Tag Archives: Yoda

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This is NOT the homage to “Star Wars” you’re looking for.

Or – maybe it is!

If you have had a lifelong love of the epic space odyssey since you were a kid (check) and love parody humor (check) and find some adult-themed humor and risqué costumes fun (check), then maybehot sex in bathroom might just be for you.

I know it was for me.

This beloved movie has had the piss taken out of it before in ways that some might view as tasteless.

Consider Mel Brooks’s “Spaceballs” (“May the schwartz be with you!”), the hilarious bits that have been done on the trench run on the Death Star or “Star Wars XXX: A Porn Parody.” (No, I’m not going to link to that last one, you filthy prevert.)

But “The Empire Strips Back” takes it to a whole other level.

The title pretty much sums up what you’d expect: A live stage production of performers in skimpy “Star Wars” costumes shimmyin’ and shakin’ more than window blinds caught in a hurricane.

Check it out here: https://vimeo.com/144088886

I’ll never look at Luke Skywalker, the Imperial guards or Darth Vader the same again.

I caught the act on May Fourth (May the Fourth be with you…) at the PlayStation Theater in Manhattan and it was a raucous good time.

Some highlights:

“Luke” (a female dancer) sponging up a landspeeder and then doing her best “Flashdance” shower impression.

Princess Leia doing a strip tease as R2-D2 watched, prompting the droid to spit out a stream of cash like an overheated ATM.

Han and Chewbacca dance and rapping and stormtroopers peeling off pieces of their uniform in a synchronized dance number.

The final act featured a catina scene with Yoda on the drums, and Admiral Ackbar rapping and busting a move.

The costumes were spot-on, the sets (including a googly-eyed, tongue-wagging Jabba the Hutt) engaging and the performances energetic.

What about the T&A, I’m sure you’re asking.

Sure, there were lithe bodies and flashes of flesh, but honestly no more than what you’d see in Times Square with the desnudas – the painted topless women wearing thongs who pose for photos with tourists.

For my money, the absolute highlight of the night – and the performance that brought down the house – was the appearance of the scraggly Emperor.

Through a series of gestures, he got the audience to urge him to disrobe.

First one shoulder, then another and by the time the robe was fully off, there he was in his all-together – a nude one-piece body suit with his costumed exaggerated tallywags swinging like pendulums.

Then, a la Miley Cyrus, he mounted a wrecking ball in the shape of the Death Star while the music blared.

It was epic.

Now before you go criticizing “The Empire Strips Back” for sullying the memory of your cherished “Star Wars” movie franchise, I have just five words for you: “The Star Wars Holiday Special.”

Now, THAT legitimately would cause Obi-Wan to say, “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror…”

“The Last Jedi” Was Fine


“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” was perfectly fine, which is a passive-aggressive way of saying I liked it but did not love it.

It was certainly no “The Force Awakens,” which in my book still ranks as the best of the bunch so far. (I’ve seen it nine times.)

Other the other hand, TLJ but did not sink to the depths of ickiness of the first two prequels. (For the record, I thought the third prequel was pretty good.)

So what is it about “The Last Jedi” that has me feeling like a stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder?

Let us count the ways:

* Princess Leia floating through space like Mary Poppins without an umbrella? What was that all about? I thought for a moment that she legitimately died early in the movie. A devastating loss? For sure, but one with a major dramatic impact.

But then they simply retrieve her body and bring her to sick bay. Um, what?

And speaking of near-death experiences, it looked like Finn was going to die a hero’s death and then he gets saved at the last minute. It made for a pent-up dramatic moment but felt a little like a cheap cop-out.

* The porgs? OK, yeah, cute. But did we really need crystal foxes, fathiers and caretakers that look oddly like nuns? Felt like Disney was making a merchandising grab here.

* “The Force Awakens” had some surprisingly well-timed comedic touches. They were spread out and clever enough not to wear out their welcome.

Somehow “TLJ” overdoes it with the jokes, especially given the dire circumstances facing the Resistance.

The oddly placed sight gags and asides feel almost disrespectful given the enormous stakes and death and destruction going on.

Luke taking the light saber from Rey and tossing it over his shoulder like a discarded banana peel? Hard for me to buy.

Finn walking around in a leaky medical get-up? Funny for the first three seconds but it felt like the sight gag lasted a few beats too long.

The standoff between General Hux and Poe in a “can you hear me now?” moment? Um…OK.

* Did we need to see Kylo Ren walking around shirtless? What the hell was that all about? As Rey asked: Shouldn’t he be wearing a towel or something?

* Gripping opening scene but the movie loses steam and could have done with a 15-minute trim. That whole casino scene? Overdone and drawn out.

* Really, we come all this way to find out nothing about Rey’s parents?

OK, sure, maybe Kylo is lying (he is, after all, a cold-blooded murderer so lying would be well within his skill sets) but it still felt like a letdown, especially after there are hints earlier in the movie that her lineage would be revealed.

* And Supreme Leader Snokes? Still no greater insight into who he was though was good to see him brought to life as a fleshed-out (albeit scarred) character.

* The palace chamber throwdown with the imperial guards and the light sabers? Gotta say, I thought that was the weakest light saber fight I’ve seen since Yoda took on Count Dooku in “Attack of the Clones.”

The choreography in TLJ just seemed too transparent, like I could hear the actors counting the beats until their next moves.

* Some of the visual effects and sets seemed less than what I expect from a “Star Wars” franchise movie. A couple of times, like during scenes with the X-Wing fighters in their hangar, I felt like, yep, I’m looking at a large Hollywood set.

* There is a hint that Luke and Kylo will duke it out in the end, mano a mano, and that does not really live up to its billing.

* On the plus side, some of the battle sequences are terrific; I loved the new character Rose (more of her please!) and I will never tire of hearing the opening strains of John Williams’s brilliant score.

Look, I have been a “Star Wars” fanboy for 40 years, always have been, always will be.

I guess my feeling is this movie was not quite ready to graduate from the Jedi Academy.