Family Guy – Something, Something, Something Dark Side: Review

December 23, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

3sss-family-guy300FAMILY GUY – SOMETHING, SOMETHING, SOMETHING DARK SIDE: Released on DVD & BluRay from Monday 28th December

After the success of the Family Guy Star Wars parody Blue Harvest, a follow-up send up of The Empire Strikes Back was almost inevitable. SSSDS takes the familiar setting of the Star Wars universe and adds Family Guy’s irreverent humour, resulting in a mixed bag of standout jokes and misjudged side-swipes.

It sees the Family Guy cast reprising their roles: Stewie as Darth Vader, Peter as Han, Brian as Chewy, Lois as Leia, Chris as Luke, Quagmire as C3PO and Cleveland as R2D2.

The plot is almost identical to Empire Strikes Back. Luke receives a message from the spirit of Obi Wan Kenobi (the creepy old man from the series) who tells him he must travel to the planet Dagobah to train under Yoda and become a Jedi.

Meanwhile Han, Chewy, Leia and the droids escape from the Empire to Cloud City in order to seek help from an old friend of Han’s, Lando Calrissian (a blacked up Mort Goldman – now he’s Jewish and Black, neatly combining two ethnic stereotypes), where they are ambushed by Vader and Bobba Fett (The giant chicken from the series).

It’s clear that Seth MacFarlane is a massive Star Wars fan. Some scenes are recreated almost frame by frame and this love and attention to detail will raise a smile from even the most fanatical of Star Wars geeks. Fans of Family Guy can have fun watching their favourite characters settle into their roles and can play “spot the cameo? with the minor characters.

Verisimilitude aside, the most important thing about Family Guy is the laughs. Here we’re on slightly rockier terrain; some of the jokes are hilarious (the opening credits’ lambasting of Fox’s investment policies is masterly) but others fall flat on their faces.

Fortunately there are so many jokes crammed into the special that it’ll manage to keep you amused, if not doubled over, for its duration – almost every line is accompanied by a playful aside.

Sixty minutes is the perfect length for the show – any longer and it would have started to wear very thin indeed. As it stands it’s an amusing homage to the best in the Star Wars series, but otherwise unremarkable.

If you’re a fan of Family Guy, then you’ll enjoy this but don’t expect it to have you clutching your sides in paroxysm of hysterical laughter. If you’ve never watched Family Guy (and really, what is wrong with you?), then this isn’t the best place to start; you’d be better off with one of the regular box sets. If you’ve never seen Star Wars or Family Guy, then you’d do well to enlighten yourself before watching this.

Jez Sands