A couple years back, Lucas lent his support – and his voice – to a "Robot Chicken" parody of "Star Wars." As announced last month, Green is on the team that's putting together a Lucas-sanctioned animated "Star Wars" comedy TV show.
Now you don't have be pals with Lucas to star in an approved "Star Wars" parody.
The folks at JibJab, known for producing animated musical political satire shorts and e-cards, are letting users virtually paste pictures onto the faces of character in satirical scenes from the first three movies (or at least the first three to be released).
Lucas actually approached JibJab after seeing the company’s popular – and similar – "Elf Yourself" gimmick, USA Today reported. The “Star Wars” creator "gave us unlimited access to all of the footage, and said to cut as funny a two-minute movie as we could," JibJab co-founder Gregg Spiridellis told the paper’s Technology Live blog.
The move represents Lucas's recognition of – and perhaps his tacit nod of approval to – the many do-it-yourself "Star Wars" re-enactments floating around the Internet. One notable effort involves patching together hundreds of homemade scenes to replicate the first film released, "Episode IV: A New Hope."
The JibJab videos also are further proof that Lucas has developed a healthy sense of humor about his creation, especially at a time when some fans are still fuming over the three prequels released since 1999. The outsized anger spurred a recent documentary called “The People vs. George Lucas,” which features folks not likely to get an invite to the Skywalker Ranch anytime soon.
The JibJab promotion, in honor of the 30th anniversary of “The Empire Strikes Back,” lets users play Luke, Leia, Han or Lando, just by uploading pictures. To star in scenes from "A New Hope" or “Return of the Jedi,” you have to be a paying JibJab member (cost: $12 a year). Lucas's payoff from the deal with JibJab is unclear. But it's a pretty sure bet these videos will be flooding Facebook pages and email inboxes soon enough, keeping the "Star Wars" legend going strong, more than three decades after Luke's first adventure.
So what are you waiting for? Check out the video below put together by the crew at TechCrunch – and if the farce is with you, try making your own.
Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NY City News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.