FAMILY GUY: BLUE HARVEST
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
Directed by: Dominic Polcino
BY KEVIN CARR
After years of doing “Star Wars” references on the hit animated FOX show “Family Guy,” the production team finally threw caution to the wind and did their own episode devoted exclusively to “Star Wars.” But instead of doing a half-hearted rip-off, they made a perfect match of the two pop culture phenomena.
“Family Guy: Blue Harvest” was the uproarious premiere episode of season six, and now it is available in an unrated DVD.
The show opens with the Griffin family watching television. But when the electricity goes out, Peter must entertain the family with a story of his own: a twisted tale of “A New Hope” with all the roles played by people from the “Family Guy” universe.
To really get the show, not only do you have to know the “Family Guy” cast – and understand nuances like old man Herbert’s potentially illegal crush on Chris. You also have to know “Star Wars.” It’s still funny if you don’t know every beat, every music cue and every line of dialogue from the classic sci-fi film, but it helps. It’s clear that the people making the show do.
In some ways, “Family Guy: Blue Harvest” is a shot-by-shot homage to George Lucas’s 1977 masterpiece. At other points, it diverges into typical “Family Guy” irreverence and gives us the wonderful pop culture references the show is famous for.
This stand-alone hour-long episode is brilliant, not just because it gives love to “Star Wars” with such passion and honor, but because it samples so many other aspects of our popular culture, including Doctor Who, the Griswolds, Redd Foxx and even Rush Limbaugh in a hilarious cameo.
Rather than watching your commercial-filled TiVo of the episode if you recorded it this past fall, check out the unrated DVD. There’s not much more in the film itself, except for a couple swear words and some poop jokes from Darth Stewie. But there’s some nice behind-the-scenes features, including a 20-minute making-of documentary, a montage of “Star Wars” jokes from the rest of the series and an easter egg featuring part of the table read of the upcoming “Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” episodes.
The only annoying part of the special features is how much Seth MacFarlane gushes over George Lucas in her 15-minute one-on-one interview. It’s one thing to love the guy’s films, but let’s not love the guy on camera. I’m sure that if I had a chance to interview George Lucas, I’d be less of a little girl…
…well, probably not.