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DVD Review

DVD cover

Robot Chicken
Star Wars - Episode II


Starring (voice): Seth Green, Seth MacFarlane, Breckin Meyer, Abraham Benrubi, Bob Bergen, Keith Ferguson, Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams
Revolver Entertainment
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 15
Available 27 July 2009

Travel back to a galaxy far, far away as Robot Chicken brings us a second Star Wars themed feature special which reunites viewers with Emperor Palpatine who, tiring of Darth Vader’s incompetence, seeks advice from Alfonso, the hairdresser, during a routine trim. Gary the Storm Trooper is forced to take his daughter to work to keep the wife happy (not as simple as it sounds when your boss is the Dark Lord of the Sith) and Luke and Darth Vader bond over a father/son fishing trip. Once again, the Robot Chicken crew takes a twisted look at all six films to create a hilarious parody of the phenomena that is Star Wars...

Robot Chicken: Star Wars - Episode II once again allows the Robot Chicken humour to infiltrate the Star Wars universe. While the previous Star Wars themed release was great fun, the writers and animators have succeeded in pulling off a much more polished and well throughout collection of sketches. This time there's an ongoing theme which looks at the bounty hunters that were seen briefly in The Empire Strikes Back.

Again, as with the previous release, there are gags here that everyone will appreciate, as well as gags that work best if you are a true Star Wars geek. Examples of the later include a sea monster who wants to explore his planet. The next time we see him is as a skeleton in the background as C-3PO walks past (a scene taken from A New Hope after C3PO and R2D2 land on Tatooine in an escape pod); and Lando Calrissian showing his distaste for the name of Boba Fett's ship (Star Wars fans will know it's called Slave 1).

There are vocal guest stars from the world of Star Wars too. Carrie Fisher reprises her role as Princess Leia, Billy Dee Williams makes his comeback as Lando Calrissian and Ahmed Best returns as Jar Jar Binks.

The DVD release comes with two viewing options for this Star Wars Special. You can either watch the original broadcast version, or the extended edition which includes many more sketches.

Extras are also pretty impressive. There are six audio commentaries for the extended cut of the episode (two with cast members, one with the writers one with the crew, one with Clone Wars special guests and one with Frank Oz); Chicken Nuggets (watch the broadcast version of the episode with optional sketch by sketch introduction. When a chicken appears on the screen you can press the enter button on your remote to see the introduction); The Making of RCSWII (6 min, 01 sec); Animation Meeting (6 min, 31 sec in which Seth Green acts out various scenes for the animators); Skywalker Ranch Premiere (4 min, 27 sec look at the episodes premiere for cast and crew. George Lucas also puts in an appearance and helps play a practical joke on one of the writers); 501st Visit (2 min, 38 sec featurette in which the 501st Storm Trooper group turn up and enrol some of the Robot Chicken staff); Behind the Scenes: Sneak Peek (2 min, 40 sec look behind the scenes of the episode); Accepted/Rejected (3 min, 52 sec in which the writers tell us about their sketch pitches and then we find out whether they were accepted for the finished episode. Some of the rejected episodes sounded great, so it's a shame they didn't get through); Time Lapse (7 min, 15 sec time lapse look at the various sets used in the episode); Production Design (9 min, 19 sec look at the sets, costumes and vehicles); Video Blogs (Writing Process (3 min, 15 sec); Voice Records (5 min, 43 sec); and Puppet Making (2 min, 17 sec)); Deleted Animatics (27 secs gag); Alternate Audio (9 min, 29 sec various audio takes); On-Air Bumps (2 min, 10 sec TV ad clips); Promo Spots (3 min, 18 sec) and trailers for other releases.

Personally (just like The Empire Strikes Back) I found this to be a much better episode than the first Robot Chicken Star Wars outing. It's more polished and feels like the production is a lot more mature. The ongoing bounty hunter angle is also a great way of tying together a lot of the sketches.


Nick Smithson

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