For the past eight seasons various episodes of Family Guy have contained numerous references to the Star Wars saga. In 2008 "Blue Harvest" aired as a Star Wars: A New Hope parody/homage; the show was Family Guy’s highest rated episode to date. With full approval from Lucasfilm and the maker himself, George Lucas, Family Guy set out to do an Empire Strikes Back parody entitled "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side," which is a reference to a gag in another Family Guy episode.
Plans were to have the episode be the season finale for season seven, and then there were plans to have it be the season eight premiere, but instead it was released on DVD since the "Blue Harvest" DVD did so well. In addition to having Peter return as Han Solo, Lois as Princess Leia, Chris as Luke Skywalker, Quagmire and Cleveland as C-3PO and R2-D2, and Stewie as Darth Vader, we get Mort Goldman as Lando, Peter’s nemesis the giant chicken as Boba Fett, and Chris’s boss Carl as Yoda.
"Dark Side" follows the plot of Empire in a condensed form with the usual pop references and gags we’ve come to look forward to from the show. Since it’s a direct to DVD release the language is raunchier than usual. If you let your kids normally watch Family Guy, you might want to think twice about letting them see this release.
Once again the love the Family Guy cast and crew has for Star Wars shines; however it’s not as good as "Blue Harvest" for several reasons. First and foremost, the source material is the darkest of the original trilogy and so there’s not as much to parody. While "Blue Harvest" was the first time Family Guy was able to do a full episode devoted to Star Wars, the truth is we’ve seen much of this before in the 30+ years since Star Wars came out. In fact several of the jokes used in "Dark Side" have been used previously by McFarlane’s co-star Seth Green in his Robot Chicken Star Wars parodies. Then there are the new additions to the character lineup. Mort isn’t really funny as Lando and in the commentary it’s mentioned that a character from The Cleveland Show should have been used instead of just turning Mort black (as that show was in development for some time and they knew which character they could draw from), and what’s really not funny is Carl as Yoda.