Saturday, 30 January 2010

Family Guy in Space!!...Blue Harvest

“This is the story of love and loss, fathers and sons, and the foresight to retain international merchandising rights...this is the story of Star Wars; Let's begin with Part 4...

...'A long time ago – but somehow in the future'”

I've been watching the Family Guy/Robot Chicken Star Wars Specials recently and decided I'd do a review about's been a while since I've blogged anything (life has been pretty busy!), so today is time for a bit of fun for us all. I just want to thank all my followers for sticking with me! :o)

I'm going to start with “Family Guy” Blue Harvest (from which my opening quote was taken!):

The first line you get of the actual Star Wars-y bit is when Leia's ship is being boarded and C-3P0 (Quagmire) says, “Do you hear that, it sounds like we're being boarded from the rear”, at this point you more or less realise what your going to get with this show, it's going be Family Guy...except in space, the jokes and humour aren't going to suddenly get deep and satirical, however...they are going to be funny!

Essentially a lot of the jokes within The Family guy Star Wars shows highlight little shortcomings in the movies, or perceived ridiculousness's...towards the beginning of Blue Harvest, C-3P0 and R2D2 escape in a pod; an officer on Vader's ship says to another soldier “Hold your fire there are no lifeforms aboard” to which the guy replies “hold your fire, what are we paying by the laser now?!”, to which is replied “you don't do the budget Terry, I DO!”'s pretty funny, and a lot of the scripting is like that!...or later on when talking about the Death Star one of the soldiers says its “Virtually indestructable, like 99.99%” to which Vader replies “Right, wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't ask what the point 01 is”...and Adam West [best Batman ever!!] is in this section!

….well that's no bigger then a womp rat!! w00t!

Or later on the in show “Let's head over to that small moon, that's clearly a small moon and nothing else”

Some of the jokes seem to have American references I just don't get, and some of the jokes are very pretty overworked but all in all it's made pretty well and is a great spoof.

In case you don't know EXACTLY what this is, it's more or less a spoof of Star Wars: A New Hope, Whereby, Stewey is Vader, Chris is Luke, Peter is Han Solo, Lois is Leia, and (as we've seen above) Quagmire is C-3P0. There are various other people popping up as different Star Wars characters, but I can't be bothered to type a full credits list for you!

I also think some of the spoiler references made throughout the show are pretty funny too, and normally make me laugh more then the other jokes in the movie. For example there is a reference to early 90s printers, which I don't think is particularly funny at all, and seems pretty forced, but right after that there's some great Star War's references, like when Luke says to his Aunt “One of these days, I'm just going to run away and join the rebellion whether you like it or not”, to which Aunt replies “over my burnt carcass”! Hahaha!

Or just after that, when Leia's message is played to Luke out of R2D2: “Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you're our only hope”; Luke ponders: “She said Obi Wan Kenobi, I wonder if she means old Obi Wan Kenobi”...these are the bits the kind of jokes that are most funny I think.

The storyline to the whole show is OBVIOUSLY good, because the storyline is Star Wars, however it's been...refined I guess is a good enough word to use. They've shrunk the story down to get it into an hour (well just under an hour), and even then if you take out a lot of the jokes unrelated to the story itself, it probably cuts it down to about 40 minutes. To me this makes the program feel a little...disjointed, fast paced, and lacking in true depth. However, knowing enough about Star Wars I can fill in the gaps myself, but it would have been nicer if it would have been more detailed, perhaps even full feature length...just so they could have had more storyline, and detail, as well as all the jokes as well...'s just a shame that's all – no problems, no moaning or anything like that, it just would have been nice!!

The Family Guy writers make a lot of nice little references, or spot little bits and bobs within Star Wars that mere mortals like myself miss fully, and make jokes out of them, this is also clever, and adds a nice trivia set for people who like me; Star Wars g33ks, but not Nerds! Presumably they found this information by doing their research, but if they just knew this stuff, then good on them. Once interesting titbit is in the Cantina; Luke and Obi Wan first meet Han Solo, and he claims to be that his ship was the one the “Did the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs”, what I never realised before though is that a parsec is actually a unit of measurement...not of time – so he's measuring a distance he did it in! Interesting huh?! For those who wish to know 1 parsec is equivalent to 3.08568025 × 10^16 metres; 3.26163626 light years; or 1.91735281 × 10^13 miles. The Kessel Run is actually a 18 Parsec Smuggler's root which (NB ^13 = to the power of 13; ^16 = to the power of 16):

Han Solo claimed that his Millenium Falcon "made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs". A parsec was a unit of distance, not time. Solo was not referring directly to his ship's speed when he made this claim. Instead, he was referring to the shorter route he was able to travel by skirting the nearby Maw Black Hole cluster, thus making the run in under the standard distance. By moving closer to the black holes, Solo managed to cut the distance down to about 11.5 parsecs. The smuggler, BoShek, actually beat Solo's record in his ship, Infinity, but without cargo to weigh him down.

Anyway, I seem to have gone off topic a little bit (tends to happen quite a lot when I'm getting onto Star Wars don't panic!).

I really do like the nod to Tom Baker/Dr Who as well, that's pretty sweet!! :) and the Jump Cut jokes which Family Guy are famous for actually get better as the show goes on...and I do like the little News Guys being in the show briefly too (“Let's go over to Oli for the 5 day forecast, what's the weather gonna be like Oli?”... “SPACE WEATHER!”)

Towards the end of the film/family guy program as we should all well know the plan is to blow up the Death Star by shooting a laser down the hole...which is no bigger then a womp rat! The sequence is pretty nice all in all, but there's not much to say about's not particularly hilarious...there's a fat guy joke that's pretty funny, oh and there's “all wings check in”...of course:

There's some nice spoofings involved of various other movies and modern culture as well, as is typical of Family Guy, including (my favorite), one from Airplane; "I just wanted to say, good luck, we're all counting on you"!

Anyway, what can I tell you to finish this all off...? Personally, I prefer the Robot Chicken Star Wars episodes, to the Family Guy ones; what I do like about the Family Guy ones though is that they follow a story line. This one is good, the jokes are funny, but fairly typical of Family Guy...there is nothing that's truly hilarious – but they're definitely worth watching...I think there will always be arguments about which is better between the two, the skits in Robot Chicken are just hilarious, real laugh out loud funny, where as in Family Guy they're a little more subtle. To proove a point I will leave you with a [fairly poor quality I'm afraid] video of Peter & Chris “debating” RC v FG:

I hope you enjoyed this epic post! Much love to you all, and sorry for the major delay in posting! Oh and I'm sorry video quality tends to suck a bit...I'm just linking -- not my fault!

Love from