'Star Wars,' Lucas prey for 'Chicken'

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"Robot Chicken" creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich are channeling their inner geeks with "Robot Chicken: Star Wars," a special for Adult Swim.

The 30-minute stop-motion animation special, directed by Green, spoofs key scenes and favorite characters from the "Star Wars" universe, including the sci-fi saga's creator, George Lucas. It was done in collaboration with Lucasfilm, and Lucas is on board to voice the animated version of himself.

Additionally, "Robot Chicken: Star Wars" will feature Mark Hamill as the voice of Luke Skywalker in one sketch and a voice cast that includes Conan O'Brien, Seth MacFarlane, Robert Smigel, Malcolm McDowell, Hulk Hogan, James Van Der Beek, Donald Faison, Abraham Benrubi, Breckin Meyer and Joey Fatone.

The special, from Green and Senreich's Stoopid Monkey Prods. and Alex Bulkley and Corey Campodonico's ShadowMachine Films, will premiere at 10 p.m. June 17 on Adult Swim, kicking off a best-of "Robot Chicken" marathon that will feature reruns of the "Star Wars" special at the top of every hour.

The special stems from three "Star Wars" skits on "Robot Chicken," including the popular "Emperor's Phone Call," featuring Darth Vader calling Emperor Palpatine to tell him that the Death Star has been blown up. Reps for Lucasfilm wanted to post that sketch on StarWars.com, and they set up a meeting with Green and Senreich that turned into a pitch meeting for a special.

"We were big fans of the work that Matt and Seth had done, so when they approached us about the idea to make a 'Robot Chicken' episode dedicated to 'Star Wars,' we were really enthusiastic about it," said Tom Warner, Lucasfilm's senior director of marketing.

The "Star Wars" special was developed with Lucasfilm's approval at every stage. The company also helped with sound files on Chewbacca and R2-D2.

Like just about every child in 1977, Green saw the first "Star Wars" movie.

"It informed my whole creative sensibility, and the 'Star Wars' toys I played with in my childhood inspired my imagination," Green said. "I've always wanted to be a part of a 'Star Wars' project, and I got to make one."

And he got to direct Lucas.

"It was really exciting," Green said. "He was very shy but very playful."

"Robot Chicken: Star Wars" was created and executive produced by Green and Senreich, who also exec produce, write and direct the series, now in production on its third season.

"Seth and Matt are two of the biggest 'Star Wars' geeks I have ever met," said Adult Swim's Keith Crofford, who also is exec producing the special with Mike Lazzo. "They are the perfect pair to bring 'Robot Chicken' to the 'Star Wars' audience."

The series head writer-producers Tom Root and Douglas Goldstein penned the special with Meyer, Mike Fasolo, Hugh Sterbakov, Jordan Allen-Dutton and Erik Weiner.

Green was repped in the deal by Endeavor, Koopman Management and attorney David Weber. Senreich and Root were repped by WMA and attorney Allison Binder. ShadowMachine was repped by attorney Irwin Rappaport. Goldstein was repped by Endeavor and attorney PJ Shapiro.
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