Posted by Ryan
“I still can’t believe any of this is happening in my real life,” says Seth Green. “I am so amazed that we’re getting to do this. I just don’t want anybody to wake me up.”
For Star Wars fanatics Green and Robot Chicken co-creator Matt Senreich, doing a Star Wars-themed episode of their stop-motion animated comedy was, to quote Luke Skywalker, “like something out of a dream.” So getting a sequel greenlighted must’ve felt like a Jedi mind trick. But it’s no Bantha poodoo: Adult Swim presents Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II on Nov. 16 at 11:30pm ET/PT.
“When we did the first Star Wars special, we were so in disbelief that they were letting us do it, that we just wanted to fill it with all the jokes that the nerds have been talking about in basements for the last 25 years, so we threw everything in, even the kitchen sink,” Green says. For the second special, Green and Senreich wanted to tell a linear story centered around the mysterious bounty hunters who appear in The Empire Strikes Back. “I’ve always been fascinated by that tableau on the [Star Destroyer] Executor bridge of the six bounty hunters, one of which is Boba Fett, who ultimately captures Han Solo,” Green explains. “Who are those guys? How did they get there? Do they have agents? Did they answer an ad? Do they know each other? Why just these six? Do they have competitions amongst each other? Is Boba Fett always the victor? Those kind of questions, it just seemed like a great platform for comedy.”
After getting George Lucas and Mark Hamill for their first Star Wars special, Episode II will feature the voices of Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia and Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian. Andy Richter also joins the cast as bounty hunter 4-LOM and other characters. Reprising their roles are Ahmed Best as Jar Jar Binks, Conan O’Brien as Zuckuss, Donald Faison as Evazan, Seth MacFarlane as Emperor Palpatine, and Breckin Meyer as Admiral Ackbar and Boba Fett.
Meyer, it seems, has great enthusiasm for working on the Robot Chicken Star Wars specials — as well as a strange aversion to clothing while recording his voices in the sound booth. “It’s hard to explain. I don’t know if he has some natural phobia with clothing, but without any motivation or provocation, Breckin has been known to strip,” Green says. “He stripped at Comic-Con this year,” Senreich points out. “On the Robot Chicken panel. Breckin started to take his shirt off. No lie,” Green adds. But Meyer’s voice portrayal of Admiral Ackbar turned out to be one of the big highlights from the first special. “The whole sketch came out of Breckin doing that voice in the room,” Green says. “We didn’t even have an Ackbar sketch, and he just kept saying, ‘It’s a trap! It’s a trap!’” Senreich adds, “We actually did like four Admiral Ackbar sketches. Only one or two maybe even make it to air. But he just kept writing them.” “Part of what works really well for Breckin is giving him a soda or something full of sugar, and then just throwing him in the booth and letting him fly,” Green says. “He’ll give us just a ton of stuff, and if we lock the door, he’ll just keep going until we say cut. And we can edit it all together and it’s just hilarious.
Green will also return in MacFarlane’s forthcoming follow-up to the Family Guy Star Wars special Blue Harvest. Called Something, Something, Something, Dark Side, the Family Guy special will spoof The Empire Strikes Back and features Green voicing Chris Griffin as Luke Skywalker. With Blue Harvest giving a nod to Robot Chicken’s Star Wars spoof, and the creative talents of both Green and MacFarlane on both projects, we wondered exactly what kind of collaboration there was between them. “Both Seth [MacFarlane] and I, besides having the same name, share the same love and bizarre general knowledge of Star Wars, and neither one of us can believe our good fortune to get to make our shows, and not just make our shows, but make our show’s version of Star Wars,” Green says. “And so between the two of us, between Family Guy and Robot Chicken, there’s so much, not collaboration, but just goodwill. We all love all those people over there and love that show and they seem to have the same affection for us, which is really encouraging. The main thing that we realize is our shows are so different in format, that we don’t step on each other’s toes creatively. So what we did was, we would just call and check subject matter when we were doing the first special. It was like, ‘Are you guys doing a thermal exhaust port joke? What is it? How does it work? OK, cause here’s what we’re doing. This is how it’s going to work.’ And we were nowhere near each other. Same subject matter, but completely different takes and execution.”
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