12/16/15

FAMILY GUY: BLUE HARVEST - REVIEW


"A long time ago, but somehow in the future..."

Back in 2007, Family Guy opened its sixth season with Blue Harvest, the first in a trilogy of Star Wars spoofs/homages. The hour-long episode followed A New Hope pretty closely with the characters from Seth MacFarlane's show taking over all the roles.

The framing device for the episode is the TV loses power so Peter Griffin tells his family the story of Star Wars starting, of course, with Part IV. The iconic text scroll soon trails off into random Angelina Jolie-themed gossip and we meet our droids, Quagmire as C-3PO and Cleveland as R2-D2. The scenes recreated from the film are surprisingly detailed at times with some shots or actions replicated exactly. While Robot Chicken went for a goofy best of, this goes all out with retelling the classic story and injecting some humour into every scene. Some of the jokes are obvious, a lot are much more obscure so hardcore fans should have a ball with this one.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is Herbert so expect a bunch of paedo jokes plus a rather odd rendition of "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" from Dirty Dancing because... why not. Peter takes on the Han Solo role, Lois is Leia, Chris is Luke and Stewie is a very tiny Darth Vader. As usual you've got a whole bunch of 80's references from The Breakfast Club to National Lampoon's Vacation (Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo cameo) and Airplane! but they're not too overused and work surprisingly well. The lack of racial, risqué humour, something Family Guy often uses, actually improves the film and adds a bit of class to the whole thing. The music throughout is all John Williams, definitely a plus, though slicing Danny Elfman's head off with a lightsaber was uncalled for.

Some highlights include Peter deciding to steal a couch from the garbage compactor, Meg popping up as a weird one-eyed alien for a second, Adam West as Grand Moff Tarkin, a hyperspace Doctor Who mashup and Chris pointing out that Robot Chicken beat Family Guy to the punch. Stewie's Vader seems a little underused here but he is given more to do in the next couple of movies so don't despair.

Blue Harvest, which was the working title for Return Of The Jedi, hits-and-misses like most of these spoofs do but as a whole it's a lot of fun and is one of the better parodies the space opera franchise has endured.

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