Robot Chicken Creators Talk Star Wars: Detours

By Brent McKnight | Published

Over the years, Robot Chicken pumped out a number of Star Wars parodies. Now the creators, Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, are living out every red-blooded nerd’s ultimate fantasy, working on a new Star Wars show with George Lucas himself. That’s enough to make you explode. The result of this collaboration is the animated serial Star Wars: Detours.

At the recent Star Wars Celebration VI in Florida, the duo, with an assist from Lucas, revealed some footage from the show. They also paused to discuss the series with IGN.

People were unsure what to expect from Detours. Would it mimic the frantic sketch comedy of Robot Chicken, or take some other approach? They make assurances that what you’ll see will be a more traditional narrative. Characters will evolve over time, and arcs will play out over multiple episodes, much like a sitcom.

One of these stories will involve a young Luke Skywalker, taking place when he’s a teenager, living with his uncle in the desert. It follows Obi-Wan’s cursory attempts to establish contact with Luke, to help the boy fulfill his destiny.

That’s our thought, is that Obi-Wan never knew what the correct timing was to approach that sort of prophecy in the desert. So each time, he attempts it and it goes horribly awry. He’s just like [waving hand as if using the Force], “None of this ever happened.” And Luke starts overtime developing real gaps in his memory, and he wakes up in places and doesn’t understand why his clothes are askew. “What happened here?”

That actually sounds like it could be a lot of fun, watching a bunch of awkward encounters between Luke and Obi-Wan, ones that never go right and end with Luke’s memory getting wiped. There’s potential there, but to be honest, I don’t like the footage I’ve seen from Detours at all, and it will be interesting to see how Star Wars fans react to the show.

The most interesting part of the entire interview is when Green and Senreich address the topic of how lifelong adult fans of the franchise will respond. Senreich talks about how different generations have experienced Star Wars in vastly disparate ways:

When we were working on the third Star Wars [Robot Chicken] special, we had three interns telling me about how the prequels were better than the originals. I thought they were joking at first, but we got into a long conversation. We were all debating it, how the first ones were boring to them. I was trying to understand, and I just couldn’t because, again, it just wasn’t for me, which is okay.

Green adds:

We get so precious about our intellectual property because it’s experience-based. It’s something that you felt, and you don’t feel that someone else could have the exact same experience unless they experienced it how you did. That’s just not accurate.

These are legitimate points, especially the experience angle. How many of us have fond memories of seeing the original trilogy in the theaters? There are tons of people in my generation where these movies were their first cognizant movie-going experience. Especially now, there are so many Star Wars properties that I know kids who are huge fans that haven’t even seen the original trilogy, it’s too dark and scary for them.

Like I said, from what we’ve seen, I don’t anticipate enjoying Detours (not a huge Robot Chicken fan either). Then again, it isn’t exactly intended for me. Still, I’d rather have younger audiences watching a watered-down take on Star Wars than most of the other programming aimed at kids.

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