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Something, Something, Something Darkside

A special hour-long episode of the FOX animated series Family Guy.

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Family Guy Strikes Back

  • Dec 22, 2009
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Blue Harvest was, for the most part, not a bad Star Wars Parody.  On the other hand it was filled with the same old Family Guy jokes.  The sort of hit or miss jokes that have become so common in the show.  Something Something Something Darkside  suffers terribly from the same old problems.  There are so many unfunny jokes and all that Something Something Something Darkside (a horribly unfunny title) doesn't rise that far above its predecessor... but it IS better.

Once again, Peter decides to tell his family the story of Star Wars.  This time going with the Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.  The opening crawl begins but is already filled with absurdity.  Some of it actually is funny, though (particularly the big elephant that just bounces through).  When it finally begins you'll come back to the Family Guy casts in their respective roles.  Chris plays Luke Skywalker, Peter is Han Solo, Lois is Leia, Brian is Chewie, Quarmire is C-3PO while Cleveland is R2-D2.  Stewie takes up the role as Darth Vader while Lois's father Carter Pewterschmidt is the Emperor.  That's about the biggest extent of the cast that you'll have to know, but you'll see other characters pop up as well.  Most noticeable is the Giant Chicken as Boba Fett (actually a fairly apt part for him) while Mort Goldman is Lando.  Chris's boss at the convenience store takes the role of Yoda while Herbert the Pervert returns as Obi-Wan (but you get far less of the pedophile like humor from him--that's a good thing... that joke stopped beinf funny a while ago). 

As with Blue Harvest, it actually follows The Empire Strikes Back really well.  A lot of the lines here are pulled straight from the film, and there are some parts that are almost shot for shot recreated from The Empire Strikes Back.  If you LOVE The Empire Strikes Back, you just might find Family Guy's portrayal interesting.  It mostly sticks to the same things it did with Blue Harvest.  Sometimes lines are altered for the sake of commenting on the movies themselves.  Once again, however, this is one of the annoyances.  Seth MacFarlane and his writers, once again, spend a lot of time commenting on things that have been commented on a dozen times.  Though it isn't nearly as bad as it was in Blue Harvest, it's still annoying.  The part at the end where Lando is wearing Hans clothes, for example?  What Star Wars fan hasn't caught on to that yet?  Commenting that Lando is seemingly the only black guy left in the entire galaxy?  Yeah, that little goody has been around since The Empire Strikes Back was in its original theatrical run.  Thankfully, however, you don't get much of this sort of thing.

Other times his comments make MacFarlane seem less like a Star Wars fan, and more like someone who hardly understands the original trilogy.  For example, at the moment where Chris as Luke goes into the cave Yoda makes the comment, "It stops the movie dead..." Well yeah, if you're someone who didn't care for the significance of the scene in particular.  But for many fans the scene was quite telling and instrumental in one of the biggest discussions about the film.  And at OTHER times, he doesn't seem to be aware of the timeline.  When Han is in carbon he makes the comment, "So even though we know where he is let's not rescue him for three years..." Uh, MacFarlane does realize that in the sense of film a sequel that comes out three years later doesn't mean that in the context of the films they're three years later, right?  Take this as an example: Star Wars Episode II came out three years after Episode I, yes?  But the movie takes place TEN years after the first one.  See how that works?  Need a better example?  Batman Begins came out in 2005... The Dark Knight came out in 2008... you know how long after Batman Begins its sequel takes place?  Just a year.  See how that works?  I'm glad you do because MacFarlane doesn't.  Some may say I'm being a ittle too harsh on just one little joke.  I deny it.  If you're going to joke you have to do it sensibly and do it right.  And do it in a way that demonstrates you understand what it is you're joking about.  Otherwise instead of being funny you look foolish.

Other times, the movie seems to be trying a little too hard to shock us.  In Family Guy's take on the scene where Luke throws the thermal detonator into the AT-AT he does this to find that the AT-AT is pregnant (yes, a pregnant machine) and has to remind himself he's in a war.  It's not really all that funny in the slightest... though for the most part it's a creative joke.  Other jokes get repetitive.  In particular the amount of gay and sexist jokes just get tiring (they wouldn't if the majority of them were funny).  To give you an idea of all the gay jokes you're in store for, the opening text begins with "A Long Time Ago When the Gays Weren't All In Your Face About It."  It's not funny, but more moments where these jokes come about is the moment where Chewie talks about "shooting his red hot hug," all over Luke and a moment where The Emperor tells Darth he must turn Luke to the Dark Side.  The most disturbing moment comes in the form of incest in which Darth says that they don't have to rule the Galaxy as farther and son, but rather as just two guys who might "do it occasionally, but there's nothing strange about it because it's just two guys."  It's just not that hilarious and in fact that borders on being absurd more so than funny.  If these moments were funny they might be forgivable.  But Seth is just doing the same thing he always does.  Blinding throwing darts at a wall and seeing what hits the board.

The sexist jokes aren't that spectacular either.  Meg, for once, isn't the punching bag (though she once again makes an appearance as the ugliest creature).  That is given to Lois this time around.  The abuse she takes from Peter here is unusually cruel, even for Family Guy.  In the "I love you," moment rather than saying "I know," the line is, instead "Fuck off."  Once again, it's there more for the sake of shock than it is to be funny.  And it isn't funny.  Because for some odd reason Seth seems to be excited at the fact that he's now allowed to swear.  Unfortunately it's just not funny.

So once again you're getting a lot of hit or miss jokes and sometimes moments where the joke isn't funny BECAUSE it hardly makes sense.  On the other hand, as I said, there are moments that are funnier than not, and for the most part MacFarlane stays faithful.  Some moments, such as the pose Peter strikes in the carbon freezing chamber or even some of the ways Peter mocks Lois (that "You're gonna attack them!" bit from the preview, for example) or even, yes, some of Stewie's gay moments are kind of funny.  Another hilarious bit has to do with the snow battle on Hoth.  There's a lot more to laugh at than I let on.  Some moments are downright hilarious.  The funny moments may be few and far between, but thanks to Family Guy's nature you're sure to laugh at SOMETHING.  And here there's more to laugh at than in Blue Harvest... but there's also quite a bit to pick at too.

It's hard to judge Something Something Something Darkside because I did find moments where I laughed, but also moments that bugged the living hell out of me so badly that I just didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I could've.  Is it funnier than Blue Harvest?  Yeah, but the hit or miss jokes are once again... mostly miss.  Some of the bad jokes, however, fall really really flat and become annoying.

Although the exchange between Chris and Peter when the story is done is amusing for Robot Chicken fans and Family Guy fans (and if you know Seth MacFarland and Seth Green, then chances are it's even better).  Family Guy's Star Wars parodies have nothing on the jokes Robot Chicken throws out there.  Sure, Robot Chicken may also be random humor, but at least Robot Chicken is able to garner laughs and fewer pickings. 

There were quite a bit of people scratching their head at just where the title Blue Harvest came when Family Guy did a parody of "A New Hope" (turns out it's a fake working title that was used for Return of the Jedi... and a very famous fake working title).  People probably won't be scratching their head for long.  The title Something Something Something Darkside is actually a reference to one of Family Guy's own jokes:

Not much trivia behind that one, but in case anyone was wondering just where the title for this one came... it's an inside joke.

The problem with much of Family Guy's humor comes less from the fact that it's random, and more from the fact that it just isn't funny.  Something Something Something Darkside may be better than Blue Harvest in some ways... but it doesn't get that much better.  You'll be tickled with nostalgia, but also annoyed.  As with Blue Harvest, if you're a Star Wars and Family Guy fan... you just might like it better than you think.  If you're not a Star Wars fan (at the least) you're probably just not going to enjoy it.

What did you think of this review?

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February 05, 2010
Just a little geeky note here: Return of the Jedi actually IS set 3 years after Empire Strikes Back. Read the book Shadows of the Empire; it chronicles what goes on between the movies. It's quite a bit, actually.
December 24, 2009
Sounds like typical Family Guy fare, too many attempts at jokes that either score or are lame. I saw a few more episodes of Family Guy even after I ripped it apart in my own review of the show. Some episodes aren't half bad but others with it's anvil dropping and "take thats" are lame and preachy to say the least. The Star Wars fan in me wants to see this but the cynic in me knows it will be more of the same. Seth really needs an editor to keep some of his (and I love how you put this) "dart board" tenancies in line. The stuff in the previews looks funny but all the other stuff you mentioned about pregnant AT AT's and too many bad gay jokes already annoyed me from the moment you mentioned them. Thank you.
December 23, 2009
supoib review! I nid 2 git this seen! Thanx 4 da review, man.
December 22, 2009
Whoooa, how did you manage to catch this already?  I thought it was airing later tonight on FOX!  Sean, you are magical :)  I'm looking forward to seeing this.  With low expectations though.  It is Family Guy afterall ;D
December 22, 2009
The DVD came out today although thanks to certain, uh, circumstances I was able to view it in advance of its release.  So I started working on this goody a couple of days ago. 
December 22, 2009
Wow, you're always on the cutting edge of this stuff! I didn't even know that there was a DVD, I thought it was just TV :P
More Something, Something, Somethin... reviews
review by . December 28, 2009
Chris and Stewie go over some ground rules
Before I begin, let me just say that even though I thouroughly dissected the Family Guy tv show for it's faults, follys, slopiness and just plain "take that!" attitude, I'm a sucker for Star Wars and found Family Guy's send ups irrisistable to pass up watching and much to my chagrin, found their first offering Blue Harvest to be a lot of fun.      Something Something Something Darkside however leaves a little to be desired.      Lets be fair, …
Quick Tip by . April 05, 2010
get this movie its realy funny no searicly
Quick Tip by . December 28, 2009
Not so clever Family Guy follow up to Blue Harvest. Not as bad as it could have been.
About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #6
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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"Something, Something, Something, Dark Side" is an upcoming hour-long episode of the FOX animated series Family Guy and the sequel episode to the Star Wars parody "Blue Harvest", to be followed by the future spoof of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi currently named "We Have A Bad Feeling About This". It will retell the story of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back as "Blue Harvest" did with Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, recasting characters from Family Guy into roles from the film. It was originally scheduled to air as the 7th season finale, but has been pushed back to season 8. Like the previous installment, the poster for "Dark Side" is based on the design of an actual Star Wars poster.
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Star Wars, Family Guy, Seth Macfarlane, Parodies, Something Something Something Darkside


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