Robot Chicken: Star Wars III Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: VC-1
- Resolution: 1080i/60
- Audio Codec: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Rating: Not Rated
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Warner Home Video/Cartoon Network
- Blu-ray Release Date: July 12, 2011
- List Price: $19.98
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
While I understand that the whole Robot Chicken idea is an exercise in frivolity and juvenile comedy, I have to say that Robot Chicken: Star Wars III fell completely flat for me. Were it not for the obvious hard work of the stop-motion animators (and even that looked a bit dodgy in some places) I might have given this an even lower rating than I have.
Star Wars III pretty much runs through the story of the Star Wars saga told from the perspective of the Emperor. Along the way, there are a lot of disjointed gags, like a disco dancing Darth Vader, Darth Vader getting sucked down a toilet, Emperor Palpatine on seemingly endless escalator ride being saluted by one nameless Stormtrooper after another and so on. Add in numerous bathroom jokes, rinse, and repeat. It all just left me longing for this autumn’s real Star Wars Saga Blu-ray release, despite it being the Special Editions.
Robot Chicken features the voice talents of Zac Efron, Seth Green, Donald Faison, Rachel Leigh Cook, Billy Dee Williams, and others whose talents could have been put to much better use elsewhere.
The 1080i/60 VC-1 encodement of Robot Chicken: Star Wars III has strong color reproduction and relatively good detail, but it could have been a bit better. Perhaps with a slightly higher bitrate (this one seemed to linger around 17Mbps) some issues like color banding would not have popped up. Also, it just didn’t look quite as sharp and well-defined as it could have.
Audio on the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack is generally good. Dialogue is clean and there are some inventive uses of the channels for some goofy sound effects being panned around the room, for instance when Darth Vader’s Tie Fighter is spinning out of control and his quarter is loose in the cabin, the sound pings through the room.
For a 40-minute “feature,” there are a heck of a lot of extras loaded onto to this disc, more than some feature length films get, actually more than most feature length films get. There are an abundance of deleted scenes, behind the scenes featurettes with cast and crew, a Q&A with the Robot Chicken creators, four sets of commentaries, and even a rather funny boardroom meeting with George Lucas himself. It’ll take hours to sift through everything on here, so, major kudos to the Robot Chicken folks for loading this release up with all these bonus materials.
The supplements provided with this release are:
- Chicken Nuggets – This option will play Episode III with access to sketch by sketch video commentary.
- Featurettes (1.78:1; 1080i/60):
- For the Love of Toys – Actors and crew talk about the cool Star Wars toys.
- For the Love of Star Wars – The crew discuss when they first saw Star Wars.
- For the Love of Filmmaking – The crew discuss how Star Wars inspired them to get into filmmaking.
- Behind the Scenes: Writing – Have a peek at the writers’ process on developing Robot Chicken Star Wars.
- Behind the Scenes: Voice Acting – A behind the scenes look at the voice actors doing their roles.
- Behind the Scenes: VFX – Some comparison shots of the visual effects used in Robot Chicken Star Wars Episode III.
- Robot Chicken Skate Tour ’09 – The Skate Party Bus Tour in which fans show up in Star Wars costumes on roller skates and party is followed in this featurette.
- Deleted Scenes and Animatics:
- Throw it Back, Dad
- State Dinner
- Look the Same
- The Chosen One
- Take a Guess-Guess
- Emperor’s Hand
- Smokescreen Chewie
- Alderaan Windshield
- Fun with Stormtroopers
- Womp Rats Aren’t So Bad
- Battle of Yavin
- Storybook Palpatine
- Porkins is Dead
- Chewie’s All Aarrrrrrooooooo and No Bite
- Gary on Hoth
- Boba Fett’s Dinner
- Toilet Paper Tuxedo
- Carbon Freeze, Yes Please
- Boba’s Temper
- Fit for a Slave
- Vader Gets Monday Morning Quarterbacked
- Hey Luke, Darth Vader is Your Father
- Royal Guard Undergarments
- It’s an Older Code
- The Greatest Tale Ever Told
- Time Lapse – Time lapse footage of the animators making their stop-motion magic happen.
- Skywalker Ranch Premiere (1.78:1; 1080i/60) – The Robot Chicken crew go to Skywalker Ranch for the premiere of Robot Chicken Star Wars Episode III
- Actors 1 (Abraham Benrubi, Ahmed Best, Keith Ferguson, Seth Green, Matthew Senreich, Billy Dee Williams)
- Actors 2 (Bob Bergen, Donald Faison, Seth green, Brecklin Meyer, Matthew Senreich)
- Writers (Matthew Beans, Mike Fasolo, Dan Milano, Tom Root, Hugh Sterbakov, Zeb Wells)
- Crew (Cameron Baity, Christopher Covel, Trisha Gum, Alex Kamer, Cam Leeburg, Chris McKay, Jeanette Moffat, Rob Ronning)
- Animation Reference (1.78:1; 1080i/60) – Seth Green’s live reference videos for the animators.
- Star Wars Celebration V Robot Chicken Panels – Robot Chicken Q&A at the Star Wars Celebration.
- Gag Reel (1.78:1; 1080i/60)
- The Force Unleashed II
- Sunday in the Boardroom with George Lucas (1.78:1; 1080p/24) – A very comedic and lighthearted meeting with the creators of Robot Chicken and George Lucas.
The Definitive Word
Just another not so funny attempt at spoofing Star Wars. My final thoughts on this? Eh. Rent it if you’re really desperate to see it, otherwise, you can skip it – you won’t be missing much.
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