Family Guy: Blue Horizon

Rating 1½

Directed by Dominic Polcino

Written by Alec Sulkin

Starring Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, Mike Henry and Lori Alan : Created by Seth MacFarlane

When a power failure strikes while the Griffin family are watching television, Peter Griffin, the head of the household, tells the others a story, which re-casts them in lead roles in an alternative version of ‘Star Wars IV: A New Hope’.

This was the opening episode of the sixth season of the animated show that has been axed twice (in 2000 and 2002), only to be resurrected due to DVD sales. ‘Blue Horizon’, which was the work-in-progress title given to ‘Return Of The Jedi’ when that film was in production, was first broadcast by the FOX Network on 23 September 2007. George Lucas, who is apparently a fan of the show, officially endorsed the episode. ‘Family Guy’ creator Seth MacFarlane has been a fan of ‘Star Wars’ since childhood.

I am not an avid viewer of ‘Family Guy’, but I usually find it funny when I do watch it. I think it’s funnier now than ‘The Simpsons’, although it is certainly no match for that show at its peak – or probably ‘King Of The Hill’, for that matter. I am not a fan of ‘Star Wars’. In fact, I dislike the franchise to an almost intense degree. I have only ever seen two of the films in their entirety – ‘A New Hope’, as it is now called, and ‘The Phantom Menace’.

I first became aware of ‘Blue Horizon’ when advertisements began to appear for the DVD. I thought it might be fun and looked forward to watching it when it turned up on BBC3. Unfortunately, despite some clever touches, I found it just as tedious and uninteresting as the film it parodies. Watching ‘Blue Horizon’, for me, was exactly like watching ‘Star Wars’ and all it did was remind me why I did not like the film in the first place.

Casting Stewie Griffin as Darth Vader was funny, although not much was made of the potential afforded by this piece of casting. Again, casting Herbert, the elderly paedophile, as Obi-Wan Kenobi offered a few comic moments that seemed to be conspicuously absent elsewhere.

Ultimately, the funniest moment probably comes right at the very end of the episode when Peter Griffin (Seth MacFarlane) and Chris Griffin (Seth Green) bicker about the ‘Robot Chicken’ parody of ‘Star Wars’, which had been broadcast a few weeks earlier. Seth Green is one of the creators and executive producers of that show.

‘Blue Horizon’ will undoubtedly appeal to committed fans of ‘Family Guy’, especially those who also like ‘Star Wars’. My antipathy towards that franchise meant I was left rather unimpressed by it all, but mine is a very suspect opinion for that same reason.

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