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Guy Vasilovich
Anthony Daniels, Lloyd Floyd, Matt Sloan, Ahmed Best, Lisa Fuson, John Armstrong
Writing Credits:
Michael Price

Your favorite characters are back to save the galaxy in LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out. The heroes of the Rebel Alliance including heroic Luke Skywalker, swaggering Han Solo and steadfast Princess Leia have no time to celebrate their victory over the Empire as a new Imperial threat arises. But as Jedi-in-training Luke embarks on this next mission, he discovers that his celebrity status as a "Death-Star-Blower-Upper" can be a double-edged lightsaber when he's constantly mobbed by crazed fans. So much for secret missions! Meanwhile, Darth Vader and Darth Maul are locked in a hilarious "Sith-ling" rivalry as they compete for the Emperor's approval. It's an action-packed comic adventure that's out of this world!

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1/16X9
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Surround 2.0
French Dolby Surround 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 22 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 3/26/2013

• Exclusive Mini-Figure
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Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

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Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out (2013)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 99, 2013)

Both Lego and Star Wars have existed for decades, but the two didn’t join forces until 1999. At that time, Lego began to release some Star Wars-themed products, and the line has grown immensely since then. It even spawned successful video games, and now the two join forces for home video.

Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out delivers an animated adventure in which we meet the characters right after the end of Star Wars. Before the Rebels can evacuate to Hoth, Luke Skywalker (voiced by Lloyd Floyd) needs to locate a secret stormtrooper base that Princess Leia (Lisa Fuson) and Han Solo (John Armstrong) will then destroy with the aid of Gungan troops. In the meantime, the Emperor (Sam Witwer) and Darth Vader (Matt Sloan) do their best to regroup after the destruction of the Death Star and try again to quash the rebellion.

To call the plot of Strikes a mess would be an understatement, as it leaps around from one area to another with abandon. Essentially, all of the story elements exist as an excuse to display as many Star Wars settings and characters as possible.

And you know what? It works awfully darned well. Nitpickers will have a field day, as the show follows no logic within the franchise’s universe. For instance, it features Darth Maul (Witwer again) even though the character died decades earlier in the franchise’s universe!

To worry about these leaps of chronology would miss the point, however. Strikes exists as a fun poke at the Star Wars universe and it provides a rollicking good time. It’s great that Anthony Daniels appears as C-3PO, and we get a few other “original voices” like Ahmed Best, Andrew Secombe, Brian Blessed and Julian Glover. The impersonated characters work fine as well; some come closer to the source than others – Armstrong’s Solo is pretty good – but all are positive.

Best of all, Strikes delivers a fast pace and a thorough sense of irreverence. It’s not particularly barbed parody; as an authorized piece, it seemed unlikely that Strikes would offer anything especially rough-hewn or pointed. Nonetheless, it has a good time with the series and capitalizes on all its different opportunities.

These leave it as a breezy and delightful little show. As a Star Wars fan, I find a lot to like about Empire Strikes Out.

The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus D-

Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD. Though not great, the transfer seemed more than acceptable.

Sharpness was generally good. The restrictions of SD-DVD meant some lack of definition, but the program usually displayed pretty positive clarity and accuracy. Some light jagged edges occurred, and I saw a smidgen of shimmering as well, but neither created notable concerns. Of course, print flaws weren’t a factor, as they stayed away from this unblemished presentation.

With its many settings, the film boasted a broad array of hues. These looked fine; again, the nature of SD-DVD held back their potential, but they were fairly full and rich. Blacks were deep and dense, while shadows looked clear and appropriately defined. All of this was good enough for a “B”.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack succeeded reasonably. It came with a wide variety of sequences that gave us chances for vivid material, and it brought those out in a satisfying way. The movie used space scenes to allow ships to zoom around the room, and other action set pieces threw vivid components at us. These didn’t use the stereo nature of the surrounds in a terrific way, so don’t expect feature-film quality separation, but they added a lot of pizzazz to the package.

Audio quality was solid. Music appeared bright and rich, with good highs and warm lows. Speech was consistently distinctive and natural, while effects showed decent range. The mix worked to form a good soundtrack.

The disc opens with an ad for Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace. No other extras appear here, though we do get an “exclusive” Lego “Darth Vader with Medal” Minifigure.

With Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out, we get a delightful comedic take on the franchise. It moves briskly and provides a consistently enjoyable piece. The Blu-ray boasts fairly good picture and audio but lacks substantial supplements. I like the program but feel less enchanted with what you get here; $15 MSRP for one 22-minute show with no real bonus materials seems a bit pricey.

Viewer Film Ratings: -- Stars Number of Votes: 0
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