After the successful first installment ("Blue Harvest"), "Family Guy" returns to the "Star Wars" well for "Something, Something, Something Dark Side", a light spoof of "Empire Strikes Back" that - despite a few gags that don't go over that well - tops "Blue Harvest" in quite a few regards.
The film opens with Luke (Chris) on Hoth, nearly freezing to death before being captured by the cookie monster. Meanwhile, Han Solo (Peter) realizes that Luke has gone missing and heads out to find him on his DonDon. After getting away from the monster (whose intentions weren't evil after all), Luke has a vision of Obi-Wan (Hebert) - who tells Luke to head to Dagobah and be trained by Yoda (Carl).
Meanwhile, Han, Leia, Chewbaca (Brian) and C-3PO (Quagmire) and R2-D2 (Cleveland) escape and hide out in what they believe is a cave, but is surprisingly (or, not so surprisingly, actually) revealed to be a character from the series. The group then heads off to Cloud City to meet with Lando (Mort) only to fall into the trap set by Vader (Stewie). As with "Blue Harvest", the film opens with the characters deciding what to do after the power goes out and closes with Peter ripping into Chris (voiced by "Robot Chicken" creator Seth Green) about how "Family Guy" did a better "Star Wars" retelling.
"Something, Something, Something" once again does a fine job with the details of the "Star Wars" universe, doing an impressive job recreating the locations, sets and other elements down to minor details. The pacing and jokes of this sequel also work more consistently, although there are a few gags that fall entirely flat, such as a "Turn the Beat Around" song gag late in the movie, or a random Juicy Fruit gum reference early on.
Still, for every gag that swings and misses, there are several that get a fine laugh. Some of the best gags are some of the most minor, throwaway bits, such as Luke's co-pilot Dak being more than happy to take on the entire rebel fleet himself - which he soon realizes isn't a particularly good plan. Late in the movie, Luke and Vader stop their fight to allow a car to pass through, then restart their battle. There's also quick, amusing "Jetsons" and Allstate references. Meg's cameo appearance is also priceless.
Overall, this episode stands as one of the best the series has done recently. A third in the series - "We Have a Bad Feeling About This" is already in production.
VIDEO: "Something, Something, Something Dark Side" is presented in 1.33:1 (1080p/AVC) by 20th Century Fox and the results are pretty good. Sharpness and detail are first-rate, as the animation looked clear and well-defined throughout the majority of the running time. Still, a few minor concerns did present themselves, such as a bit of shimmer on a handful of occasions and some light traces of pixelation in a few scenes. Colors looked bold and bright, appearing well-saturated and spot-on.
SOUND: The film's DTS-HD 5.1 presentation isn't overly remarkable, but certainly offered up an enjoyable experience (given the TV-based material.) Surround effects are heard fairly often during the action sequences and some mild ambience was also noted at times. Audio quality was terrific, with crisp dialogue and clear, well-recorded effects.
EXTRAS: Audio commentary by Seth MacFarlane, Mark Hentemann, David A. Goodman, Kirker Butler, Dominic Polcino and Seth Green The commentary is a great deal of fun, as the group cracks jokes about the production and shares some amusing tidbits about the development of the film and where some of the gags were pulled from. We also get table readings for a large portion of "Something, Something, Something Dark Side" and a few minutes worth of the upcoming "We Have a Bad Feeling About This." We also get a brief animatic, fact track, poster art gallery and trailers.
Final Thoughts: "Something, Something, Something Dark Side" does miss on a few gags, but this "sequel" is one of the funniest recent "Family Guy" episodes. The Blu-Ray offers excellent audio/video quality, as well as some very funny extras. Recommended.
The Film B+