The long awaited release of the third Robot Chicken Star Wars special from the evil genius minds of Seth Green and Matthew Senreich who are the future sons of Star Wars creativity.
This review is for the UK release of the third installment of the Robot Chicken Star Wars Trilogy. There may be differences with the USA release and other countries. However according to the British Board of Classification website there were no cuts made to the DVD that was submitted to them for the UK classification so I'd assume it is the same. I know it aired on US TV just after Christmas but as far as I know this still hasnt aired on TV in the UK. The UK gets it on July the 4th and the USA release is week or so later on July 12th.
The first RCSW Special was a made up of clips of previous shows and some new skits. The second was more structured which followed a theme of the bounty hunters. The third is more of a character based storyline which follows the stories in the Robot Chicken Universe (RCU) of Palpatine from beginning to timely end. Fan favourite Gary the Stormtrooper from the second SWRC special who reminds me of the legendary comic characters Tag and Bink Jedi Master Yareel Poof from episode one (yeah the one with the long neck) makes a fantastic character for someone who had a minute or two of screen time and no dialogue. My personal favorite is Boba Fett, who was brought a whole new lease of life by Breckin Meyer and makes him so much damn fun. There's more adventures of Boba in the Sarlac pit, plus learn more about little know characters like Max Rebo, and the legendary Prune Face. Find out if Spanish is one of the six million forms of C-3PO knows, Learn what some of the other orders there were before the fatal order 66, and where you should go with Ralph McQuarrie. Also learn what all the buttons on Vaders chest unit and belt do.
The classic voice crew of Robot Chicken artists are back, and include several legendary Star Wars actors. Including Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Ahmed Best, and the new era fan favorite Tom Kane from The Clone Wars. All give stunning performances of fantastic scripts.
As a long time Star Wars fan with a house and shop full of toys and merch (yeah its my full time job selling SW toys) I personally rate this much higher than the Family Guy specials. I remember years ago reading a Toyfair magazine final page interview with Seth Green. He knew the difference between the peg variations on the POTF2 R5-D4, and I thought to myself he is one of us. A die hard Star Wars toy fan and it comes across in the show. Far more faithfully made with much more passion and heart than Family Guy, which pokes fun at the Star Wars universe. Plus I really don't like their choice of Ben Kenobi in it, just seems wrong. Robot Chicken just gets it, and works with the universe. Giving you a see peek behind the door as to what was happening whist the main action we all love and know was going on.
Special Features The main feature runs in at around 55 minutes but that's not all you get for your money. As with all DVD's there are extras but this one is mega packed with around six and a half hours more of bonus material! Much more than I have ever seen on a DVD which has an hour long main feature. Did I mention you really get your moneys worth? Some of the video quality in the extras was noticeably low quality, some was even filmed on Seth Green's iPhone, but really captures the moment.
This is made up with five, yes five more ways to watch the main feature.
Chicken Nuggets Watch the episode and when the chicken logo appears hit it. The film will stop, and show a short clip of the creators giving you nuggets of info on the secrets of the show. Find out why John Stewart got in on the episode, and how they made their Jabba, plus loads more.
Commentary's There are 4 different commentary tracks Actors 1, Actors 2, Writers and Crew. All are nice casual affairs of which half the time are just good friends chatting with the occasional reference to the episode. But there's some great candid material in there.
The funniest for Star Wars fans is Actors 1. Billy Dee Williams as ever steals the show with his thoughts and comments, and Im sure we will be hearing the clips on the ForceCast's Billy Dee quote of the week. Hear his thoughts on Yareel Poof, Yarna, his hate of Jar Jar, and then the realisation that Ahmed plays him and is in the same room as him. If you pick one to listen to this would be my choice. Then come back in a day/week or two and listen to another.
For The Love Of .... 3 minis that interview the people who make the show on three subjects. Toys, Star Wars and Filmmaking.
Trailers Three trailers, Heist, Sitcom and Force Unleashed 2. I love the TFU one as its all new footage that they filmed to promote the game.
Skate Party Bus Tour Video blog of their coast to coast promotional road trip in which every city they hit they hired a skate venue to hold a great big free party. Starting in San Diego at Comicon, and ending in NYC, there's some great stuff with the Robot Chicken gang. Loads of shots with fans, and local 501st Garrisons that they meet on their journey. Ran a little long for my liking as it was kinda the same stuff at each venue. Although I can't fault the gang for their 24 hour non stop dedication to the fans.
Deleted Animatics See the skits that didn't made it as far as animatics but not the final cut to be turned into stop motion. Stand outs for me were State dinner, Bobas dinner date, Toilet paper tuxedo, The greatest story ever told.
Ranch Premier Features the crew loading into coaches taking the final product to the legendary Skywalker Ranch to show it to the people there. Focuses on them and what they thought of the experience so few fans get to experience.
Celebration Five Panels Edited highlights of the panel from the legendary Star Wars Celebration V, with a little info on the squishes/detours show.
Animation Reference Shows the crew goofing about filming themselves for reference for the stop motion (ran a little long).
Sunday in the board room with George Lucas Now I'm a long time fan of all things GL puts out and have watched and listened to many hours of interviews with him and he is always very professional and very reserved and calm in them. But this is the first time I have ever seen behind that persona funniest thing ever. Not gonna spoil it but had me in stitches. Wish it was less edited. As some bits start with GL laughing big time, and the Mara jade bit has to be seen to be believed. Lots of goofing about an so candid like you have never seen him before, he unleashes the naughty mischievous boy inside that well know persona we have never seen before. This is the icing on the cake for an already stellar DVD for all fanboys and girls.
Other Extras Voice recording, The Writing Process, Gag Reel. all great extras.
Easter Eggs Now I'm not going to spoil these for you but I will say there are 3 of them and all fairly easy to find, but if you are having trouble please highlight to reveal.
All directions will reveal a secret red highlighted part of the menu :
Brecken - Main menu. Select set up, Press up then enter Ackbar - Chicken nuggets menu press down then enter Wampa - Deleted scenes 1. Select state dinner Press up then enter
I would have liked to have seen some wide pan shot stills or footage of the main sets they used in the show as they mention in one commentary that the Boba Fett house was much bigger than seen on screen. I'm sure many others sets were too. Also the quality of some footage is a bit poor like the nuggets footage of the crew, the Iphone stuff from Seth is fine as it was a spur of the moment thing of stuff he wanted to capture. However, that is stuff you're not going to rewatch too often to be honest, and I'd rather it was on there in the quality it is than not at all.
In closing this dvd gets a full 1138 outta 10 from me, so much material that really takes you behind the doors of what it takes to make a show like Robot Chicken, and lets you see that it's by the fans and for the fans. The DVD is insanely loaded with goodies plus some total GOLDEN bonus'. The two extras that stand out to me as a fan are the boardroom meeting and the actors 1 commentary with Billy Dee.
Seth and Matt have carved their own path in the legendary universe that is that galaxy far far away and from the news that's slowly leaking out Seth and Matt will be back soon with more Star Wars Animation in the Second Star Wars Animated show - Detours which very little is know about but I know its in the safest of hands and I cant wait too see it.
The regular DVDs are $15 SRP / £13 RRP but you will easily be able to find it cheaper and even at full price its well worth the money for the 7+ hours of material on the disc.
There are 2 ways you can purchase the DVD in the UK - stand alone or as part of the trilogy boxed set. The US gets both the DVD and Bluray releases.