Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All the Times I've Bought Star Wars: Episode VII -- Expanded Universe

And welcome back to All the Times I've Bought Star Wars.  I've been recapping all the times I've bought Star Wars as I've been trying to figure out why I've bought it so many times.  We continue with today's entry, Episode VII: Expanded Universe.  

I’ve got a bunch of other videos and DVDs in my collection that I bought purely because they were Star Wars-related.  I thought I’d do a quick rundown on all of them before I brought this to an end.

The Making of Star Wars

This TV special from 1977 chronicles...well, the making of Star Wars.  It’s cute, as it’s hosted by R2-D2 and C-3P0, and contains some great vintage interviews with the cast.  When the “One Last Time...” videos were released in 1995, you could get this from Froot Loops for 2 proofs-of-purchase and $5.99 shipping and handling.  So I got it.

Star Wars: Ewok Adventures

For those who might not remember, George Lucas actually produced 2 TV movies in the mid-80s chronicling the adventures of the Ewoks, as they battled all kinds of evil on the forest moon of Endor.  These were definitely more fantasy-based than sci-fi.  They finally hit DVD around Christmastime 2004.  This is a double-feature disc, meaning on side 1, you have the first movie, The Ewok Adventure, (although, for the DVD it goes by its European title, Caravan of Courage), and on side 2, you have the second film, The Battle for Endor.  No bonus features whatsoever.

Family Guy presents Blue Harvest

In 2007, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the first film, the Family Guy producers decided to celebrate by creating this scene-for-scene spoof of the first film.  It was done with the full permission of Lucasfilm.  It served as Family Guy’s season premiere for the 2007/2008 season, and was released on DVD for Christmas 2007.  I had some money left over from a Christmas gift card, so I bought myself the super-special-edition gift set, which contains the movie, a T-shirt, a set of trading cards, and the book The Art of Family Guy presents Blue Harvest.  There’s also some 3D glasses, because for this release, they converted some scenes to 3D.

The DVD itself contains a running commentary with the creative talent, a making-of documentary, and an interview with George Lucas conducted by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane.  And, of course, this was so popular that it spawned....

Family Guy presents Something Something Something Dark Side

Because their spoof of Star Wars was so popular, they immediately followed it with scene-for-scene spoof of The Empire Strikes Back, entitled Something Something Something Dark Side.  In case you’re curious about the title, it comes from a gag in an episode of Family Guy in which it’s pointed out that all of Emperor Palpatine’s lines contain either the words “dark side” or “complete.”  This came out straight-to-DVD for Christmas 2009, and then served as the season finale for the 2009/2010 season.  

For bonus features, there’s a running commentary with the cast and crew, pop-up trivia facts, and a featurette on making the movie poster.

Robot Chicken Star Wars

I love Robot Chicken, and they actually beat Family Guy to the punch by doing a Star Wars parody/tribute episode to celebrate the first film’s 30th anniversary.  This one came out about 3 months before Family Guy did it, and once again, it was done with the complete cooperation of Lucasfilm.  

For a 22-minute episode of a TV show, this DVD is overstuffed with bonus features.  At least 7 different running commentaries, gigantic galleries of deleted scenes and storyboards, alternate audio takes, making-of featuettes, all the TV commercials...it’s just nuts how much is on here.
I’m surprised I don’t own Robot Chicken Star Wars: Episode II.  It’s never on store shelves when I got shopping.  I should just suck it up and buy it online.

And of course, we have to end with the most famous Star Wars spoof of all....

Spaceballs: 2-Disc Collector’s Edition

Mel Brooks’ legendary spoof of the original trilogy, which hit theatres in 1987.  Can you believe that, because it hit theatres 4 years after Return of the Jedi, film critics declared it, “Too late?”  Crazy.   Who could ever forget Rick Moranis as Darth Vader/Dark Helmet, Bill Pullman as Lone Star/Han Solo, and John Candy as Barf/Chewbacca?  And Mel Brooks himself as both Yogurt/Yoda and President Skroob/Emperor Palpatine.  Watching it again, I can’t believe how obscene it is!  I can’t believe my parents let me watch it that much!

This particular edition was released in the spring of 2005, to piggyback on the Episode III hype.  There’s a running commentary from Brooks, and all new retrospective documentary, bloopers, trailers, and a tribute to John Candy. 

And that’s pretty much it.  I’ll just take one more entry to wrap things up.

Next Issue:  What We’ve Learned Here Today

1 comment:

Matt Thompson said...

I had watched Spaceballs dozens of times as a kid before I even SAW the "first" SW movie. Looking back, I can't believe I was ever allowed to watch it