“Something, Something, Something Dark Side” (2009)
Episode 148 of “Family Guy”
Directed by Dominic Polcino
Original Air Date; May 23, 2010
Written by Kirker Butler
Starring: Seth McFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, Mike Judge, Jon Benjamin, James Woods
(Note: The unrated Blu-ray and DVD edition of this episode was released before Fox aired the made-for-broadcast version)
Lois Griffin as Princess Leia: We’re gonna get pulverized out here!
Peter Griffin as Han Solo: Look, we got four or five of the main characters on this ship. I think we’ll be fine.
Over the past three decades, the “Star Wars” saga has been spoofed in various media. Mel Brooks did a feature film spoof, “Spaceballs,” in 1987, while Seth Green’s “Robot Chicken” has featured several skits based on the characters and situations from “Star Wars.”
As envisioned by “Family Guy” creator Seth McFarlane, “Something, Something, Something Dark Side” is a satirical yet loving spoof of George Lucas’s “Star Wars – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.”
Following the same narrative format as “Blue Harvest,” “Something, Something, Something Dark Side” begins when the power goes out as the Griffin clan (voices of Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green and Mila Kunis) watches a television. During the blackout, daughter Meg asks her dad Peter to tell another “Star Wars” story. After a brief digression, Peter regales the family with the story of “The Empire Strikes Back.”
What follows is a hilarious yet faithful spoof of what is considered to be the best entry in the “Star Wars” saga, with the Griffin family and supporting characters recast as the heroes and villains of “The Empire Strikes Back”.
As in “Blue Harvest,” Peter and Lois pair off as Han Solo and Princess Leia, Chris reprises the role of Luke Skywalker, Stewie plays Darth Vader, Meg gets a brief cameo as the space slug and Brian the dog is Chewbacca the Wookiee. R2-D2 and C-3PO are portrayed by Cleveland Brown (Mike Henry) and Quagmire. Lando Calrissian is performed by Mort Goldman (John G. Brennan); Yoda is played by Carl (Jon Benjamin).
“Something, Something, Something Dark Side” closely resembles the look of “The Empire Strikes Back.” The artists combined computer generated and hand-drawn animation to recreate footage from the original 1980 film. Some fans say McFarlane’s animators rotoscoped frames from “The Empire Strikes Back” to achieve this, but they did not.
Because this is a “Family Guy” episode, the humor is a mix of silly cultural references (when the Empire launches probe droids to find the Rebels, we see Elroy Jetson rocketing to his elementary school), bad puns (the Rebels on Hoth ride “dondons”) and sardonic comment about in the movie’s plot holes:
Lois Griffin as Princess Leia: May I have everyone’s attention, please? We’re evacuating into outer space, with literally infinite directions in which to flee. However, we have decided that our transports will travel directly toward the fleet of Star Destroyers. Any questions?
Rebel Pilot: Yeah, um, is there someone from the military we can talk to? A man, perhaps?
Although “Something, Something, Something Dark Side” was made by a team that loves “Star Wars,” it is definitely not for everyone. The unrated Blu-ray and DVD version features adult language (including the F-bomb). In addition, some “Star Wars” fans may be offended at the ribbing the saga is given here.
Stewie Griffin as Darth Vader: There is no escape. Don’t make me destroy you. Join me, Luke.
Chris Griffin as Luke Skywalker: I’ll never join you!
Stewie Griffin as Darth Vader: Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.
Chris Griffin as Luke Skywalker: He told me you killed him!
Stewie Griffin as Darth Vader: No, I… Hang on… Spoiler Alert… I am your father.
Chris Griffin as Luke Skywalker: Well, that’s fine but I don’t see how that affects anythin… WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?
Nevertheless, as far as parodies of “Star Wars” go, this one is almost pitch-perfect and bitingly funny.
- Digital Copy
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scenes
- Behind-The-Scenes Featurette – “The Darkside of Poster Art”
- Pop-Up Video
- Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Animated, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
- Language: English (Dolby TrueHD), French (Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
- Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
- Region: Region A/1
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 2
- Rated: NR (Not Rated)
- Studio: 20th Century Fox
- Blu-ray Date: December 22, 2009
- Run Time: 44 minutes