Who could have thought back in the late 1990s that Singled Out host Chris Hardwick — because that reference can never die — would eventually become one of the top level proponents of geek culture, particularly the comedic side of it? In developing the Nerdist podcast, which quickly became the all-encompassing Nerdist Industries, Hardwick has often given science fiction a long, loving embrace. BBC America viewers know him from his guest-heavy Nerdist TV series and The Walking Dead fans definitely know him from his supplemental chat series The Talking Dead. Last year he added “charity” to his sci-fi repertoire by joining up with Lucas Entertainment, Machinma, and the sports agency Octagon for the “Course of the Force” event. If you can imagine, it just might be related to Star Wars.
Related in the sense that having faux-British Michael Rooker (as The Walking Dead‘s Merle Dixon), professional wrestler CM Punk, The Wonder Years‘ Danica McKellar, and The Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones all attempting to play Boba Fett can be called “related to Star Wars.” And they aren’t schl-schl-slumming it. There is no reason why some indie filmmaker shouldn’t get this exact group of people together, along with podcast co-host Matt Mira, to make one of the planned spinoffs. We would like it like it.
Essentially a relay race with a lightsaber replacing the standard baton, the Course will begin on July 9 at George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, and paying participants will run in quarter-mile increments for a week’s time, until the final run into downtown San Diego on July 16, the day before preview night at the San Diego Comic-Con. It’s bigger and better than last year’s event, and all proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Aww. In these videos, which premiered a month ago, Mira is tasked with finding the stolen lightsaber before the charity even begins.
While it’s never really serious, these promo clips use the motliest of crews to show reverence to all forms of fanboy media through the lens of Star Wars. For a good cause! Pass the word on!
Going backwards in video order, let’s next watch as the “next great comedian” Kyle Kinane gets frustrated while comedian Kumail Nanjiani and Seth Green audition as Han Solo for him, even though all he wants to do is find the missing lightsaber. A lot of quoteplay in this one — “I know, right!” — both from this universe and from Star Trek and Back to the Future. Clare Grant (Team Unicorn) also appears. It’s quick, it’s funny, and makes me wonder why these guys aren’t in all comedy shows.
And now the first episode, which features comedian Moshe Kasher and a slew of R2-D2 jokes. R2 isn’t that impressive, is he? Everybody does a Borat impression. His J.T. impression is better though.
And then we have fellow Nerdist Podcast co-host/comedian Jonah Ray getting into a dance off with a cast of talented Stormtroopers as his posse. Shit gets weird guys. Tapping your feet just gets you more interested.