LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out is a very short and very silly parody of the Star Wars movies and characters that acts as an extended commercial for LEGO products. There is some Star Wars-style violence with laser gun and light saber battles, as well as spaceship dogfights. There are also brief slightly off-color jokes involving C-3P0 and Chewbacca, but all in all, this is silliness for younger viewers that parents will also find amusing.
What's the story?
While Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie, and the rest of the Rebel Alliance have won a major victory over the Empire, they have no time to celebrate, as the Emperor, Darth Vader, and Darth Maul plan on creating a new Death Star -- one made out of LEGOs. Luke must go on a secret mission, but it is impossible for him to hide in the shadows from the Stormtroopers, due to Luke's new-found fame as the young Jedi in-training who blew up the Death Star. Everywhere he goes now, he is chased by hordes of screaming teenage girl aliens enthralled by his heroism and good looks. To defeat the Empire, Luke must disguise himself as Darth Vader, and also convince these teenage girl aliens that the real Darth Vader is very handsome underneath his mask, and looks quite a bit like Hayden Christensen.
Is it any good?
LEGO STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES OUT is a very silly and quirky computer-animated parody of the movies and characters of the Star Wars franchise. While certainly a 22 minute commercial for LEGO products, it does manage to be clever and enjoyable on its own terms. While younger kids will enjoy, for instance, the jokes of Darth Vader as a bit of a crybaby, parents will find plenty to chuckle about as well. (It's impossible not to laugh as Chewbacca is shown sitting down to a crossword puzzle where all the answers are variations of "Rarrrgh.")
The biggest problem with this movie is that, at 22 minutes, it's too short. So much happens at once, it can be hard to follow, and before you know it, it's over. Still, as a parody, it does manage to pack a lot of action and a lot of jokes into such a short period of time. As an advertisement, perhaps 22 minutes is the perfect length to leave kids wanting more, and asking for Star Wars-themed LEGO toys to play with. Regardless, this is an enjoyable movie for parents and kids, despite the motives for its creation.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about parody. How are the characters in this short movie similar and different to the original characters in the Star Wars movies? What makes this version funny?
Why would the LEGO toy company want to make a Star Wars-themed parody movie in which characters are made to look like LEGO characters?