The story of The Empire Strikes Back is retold. Darth Vader (Stewie) is hunting the rebel Luke Skywalker (Chris) and his troops relentlessly across the galaxy. On the ice planet Hoth, Luke has a vision of his late mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Herbert), telling him to go to the Dagobah system to learn the ways of the Force under Jedi Master Yoda (Carl). Meanwhile Princess Leia (Lois) finds herself taking a shine to the scruffy pilot Han Solo (Peter) and, against all odds, the two soon fall in love. But an encounter with Han’s old friend Lando Calrissian (Mort) lands them in the clutches of the Empire. Envisioning this, Luke chooses to forgo his Jedi training to save his friends. It all comes to a head in a climactic confrontation with Darth Vader himself… The Family Guy: Something, Something, Something, Darkside DVD is presented in full screen aspect ratio featuring English 5.1 Dolby Surround, Line 21, English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, English, Spanish, French, and Brazilian stereo and subtitles.
Chris Griffin is right: when it comes to obsessive geekery and mining absurdity from the minutiae of the Star Wars universe, the comic force is stronger with Robot Chicken. But Family Guy strikes back with the second episode in its goof on the original holy trilogy. The animation is more impressive than the jokes, which are scattered all over the galaxy--the good (an Empire recruitment film), the bad (Yoda's teachings revolve around guy-movie trivia), and the ugly (wholly gratuitous--and here unbleeped--F-bombs). Devoted viewers will catch in-jokes inside of other in-jokes (this program takes its title from the season 5 episode "Barely Legal," in which the Emperor discovers the formula for great Star Wars dialogue). There is some interesting stunt casting with nebbish Mort Goldman as Lando Calrissian and the Giant Chicken as Boba Fett. James Caan cameos, as does, sorta, Tom Selleck. And Meg is once again reduced to embodying a hideous space creature, although at least she gets a line of dialogue. The DVD and Blu-ray editions contain metachlorine-rich extra features, including lively (and at times slanderous) audio commentary by Seth MacFarlane, Seth Green, writer Kirker Butler, director Dominic Polcino, and others; optional trivia pop-ups; and a table read of the Something, Something script. There is also a sneak-preview table read of the next installment, We Have a Bad Feeling About This. If I were an Ewok, I'd be worried, or on the phone to a lawyer. --Donald Liebenson