroyer deploys a series of probe droids in search of the Rebel Alliance. One of the probe droids (Joe) lands on the ice planet Hoth, where the Rebels have set up a base. Rebel commander Luke Skywalker (Chris) is patrolling when he is attacked by a large wampa (Cookie Monster) and taken back to its lair. At the base, Han Solo (Peter) announces his intention to leave the Rebellion to Princess Leia (Lois) and Carlist Rieekan (Dr. Hartman), with Leia objecting to his decision, however she denies it when confronted, saying she would rather kiss George Takei. When he finds out that Luke has not yet returned, Han sets out on his “Dondon” to find him. Luke escapes the wampa lair and has a vision of his late mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Herbert), who tells him to go to the Dagobah system to learn the ways of the Force from Jedi Master Yoda, after offering him a bowl of Zima soup. Han quickly locates Luke, and the two are rescued soon after.
Soon after, the Empire discovers the Rebel base, and Darth Vader (Stewie) orders an attack. The Imperial fleet exits hyperspace too early, giving the Rebels time to evacuate the base while Luke leads his squadron of snowspeeders to hold off the Empire’s battalion of Imperial Walkers. Imperial stormtroopers break into the base, forcing Han to escape in the Millennium Falcon with Leia, C-3PO (Quagmire) and Chewbacca (Brian), while Luke escapes in his X-wing with R2-D2 (Cleveland), stopping to see R2’s niece’s violin recital. The Millennium Falcon enters an asteroid field and Han decides to dock inside a cave to repair the ship. They flee when they discover they have actually landed in the belly of a space slug (Meg). Meanwhile, Luke crash-lands in the swamps of Dagobah and finds Yoda (Carl) amid the foggy landscape. Yoda trains Luke, guiding him through a series of training exercises, including watching “sweet-ass DVD releases”, and a training montage that parodies Rocky IV.
family-guy-something-something-something-dark-side-20091223095413048-000Darth Vader is ordered by the Emperor (Carter) to capture Luke and turn him to the dark side of the Force. Vader recruits bounty hunters to track down and capture Luke’s friends, intending to use them as bait to trap Luke, including Raggedy Andy, whom he orders to leave. With the Millennium Falcon‍ ’s hyperdrive broken, Han and company escape by hiding amongst a field of disposed trash, but are tracked by Boba Fett (Ernie the Giant Chicken), after hitting a “space bum” collecting some of the garbage. Luke has a premonition that his friends are in danger and leaves Dagobah to save them, although he has not finished his Jedi training. Yoda initially doesn’t want him to go, but encourages it after Luke suggests Yoda fight Vader himself.
Han and the others go to Cloud City on the planet Bespin to obtain help from Han’s friend Lando Calrissian (Mort), “the only black guy in the galaxy”, only to be turned over to Darth Vader. Han willingly reveals the location of Luke and the Rebel base but is tortured by being forced to listen to Paula Cole’s “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?”, as punishment for clogging a toilet on the 16th floor of Cloud City, which forced Vader to use the “little pig people’s” bathroom. Han is used to test a carbon freezing chamber Vader intends to use on Luke to take him to the Emperor. Leia professes her love to Han, but Han tells her to fuck off and is then frozen in carbonite for posterity. Lando later double-crosses the Empire, freeing Leia, Chewbacca and C-3PO, motivating the guards with a pizza party. Despite R2-D2 having sex with the combination lock, and subsequently being discovered by her husband, to get the door open, they are too late to stop Boba Fett from flying off with Han. Luke arrives at Cloud City and, after being briefly interrupted by Ryan Seacrest on American Idol, engages Vader in a lightsaber duel. Vader cuts off Luke’s right hand. With Luke cornered and defenseless, Vader goads Luke to join the dark side, revealing that he is his father. Luke casts himself into an air shaft and, after discovering that a worker has shoved his severed hand down his pants, ends up hanging on an antenna beneath the city, calling out to Ben, Leia, and Tom Selleck. Leia senses Luke’s call from within the Millennium Falcon and has him rescued. On board a Nebulon-B frigate, Luke is fitted with an artificial hand, but told to practice masturbating with a hot dog first, while Lando, dressed in Han’s clothes, sets off with Chewbacca on the Millennium Falcon to rescue Han. Before the story ends, Luke is angry because of the way the story ends. Then he receives a letter from Doc Brown, a reference to the ending of Back to the Future Part II.
In the Griffins’ home, the power returns as Peter finishes his story, only to get into another argument with Chris over Robot Chicken. Chris vows to not let Peter get his goat this time, but eventually storms off when Peter brings up Without a Paddle.
The empire strikes back has never been spoofed to such a high degree in my opinion. If you know the family guy characters and have seen the Star Wars movies, you will love this.

REVIEW: FAMILY GUY – BLUE HARVEST

CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Flashforward)
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
Seth Green (IT)
Mila Kunis (Black Swan)
Mike Henry (Ted)
Jennifer Tilly (Curse of Chucky)
Patrick Warburton (Scream 3)
Adam West (60s Batman)
Chevy Chase (Chuck)
Beverly D’Angelo (The Simpsons)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club)

While the Griffins are watching television, the power goes out and they are left with no other form of entertainment. While they wait for the power to return, Peter decides to retell the story of Star Wars beginning with “Part IV.”
A Rebel ship is captured by a Star Destroyer. On the ship are the droids C-3PO (Quagmire), R2-D2 (Cleveland) and the rebel leader Princess Leia (Lois). While the ship is boarded by stormtroopers, Leia tries to send an MPEG to Obi-Wan Kenobi through R2, but encounters so many complications that R2 offers to deliver the message himself. Leia is captured by Darth Vader (Stewie) while R2 and 3PO flee to Tatooine in an escape pod, where they are captured by Jawas.
The droids are sold to a family of moisture farmers, whose nephew Luke Skywalker (Chris) wishes to join the Rebellion and fight the Empire. While cleaning the droids, Luke stumbles upon Leia’s message inside R2, who later decides to leave the farm. Luke and C-3PO pursue him but are attacked by Sand People. Luke is knocked out by one of them (Opie) and is found by Obi-Wan Kenobi (Herbert), who takes them to his hut. Leia’s message explains that R2 contains the plans to the Death Star, which must be sent to her father on her home planet of Alderaan and asks Obi-Wan to help. Obi-Wan tells Luke that he must learn the ways of The Force and accompany him to Alderaan, and gives him his own lightsaber. Realizing that the Empire must be looking for the droids, Luke returns home to discover that his home has been destroyed and his aunt and uncle killed.
Luke, Obi-Wan, and the droids travel to Mos Eisley to find a pilot to take them to Alderaan. At a local cantina they hire smuggler Han Solo (Peter) and his Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca (Brian), who agree to take them with their ship, the Millennium Falcon. The group is soon spotted by stormtroopers and they flee into space, evading the pursuing Star Destroyers before jumping into hyperspace. Leia is imprisoned on the Death Star, where commanding officer Grand Moff Tarkin (Adam West) has Alderaan destroyed. The Millennium Falcon exits hyperspace and is captured by the Death Star’s tractor beam and brought into its hangar bay. Disguising themselves as stormtroopers, Han and Luke along with Chewbacca set off to rescue the captive Princess while Obi-Wan goes to shut off the tractor beam and R2 and C3PO stay behind. Han, Luke and Chewie rescue Leia, and the four dive into a garbage chute to escape stormtroopers and find a couch. As they flee the Death Star, Obi-Wan turns off the tractor beam before being confronted by Darth Vader in a lightsaber duel. Vader strikes Obi-Wan down as the others board the Falcon, taking the couch with them.
The Falcon journeys to the Rebel base at Yavin IV, where the Rebels analyze the Death Star plans and find a weakness. Luke joins the assault team while Han collects his reward for the rescue and prepares to leave. The Rebel fighters attack the Death Star but suffer heavy losses during the assault. During his run, Luke hears Obi-Wan’s voice telling him to use the Force, and he turns off his targeting computer. Vader appears with his own group of fighters, and is about to fire at Luke’s ship when Han arrives in the Falcon and attacks Vader and his men, sending Vader’s ship off into space. Guided by the Force, Luke fires into the port, destroying the Death Star, and he returns to the Rebel base with his friends to celebrate their victory. Back at the Griffins’ home, Peter wraps up the story as the power comes back on. Everyone thanks Peter for keeping them entertained, although Chris points out that Robot Chicken already told that story.
Anyone who is a fan of Star Wars and Family Guy are going to love this special! I think the episode is a real return to top form. Extras like interviews with Seth McFarlane & George Lucas, episode commentary and a sneak preview of a reported sequel special (something, something, something dark side based on empire strikes back) I think it is worth getting.