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10 'Star Wars' Parodies to Get You in the Mood for 'Solo'

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Chipmunks/ 'Robot Chicken'/ 'Family Guy'.

It's kind of impossible to overstate the cultural impact of the 41-year-old Star Wars universe. Many of us have grown up in this galaxy far, far away—and the arrival of Solo: A Star Wars Story next month is sure to keep us in it for even longer.

Just this week, singer-songwriter Ryan Adams, posted his very own one-minute version of the original trilogy on Instagram. The 60-second epic is populated by sock puppets, paper cutouts, and a torn picture of Mark Hamill's face. It makes almost no sense at all.

This is the type of thing that long-term Star Wars obsession yields. But Ryan is not alone. Back in 1987, when Mel Brooks first released his own Star Wars satire, Spaceballs, it probably felt like a flash in the pan. Little did anyone know that by 2018, Star Wars parodies wouldn't just still be in full swing, they'd be one of the more permanent threads in our pop culture fabric.

Here are 10 notable moments from along the way:

'Robot Chicken'


The greatest thing about Robot Chicken's Star Wars parodies were their commitment to being rooted in mundane, day-to-day details. We saw Death Star destruction through the lens of relatable office minutiae (including the Emperor ordering lunch)Boba Fett as a drunk uncle figure; "Dr. Ball," an Empire medical droid who just wants to give people flu shots in peace; and, of course, there were the daily struggles and horrors of being Gary, the Stormtrooper. (Never has a faceless plastic toy inspired such pathos.)

Oscar Isaac Doing Bill Murray Doing Star Wars Lounge-Singing

Back in 1978, Saturday Night Live aired a skit about a lounge singer named Nick Winters—played to side-splitting effect by Bill Murray—who opened and closed his terrible ski lodge act with jazzy songs based around the Star Wars theme tune. It was ludicrous enough that it has lived on in memory ever since, which is why, after 2015's triumphant Episode VII, The Force Awakens, GQ asked Oscar Isaac (who plays Poe Dameron) to revive Murray's old classic and expand on the lyrics to appropriately reflect the new movie. It was... disturbingly sexy.

'Family Guy'

Probably the three most brilliant episodes in the entirety of Family Guy's 16 seasons so far, Seth McFarlane's takes on Stars Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi were a delight for fans of both the movies and the TV show. It was as politically incorrect as one would expect, but the attention to detail (within both the animation and script) was a genuinely impressive feat. What's more, Stewie finally got to play a villain of appropriate stature, Peter and Lois added some perfect marital bickering to the roles of Han and Leia, and Boba Fett was played by a giant chicken (because of course he was).

Creative Tunisians

Remember back in 2013 when Pharrell Williams released "Happy" and the internet got flooded by DIY versions of that joyful video? Well, a bunch of slightly awkward Tunisians got together and did a Star Wars-themed rendition, in full costume. And who can blame them? They live on Tatooine!

'Saturday Night Live'

The thing that really elevated SNL's simultaneous spoof of both The Last Jedi and Undercover Boss was the sheer, eye-twitching commitment from that week's host, Kylo Ren himself, Adam Driver. Combining the most awkward hidden camera elements of the reality show with the most impulsive and short-tempered parts of Darth Vader's grandkid made this one of the most memorable skits of Season 41. The degree to which Bobby Moynihan obviously had a blast making it only made everything that much better.

'Sesame Street'

Sesame Street's "Star S'Mores" is impressive for the sheer number of food puns it manages to squeeze into a five-minute period (Cookie is "Flan" and he wants to eat his co-pilot, "Chewy"). The joy is free-flowing, thanks to the even smaller details—Mr. Snuffleupagus dressed up as a Bantha, Darth Baker's bacon and egg chest plate, and a Millennium Falcon that's actually an ice-cream sandwich. And remember: "There is no try. Only sing!"

'The Adam and Joe Show'

This cult favorite from the UK was parodying Star Wars with stop-motion animation almost a decade before Robot Chicken. A lot of the galaxy-related skits Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish put together make almost no sense to American audiences because of the sheer number of British references in them. However, dressing R2-D2 and C-3PO up like the Pet Shop Boys, and making Darth Vader impersonate Grace Jones is pretty fantastic no matter where you're from.

'The Simpsons'

For fans who waited 16 years for a new Star Wars installment, George Lucas's prequels came as a crushing blow, thanks to the preponderance of bad CGI, a plot that veered dangerously close to C-Span territory, and, oh dear God, Jar Jar Binks. The Simpsons felt our pain... and then they documented it remarkably well.

Bad Lip Reading

The Bad Lip Reading YouTube channel is always a surefire way to cheer yourself up, whether it's overdubbing NFL games, the inauguration, or the Walking Dead (if you haven't yet seen "Carl Poppa," make it happen)—but BLR's work on Star Wars has been particularly stellar. Once you've seen "Seagulls (Stop it Now)," not only will Dagobah never look the same to you again, there's a good chance that the phrase "Run, run, run, jump, I can be a backpack while you run," will be bouncing inside your brain forever. (And you probably won't even mind.)

And Finally... Chipmunks


Not The Chipmunks. Just regular old chipmunks. Because the internet wouldn't be the internet without lightsaber-wielding rodents. You're welcome.

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