The new Robot Chicken Star Wars Episode III special came out on DVD and Blu-ray July 12th. It’s the first-ever Blu-ray release for the Robot Chicken franchise, which means you can actually see the puppet strings along with the fingerprints of the handler’s on the figures’ naughty parts. COED had the opportunity to interview co-creator Matt Senreich (the non-ginger) about working with Billy Dee Williams and George Lucas and what’s next for the award-winning stop-motion series. Check out the full Q&A below.
COED: Where did the idea for the show originally stem from?
Matt It actually started with Seth. I was working at Wizard magazine, and got to interview him. That’s how we started bouncing ideas around. Seth went on Conan and had a toy, and from there had the idea to make stop-motion sketches. He asked if I wanted to be a part of it, and we haven’t stopped since.
COED: The first two Robot Chicken Star Wars specials have been immensely successful, what sparked the idea for the 3rd?
Matt I had the idea of following Emperor Palpatine since the first special. This special follows a behind the scenes look at what Palpatine experienced throughout the 6 Star Wars episodes. We all wanted to incorporate the bad guys, and that’s how we got the weaving story lines about Gary the Stormtrooper, Darth Vader, and Boba Fett.
COED: The Star Wars specials have given you the opportunity to work with numerous cast members from the original Star Wars movies. What was that like?
Matt: It’s still beyond surreal. I still get giddy every time Billy Dee Williams comes in. It’s amazing. Anthony Daniels is absolutely hysterical. They all have a great sense of humor and are willing to make fun of their characters as well as themselves. It’s really been a great opportunity.
COED You got to sit down with George Lucas and hang out for a while. What was that like?
Matt: There is a whole section in the special features dedicated to our board room chat with George Lucas. He is a funny guy, and I loved hanging out and chatting with him. His sense of humor is wicked. It really makes the DVD.
COED: What’s your favorite sketch in the movie?
Matt: Probably the scene with the Wampa from Hoth at the gas station. We didn’t know how it was going to be received, because it’s slow-moving. But the more we dragged it out, the better it got, until finally it is this super long, super funny sketch.
COED: Robot Chicken won Emmys for “Outstanding Short-Format Animated Program” in 2010. Did you ever expect that?
Matt: There is a reason everyone says I would like to thank the Academy. It’s because you don’t show up expecting to win anything, and then when it happens, it’s so surreal. I’m still in shock and awe. My jaw still drags behind me.
COED: At what point did you personally feel you were successful?
Matt: I still always wonder if we are successful. But, what did it for me was when we started getting hate mail. I figured if people feel so strongly to write a hate letter, then we must be at a good place.
COED: We saw Seth Green on Jimmy Fallon the other night. Any TV appearances lined up for you?
Matt: Not at all. Seth loves being on TV, I’m much happier behind a desk.
COED: What’s in store for Robot Chicken?
Matt: We are about to start the second half of our fifth season. 10 more episodes for everyone to watch! Our 100th episode airs in January and we are very excited about that.