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"Blue Harvest" is the hour-long premiere of the sixth season of the FOX series Family Guy and the first part of the series' trilogy Laugh It Up, Fuzzball. It originally aired on September 23, 2007. The episode is a retelling and parody of the 1977 blockbuster film, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, recasting the show's characters into Star Wars roles. The plot follows [[Peter as he retells the story of Star Wars while the electricity is out in their house.

It was written by Alec Sulkin and is directed by Dominic Polcino. It guest starred Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Mick Hucknall, Rush Limbaugh, Phil LaMarr, Johnny Brennan and John Benjamin. Recurring voice actors Lori Alan, Adam West, Ralph Garman, Danny Smith, John Viener, Steve Callaghan, Kirker Butler, Mark Hentemann Wally Wingert and episode writer Alec Sulkin. It received mixed to positive reviews from critics.

Plot[edit]

While the Griffins are watching television, the power goes out and they are left with no other form of entertainment. While they wait for the power to return, Peter decides to retell the story of A New Hope

After the "opening crawl" a Rebel ship is captured by a Star Destroyer. On the ship are the droids C-3PO (Quagmire), R2-D2 (Cleveland) and the rebel leader Princess Leia (Lois). While the ship is boarded by stormtroopers, Leia tries to send an MPEG to Obi-Wan Kenobi through R2, but encounters so many complications that R2 offers to deliver the message himself. Leia is captured by Darth Vader (Stewie) while R2 and C-3PO flee to Tatooine in an escape pod, where they are captured by Jawas.

The droids are sold to a family of moisture farmers, whose nephew Luke Skywalker (Chris) wishes to join the Rebellion and fight the Empire. While cleaning the droids, Luke stumbles upon Leia's message inside R2, who later decides to leaves the farm. Luke and C-3PO pursue him but are attacked by Sand People. Luke is knocked out by one of them (Opie) and is found by Obi-Wan Kenobi (Herbert), who takes them to his hut. Leia's message explains that R2 contains the plans to the Death Star, which must be sent to her father on her home planet of Alderaan and asks Obi-Wan to help since her family helped cover up his "little problem". Obi-Wan tells Luke that he must learn the ways of The Force and accompany him to Alderaan, and gives him his own lightsaber. Realizing that the Empire must be looking for the droids, Luke returns home to discover that his home has been destroyed and his aunt and uncle killed.

Luke, Obi-Wan, and the droids travel to Mos Eisley to find a ship and pilot to take them to Alderaan. At a local cantina they hire smuggler Han Solo (Peter) and his Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca (Brian), who agree to take them with their ship, the Millennium Falcon. The group is soon spotted by stormtroopers and they flee into space, evading the pursuing Star Destroyers before jumping into hyperspace. Leia is imprisoned on the Death Star, where commanding officer Grand Moff Tarkin (Adam West) has Alderaan destroyed to test the space station's "planet blower-upper gun".

The Millennium Falcon exits hyperspace into the middle of an asteroid field where Alderaan once was. The ship is captured by the Death Star's tractor beam and brought into its hangar bay. Disguising themselves as stormtroopers, Han and Luke along with Chewbacca set off to rescue the captive Princess while Obi-Wan goes to shut off the tractor beam and R2 and C3PO stay behind. Han, Luke and Chewie rescue Leia, and the four dive into a garbage chute to escape stormtroopers. They end up in a garbage compactor with a skulking dianoga (Meg) in the murky water, they are nearly crushed until C-3PO gets high off marijuana R2-D2 gave him earlier and leans against the off switch. As they flee the Death Star, Han and Chewie insist on taking a couch they found in the garbage. Obi-Wan turns off the tractor beam before being confronted by Darth Vader in a lightsaber duel; Obi-Wan's blade falls limp until he sees Luke. Vader strikes Obi-Wan down as the others board the Falcon, taking the couch with them.

Warding off a group of "Thai Fighters" sent to stop, the Falcon journeys to the Rebel base at Yavin IV, where the Death Star plans are analyzed by the Rebels and a weakness is found. The attack requires a pilot to skim along a trench in a one-man starfighter to attack an exhaust port added for aesthetics. Luke joins the assault team while Han collects his reward for the rescue and leaves. The Rebel fighters attack the Death Star, but, they suffer heavy losses during the assault. During his run, Luke hears Obi-Wan's voice telling him to use the Force, and he turns off his targeting computer. Vader appears with his own group of fighters, and is about to fire at Luke's ship when Han arrives in the Falcon and attacks Vader and his men, sending Vader's ship off into space. Guided by the Force, Luke fires into the port, destroying the Death Star, and he returns to the Rebel base with his friends to celebrate their victory.

Back at the Griffins' home, Peter wraps up the story as the power comes back on. Everyone thanks Peter for keeping them entertained, although Chris points out that Robot Chicken already told that story.

Production[edit]

A man with black hair, and tan skin with a black shirt on, leans forward while laughing into a microphone.
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane served as executive producer for the episode.

"Blue Harvest" originally aired on September 23, 2007 as the premiere for the sixth season of Family Guy.[1] The episode was written by Alec Sulkin, who has been with the show since the fourth season.[1] It was directed by series veteran, Dominic Polcino, who has been directing for the series since it's first season.[1] Series regulars Peter Shin and James Purdum served as supervising directors for the episode. The episode's music was composed by Walter Murphy.[1]

Family Guy creator, Seth MacFarlane explains that the reason that the reason they made a complete parody out Star Wars in particular was because everyone in their staff loved the films and were exited to do this project.[2] Another reason Star Wars was chosen, was because, Lucasfilm allowed them to create it.[2] MacFarlane stated that while they thought of doing an Indiana Jones or a Wrath of Khan parody, they couldn't, because they wouldn't get permission from owners of those properties (in this case Paramount Pictures) and that Lucasfilm was "the only company out there right now that is progressive enough to allow this".[2] Lucasfilm only gave the show's staff one condition, which was that the characters had to look exactly like they do in the movies.[2]

Clips of the episode were shown at Star Wars Celebration IV, which MacFarlane, executive producer David A. Goodman, Sulkin and Polcino attended to present the episode to the attendees and host a panel.[3] The episode was also previewed at the 2007 Comic-Con International 2007.[4]

In addition to the regular cast actors Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, musician Mick Hucknall, political commentator Rush Limbaugh, along with voice actors Phil LaMarr, Johnny Brennan and John Benjamin made guest appearances.[1] Recurring guest voice actors Lori Alan, Adam West, Ralph Garman, writer Danny Smith, writer John Viener, executive producer Steve Callaghan, Kirker Butler, executive producer Mark Hentemann writer Wally Wingert and episode writer Alec Sulkin also made minor appearances in the episode.[1] Archive footage of Leslie Nielsen's role in the movie Airplane! was used to voice Nielsen's character who makes a short appearence in the episode.

Cultural References[edit]

The episode was a retelling of George Lucas' Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

"Blue Harvest" contains many references to the popular culture. The episode contains a lot of Star Wars related references. Most of the episode itself is a retelling of George Lucas' film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.[5] The episode's name is a reference to the fake working title of the original film.[5] One of the band members that plays at the cantina ask for any song request and then he subtly responds to his own question by saying "play that same song" a reference to the fact that the song being played in that scene in the movie lasts a long time.[6]

When Peter is about to being telling the story he says that it's about "love and lost, father and son and the foresight to retain international merchandising rights", a reference to the fact that 20th Century Fox gave those rights to Lucasfilm.[2] During the text scrawl actress Angelina Jolie, the film Gia(which Jolie acted in) and the television channel HBO are mentioned.[5]

One of the empires ship has a sign in the back that says "Bush - Cheney" a reference to George W. Bush's campaign for the presidential election in which Dick Cheney acted as his vice-president.[5] Once Leia is captured, Vader asks her where she hid the Death Star plans, she responds saying that they are in one of twenty-six briefcases, a reference to the game show Deal or No Deal .[7]

When Luke is watching the sunset he breaks the forth wall by introducing John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra who have been scoring the scene.[5] Luke then asks the orchestra to play the theme of The People's Court.[5] Later in the episode when Luke finds his uncle and aunt murdered he also finds that John Williams and the entire orchestra have been killed as well, this saddens Like since the episode will now have to be scored by Danny Elfman.[5] A political commentator on the radio is heard saying that the "liberal galactic media is saying that they are saying that the planet Hoth is melting", this commentator is voiced by Rush Limbaugh who also runs a political radio program in which he criticizes the liberal media.[5]

When the Millennium Falcon enters hyperspace, the tunnel that they go through are very similar to the time tunnels from Dr Who.[8] Obi-Wan sings a rendition of (I've Had) The Time of My Life from the film Dirty Dancing, in case he never sees Luke again.[5] In a fight with a group of TIE fighters Luke asks why are they called that, we are then shown that the pilots are from Thailand. Leslie Nielsen's character from the movie Airplane wishes Han Solo good luck during their encounter with the TIE fighters.[6] The rebels look at a instructional video to see how to destroy the Death Star, the video is hosted by Magic Johnson.[6] Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo's characters from National Lampoon's Vacation films appear driving by the Death Star.[5] Chris, who is voiced by Seth Green, points out that Robot Chicken already did a Star Wars parody (Green is the creator of Robot Chicken).[5]

Reception[edit]

Reviews of this episode were mixed to positive. The Associated Press's Frazier Moore called it "a dead-on homage that hilariously picks apart Star Wars, along with much of real life".[9] Common Sense Media gave the episode three out of five stars, calling it "ribald but often hilarious satire of fantasy favorite".[7] Flick Filosopher's Maryann Johanson review of the DVD, said it was " one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen" and she recommended people to see it.[8] Brad Trechak of TV Squad also praised the episode, stating that it "was a fun episode to watch" and he thought that "MacFarlane kept to the story pretty well, and there were enough corny jokes to make it amusing".[5] Ahsan Haque from IGN gave it a seven out of ten, criticizing the selection of Herbert as Obi-Wan, but did say that the other choices were "spot-on", he ended his review by stating that "As a tribute to Star Wars, this episode succeeds, but you can't help but wish that there was a bit more to it, considering the nature of the source material". In a later review of the season as a whole, Haque said that the episode was "generally entertaining, but certainly wasn't as great as it could have been".[10]

Newsday's Diane Werts rendered a more mixed verdict, saying the episode "veer[s] wildly from bull's-eye satire to gotta-fill-time-now exposition", and was not as enjoyable for non-Star Wars fans.[11] Robin Pierson of The TV Critic also gave it a mixed review, criticizing the writers for using the character of Herbert and the episode's musical moment which he called an "un-amusing waste of time", although he did praise the way that the episode satirized the Star Wars universe, he ended his review by saying that "Chances are the more you like Star Wars, the more you will enjoy this. For those of us who know Family Guy better than Star Wars, there is plenty of bad material here to remind us that nothing much has changed" and he gave the episode a sixty-five out of a possible one-hundred.[6]

The Parents Television Council, a group that has been a frequent critic of Family Guy, criticized the episode for the use of sexual dialogue that it perceived to be frequent in the episode, enough for the episode to have an "S" content descriptor for sexual content (the episode was rated TV-14-DLV on Fox).[12]

DVD release[edit]

It was released on January 15, 2008 for DVD and on August 7, 2012 for Blu-ray in Region 1.[13][14] It was released on January 21, 2008 for DVD in Region 2,[15] and on February 6, 2008 DVD and on August 24, 2011 for Blu-ray in Region 4.[16][17] "Blue Harvest" was also released as part of the "Laugh It Up, Fuzzball: The Family Guy Trilogy" which was released on December 21, 2010 for DVD and on December 21, 2010 for Blu-ray in Region 1.[18][19] It was released on December 27, 2010 for both DVD and Blu-ray in Region 2.[20][21] It was released on December 22, 2010 for DVD and on January 12, 2011 for Blu-ray in Region 4.[22][23]

Sequels[edit]

MacFarlane stated that if the episode did well and Lucasfilm was satisfied they would work on making a sequel. "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side", an episode that parodies The Empire Strikes Back, and "It's a Trap!", an episode that parodies Return of the Jedi, originally aired on May 23, 2010 (season eight, episode 20) and May 22, 2011 (season 9, episode 18) respectively.[24][25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Family Guy: Blue Harvest, Part 1". Yahoo!. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Collins, Scott (December 27, 2009). "Q & A with Seth MacFarlane". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Force is With Family Guy". IGN. May 30, 2007. Retrieved October 4, 2012.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  4. ^ "Programming for Saturday July 28". Comic-Con. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Trechak, Brad (October 7, 2007). "Family Guy: Blue Harvest (season premiere)". TV Squad. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d Pierson, Robin. "Episode 1 - Blue Harvest". The TV Critic. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Cassady, Charles. "Family Guy: Blue Harvest". Common Sense Media. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Johanson, MaryAnn. "Family Guy: Blue Harvest (review)". Flick Filosopher. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  9. ^ Moore, Frazier (September 23, 2007). "TV Lookout: Highlights for Sept. 23-29". Associated Press. Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  10. ^ Haque, Ahsan (September 21, 2007). "Family Guy: "Blue Harvest" Advance Review". IGN. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  11. ^ Werts, Diane (September 21, 2007). "Fox's 'Family Guy' takes on 'Star Wars'". Newsday. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  12. ^ Schulenberg, Caroline (April 11, 2008). ""Family Guy" on Fox". So You Think You Can Rate a TV Show?. Parents Television Council. Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Family Guy: Blue Harvest (2008)". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Family Guy: Blue Harvest (Blu-ray)". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Family Guy - Blue Harvest (DVD)". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Family Guy Presents Blue Harvest (Blu-ray)". ezydvd. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Family Guy Presents Blue Harvest". ezydvd. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Laugh It Up, Fuzzball: The Family Guy Trilogy (It's a Trap! / Blue Harvest / Something, Something, Something, Darkside) (Blu-ray)". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Laugh It Up Fuzzball: Family Guy Trilogy (Blue Harvest/Something, Something, Something Darkside / It's a Trap)". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  20. ^ "The Family Guy Trilogy - Laugh It Up, Fuzzball (DVD)". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  21. ^ "The Family Guy Trilogy - Laugh It Up, Fuzzball (Blu-ray)". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Family Guy Trilogy, The (3 Disc Set)". Ezydvd. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Family Guy Trilogy, The (6 Disc Set) (3 Blu-ray / 3 DVD Box Set) (BONUS Digital Copy)". Ezydvd. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Dark Side". Yahoo!. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Family Guy: Episode VI: It s a Trap". Yahoo!. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 

External links[edit]


Preceded by
Meet the Quagmires
Family Guy (season 6) Succeeded by
Movin' Out (Brian's Song)