Family Guy was already Reference Overdosed, but many of those gags still required permission to use other intellectual property on a commercial work. Fortunately the people at Lucasfilm were nice enough to okay just about any reference to Star Wars, so Seth MacFarlane decided to take that Up to Eleven, and recreate the whole original trilogy.
Thus the episode "Blue Harvest" recreated A New Hope, and was a commercial and critical success. Then came "Something Something Something Dark Side" recreating The Empire Strikes Back, and finally "It's A Trap!" recreating Return of the Jedi. Any other films are up in the air. It was joked that The Cleveland Show could do the prequels.
The cast includes:
- Chris Griffin as Luke Skywalker
- Peter Griffin as Han Solo
- Lois Griffin as Princess Leia
- Meg Griffin as the Trash Monster, the Asteroid Slug, and the Sarlaac.
- Stewie Griffin as Darth Vader
- Brian Griffin as Chewbacca
- Glenn Quagmire as C-3PO
- Cleveland Brown as R2-D2
- Joe Swanson as Biggs Darklighter, the Probe Droid on Hoth, and Jabba the Hutt
- Herbert as Obi Wan Kenobi
- Carter Pewterschmidt as both Uncle Owen and The Emperor
- Babs Pewterschmidt as Aunt Beru
- Ernie the Giant Chicken as Boba Fett
- Mayor Adam West as Governor Tarkin
- Mort Goldman as both a Jawa and Lando Calrissian
- Carl the convenience store clerk as Yoda
- Angela as Mon Mothma
- Bruce as Admiral Piett
- James Woods as General Veers
- From American Dad:
- Klaus the goldfish as Admiral Ackbar
- Roger as Moff Jerjerrod
- From The Cleveland Show
- Rallo as Nien Nunb
- Tim the Bear as Wicket
- Acting Unnatural: In the first episode Peter-as-Han cautions Chris-as-Luke to "play it cool" when they're sneaking off to rescue Lois-as-Leia. This apparently entails slouching along jazzily to the strains of Cab Calloway's "Minnie the Moocher".
- Then used to spoof Han's "fly casual" line in the third episode.
"Does that casual-looking shuttle have a code clearance?"
- Actor Allusion: At the end of the first episode, Peter and Chris discuss the Robot Chicken Star Wars parodies; Peter dismisses Robot Chicken, while Chris defends it. Chris is voiced by Seth Green, creator of Robot Chicken.
- And it's also not the first time Green played someone who got into arguments with his father, either. Green also played Scott Evil from Austin Powers, and anyone who has seen the first two movies will see that Scott and Dr. Evil do not have a good relationship.
- The Jedi special makes Green into a Butt Monkey, which acts as Chris/Luke's Berserk Button. After the story, Chris asks Peter what he has against Green, and makes some comments about MacFarlane's talent instead; Brian, Stewie, and Peter all defend MacFarlane, and Meg (Mila Kunis), Lois (Alex Borstein), and Chris (Green) all say he's a dick.
- Peter also mentions Without A Paddle which Seth Green starred in.
- When Jabba is about to shove Luke into the Sarlacc pit (played by Meg), his Huttese is clearly "Miiiilllllllaaaa Kuuunisssssss"
- Affectionate Parody
- As Himself: Rush Limbaugh doing a spoof of his show as if it was in the Star Wars universe.
- He also shows up in It's A Trap as the Rancor.
- Big Blackout: Used in the frame story to justify Peter Griffin telling the Star Wars stories. True to form, once his reciting the story ends, the power comes back on. Lampshaded by Stewie:
Stewie: What are we, Iraq? This happens entirely too often!
- Breaking in Old Habits: Chris/Luke Skywalker gets a replacement hand. The doctor tells him "I'd practice on a hot dog first."
- Breaking the Fourth Wall
- Brought Home the Wrong Kid: In Blue Harvest, Peter mentions that he and Lois got halfway home with the afterbirth before going back to the hospital and swapping it out for Meg.
- The Cameo: Coach McGuirk makes an appearance at the Mos Eisley Pub.
- Cold Opening: Each installment begins with the Griffin family watching various television programs before the lights go out.
- Creator Breakdown: It's A Trap opens with the word crawl complaining they were sick of doing the Star Wars spoofs. The DVD Commentary makes it clear that no, it is not a joke.
- Crossover: Characters from American Dad and The Cleveland Show are in the third episode.
- This is lampshaded by Stewie (as Vader) at the beginning of the third episode when Roger appears. Stewie is surprised and says something to the effect of "It's you [Roger]? Are we really out of our own characters? We have to use you?"
- In the background in the Mos Eisley cantina, we see Coach McGuirk from Home Movies, Roger from American Dad, and Bender from Futurama.
- In Dark Side, the Wampa is played by Cookie Monster.
- Darker and Edgier: During It's a Trap!, Han!Peter outright admits that he's trying to invoke this trope, because he's sick of the cutesy Ewoks.
Han/Peter: Alright, I want you to go outside, take off those helmets and dig your own graves with them!
- Deleted Scene: A number not aired in the first episode were on the DVD release.
- Dirty Old Man: Obi-Wan is this in the special, owing to who he is portrayed by (Old Man Herbert).
- DVD Commentary
- Edited for Syndication: Due to their hour long nature, the specials are often split into two parts with many scenes cut to make a 30 minute broadcast.
- Fridge Logic: . Plenty of head scratching moments from the movies are pointed out.
- Funny Afro: That Cleveland/R2-D2 even has one.
- Gangsta Style: Cleveland/R2 shooting a TIE Fighter that way.
"Yeah-heah! That's how we do it in my neighborhood, Bitch!"
- History Marches On: The DVD release of It's a Trap features a throwaway gag of Osama Bin Laden popping up in the middle of the Tatooine desert to announce "Still alive!" Less than three weeks before the television premiere, this ceased to be so. The sequence was edited out of the televised version.
- I Like Those Odds:
C-3PO/Quagmire: Sir, the odds of successfully navigating an asteroid field are 2-1!
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy : In "Blue Harvest", when the group are fleeing the Death Star, no one is ever hit, even when Han (Peter) and Chewie (Brian) spend about 25 seconds standing at the doorway trying to get a couch through the door.
- In "Something Something Something Dark Side":
Stormtrooper 1: Did we ever hit anything with these guns?
- Jossed: Fans swore some shots were made by Rotoscoping shots from the actual movies. The scenes were merely recreated really well.
- Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: It looks like--- no, is the first Fourth Doctor opening of Doctor Who.
- Lampshade Hanging
- May the Farce Be with You
- Money, Dear Boy: The opening of the third episode jokes that the creators only created the last episode because the first two made enough money that that they were forced into doing so.
- N-Word Privileges: Spoofed. This is the original scene in The Empire Strikes Back:
Princess Leia: Why, you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!
- And the scene in Something, Something, Something Dark Side:
Lois: Why, you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!
- Noodle Incident: Several, with three occurring in "Blue Harvest," both involving Obi-Wan/Old Man Herbert:
- The first was in the scene where Obi Wan/Old Man Herbert receives the SOS signal from Princess Leia/Lois Griffin, where the latter mentions that (Obi-Wan) owes her for keeping several Aldreaanian children silent for obviously sexual reasons, but the only thing we got out of her was "Joey Lawrence Haircut" due to Obi-Wan/Old Man Herbert fast forwarding through the details due to Luke Skywalker/Chris Griffin being nearby.
- The second was when Darth Vader/Stewie Griffin encounters and duels Obi-Wan/Old Man Herbert, where it is mentioned that Vader/Stewie had placed a restraining order on Obi-Wan/Herbert with a distance limit of 50 yards for reasons unspecified.
- Obi-Wan/Herbert also briefly mentioned something about sock puppets when telling Luke/Chris to use the Force to place the proton torpedos into the Death Star's thermal exhaust port that he entertained Luke/Chris with as a kid, but elaborates no further other than warning him not to mention the sock puppet shows because it would get him into trouble if he mentioned them.
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Brian notes Lando is wearing Han's clothes, and then looks at the audience and tells them to watch Empire again, as he's not kidding.
- Off with His Head: Chris/Luke does this to Danny Elfman. See Take That below.
- Orchestral Bombing: Most notable during the Millennium Falcon/TIE-Fighter battle. Peter/Han sings along to it.
- Overly Long Gag: Most spoofing actual scenes from the movies.
- Pimped Out TIE Fighter
- Reference Overdosed: It's still Family Guy, so this can't be left out.
- The Smurfette Principle: To the point where the guys are shocked when Mon Mothma appears (done by a character voiced by Carrie Fisher).
- The DVD commentary for "It's a Trap" mentions that Fisher was initially reluctant to voice for the special, but relented when she came to the conclusion that she'd be playing Angela and not Leia.
- Something Else Also Rises: Herbert's lightsaber is limp until he sees Chris. At that point it... throbs.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Biggs, mostly because he wasn't able to take off for the battle due to an unspecified injury that resulted in him being confined to a wheelchair.
- Take That: Some spoofs of this, some straight ones, like at Danny Elfman.
- Also done at the end of It's a Trap! towards the series creator Seth McFarlane, by Chris, Lois, and Meg as revenge for Peter Griffin constantly ripping down Robot Chicken.
- Title Drop: "It's a trap! Also, whose cat?"
- Universal Adaptor Cast
- What Could Have Been: Some jokes were mentioned, but not put in the final episodes, including a Back to The Future reference when Leia kissed Luke, Han mentioning he had OCD, a Monty Python and the Holy Grail scene with the wampa.
- Whole-Plot Reference
- Written-In Infirmity: In-Universe example with Blue Harvest. Because Biggs Darklighter was portrayed by Joe Swanson, Biggs Darklighter was confined to a wheelchair. He explains that he got an injury from an accident regarding his repairing a Y-Wing that left him paralyzed.
- You And What Lightning Hands?
- named for the fake title for Return of the Jedi to get around locations overcharging them to shoot there
- based off a Cutaway Gag from the show
- Based off of Admiral Ackbar's Memetic Mutation line, although it was formerly going to be titled "I Got A Bad Feeling About This" which was based on the Running Gag a Star Wars character would say in a dangerous situation