Family Guy Presents: Blue Harvest 2007

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Family Guy Presents: Blue Harvest 2007

Family Guy Presents: Blue Harvest 2007

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"Blue Harvest" is the hour-long premiere of the sixth season of the American animated television series Family Guy and the first part of the series' Laugh It Up, Fuzzball trilogy. It originally aired on Fox in the United States on September 23, 2007.

The episode is a retelling and parody of the 1977 blockbuster film Star Wars, recasting the show's characters as Star Wars characters, created with permission from Lucasfilm on the condition that the characters had to look exactly like they do in the movies.

The plot follows Peter as he retells the story of Star Wars while the electricity is out in their house.

The title is a reference to the working title of Return of the Jedi. The episode was written by Alec Sulkin and directed by Dominic Polcino, and guest-stars Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Mick Hucknall, Rush Limbaugh, and Judd Nelson.

The episode also includes recurring voice actors Lori Alan, Adam West, Ralph Garman, Danny Smith, John Viener, Steve Callaghan, Kirker Butler, Mark Hentemann, Johnny Brennan, Jon Benjamin, Phil LaMarr, and Wally Wingert.

It was viewed by 10.86 million viewers on its original broadcast and received generally positive reviews from critics.

Blue Harvest

Background and Information Blue Harvest

The Star Wars Phenomenon

By the time production for "Return of the Jedi" began, the Star Wars franchise had become a cultural phenomenon. The first movie, "Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope" (1977), revolutionized the science fiction genre and, along with "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980), had set unprecedented standards for audience expectations. This immense popularity made secrecy a priority for the third film.

The Need for Secrecy

The production team faced significant challenges in maintaining secrecy, as the immense popularity of the franchise led to intense public and media scrutiny. Locations and sets were prime targets for leaks and spoilers. To combat this, the producers adopted the working title "Blue Harvest" to disguise their activities.

The "Blue Harvest" Ruse

Title Choice

The title "Blue Harvest" was selected to sound like a generic, uninteresting production. It was subtitled "Horror Beyond Imagination" to further mislead anyone who might stumble upon the production as to its true nature.

Implementation of the Cover

Every aspect of the production was branded with the "Blue Harvest" title. This included signs, stationery, crew T-shirts, and hats. The ruse was intended to reduce onlooker interest and media attention, as well as to dissuade fans from flocking to shooting locations.

Production Details under the Guise of "Blue Harvest"

Blue Harvest

Filming Locations

Under the cover of "Blue Harvest," filming for "Return of the Jedi" took place in various locations, including the redwood forests of California (for the scenes on the forest moon of Endor) and the Yuma Desert in Arizona.

The production team was able to secure these locations and film with a level of privacy that might not have been possible under the Star Wars name.

Challenges and Solutions

The deception extended to dealing with local businesses and authorities. In some cases, the production's true nature had to be revealed to local officials to obtain necessary permits. However, strict non-disclosure agreements were often part of these negotiations.

Budget and Expenses

The budget for "Return of the Jedi" was significantly larger than its predecessors, partly due to the scale of the production and the need for secrecy. The "Blue Harvest" deception was an added expense but deemed necessary to protect the investment in the film.

Post-Production and Legacy

Blue Harvest

Unveiling the True Film

Once principal photography was completed, and the risk of leaks and spoilers was reduced, the film's true title was revealed. "Return of the Jedi" was released to massive box office success and critical acclaim.

Cultural Impact

The use of "Blue Harvest" has since become a part of Star Wars lore. It's often cited as an example of the lengths to which film productions may go to protect their work. In popular culture, "Blue Harvest" has been referenced in various media, including a special episode of "Family Guy" that parodies "Star Wars."

Reflections in the Film Industry

The "Blue Harvest" strategy highlighted the challenges of film production in an age of intense media scrutiny and fan interest. It has influenced how secrecy is maintained in film productions, especially for high-profile projects.


In summary, while "Blue Harvest" was never a film in its own right, its role in the production of "Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi" is a fascinating story in the history of filmmaking. It represents a unique solution to the challenges of maintaining secrecy and managing expectations in a highly anticipated project. The legacy of "Blue Harvest" continues to be felt in the film industry, serving as a testament to the ingenuity and determination of filmmakers to protect the integrity of their vision and surprise their audiences.

Plot Summary

The power goes out while the Griffins are watching television, and they are left with no other form of entertainment. While they wait for the power to return, Peter decides to retell the story of Star Wars beginning with "Part IV".

A Rebel ship is captured by a Star Destroyer. On the ship are the droids C-3PO (Quagmire), R2-D2 (Cleveland) and the rebel leader Princess Leia (Lois).

While the ship is boarded by stormtroopers, Leia tries to send an MPEG to Obi-Wan Kenobi through R2, but encounters so many complications that R2 offers to deliver the message himself.

Leia is captured by Darth Vader (Stewie) while R2 and 3PO flee to Tatooine in an escape pod, where they are captured by Jawas (one of whom is Mort).

Blue Harvest

The droids are sold to a family of moisture farmers, whose nephew Luke Skywalker (Chris) wishes to join the Rebellion and fight the Empire. While cleaning the droids, Luke stumbles upon Leia's message inside R2, who later decides to leave the farm. Luke and C-3PO pursue him, but are attacked by Sand People.

Luke is knocked out by one of them (Opie) and is found by Obi-Wan Kenobi (Herbert), who takes them to his hut. Leia's message explains that R2 contains the plans to the Death Star, which must be sent to her father on her home planet of Alderaan and asks Obi-Wan to help. Obi-Wan tells Luke that he must learn the ways of the Force and accompany him to Alderaan, and gives him his own lightsaber.

Realizing that the Empire must be looking for the droids, Luke returns home to discover that his home has been destroyed and his aunt and uncle killed, along with John Williams.

Luke, Obi-Wan, and the droids travel to Mos Eisley to find a pilot to take them to Alderaan. At a local cantina, they hire smuggler Han Solo (Peter) and his Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca (Brian), who agree to take them with their ship, the Millennium Falcon. The group is soon spotted by stormtroopers and they flee into space, evading the pursuing Star Destroyers before jumping into hyperspace.

Leia is imprisoned on the Death Star, where commanding officer Grand Moff Tarkin (Adam West) has Alderaan destroyed. The Millennium Falcon exits hyperspace and is captured by the Death Star's tractor beam and brought into its hangar bay. Disguising themselves as stormtroopers, Han and Luke along with Chewbacca set off to rescue the captive Princess while Obi-Wan goes to shut off the tractor beam and R2 and C3PO stay behind.

Han, Luke and Chewie rescue Leia, and the four of them dive into a garbage chute to escape stormtroopers and find a couch in the garbage masher below. As they flee the Death Star, Obi-Wan turns off the tractor beam before being confronted by Darth Vader in a lightsaber duel. Vader strikes Obi-Wan down as the others board the Falcon, taking the couch with them.

Blue Harvest

The Falcon journeys to the Rebel base at Yavin IV, where the Rebels analyze the Death Star plans and find a weakness. Luke joins the assault team while Han collects his reward for the rescue and prepares to leave. The Rebel fighters (who also include Simply Red, Helen Reddy, Redd Foxx, Red Buttons, the Red October and an anthropomorphic pack of Big Red gum) attack the Death Star but suffer heavy losses during the assault.

During his run, Luke hears Obi-Wan's voice telling him to use the Force, and he turns off his targeting computer. Vader appears with his own group of fighters, and is about to fire at Luke's starfighter when Han arrives in the Falcon and attacks Vader and his men, sending Vader's ship off into space. Guided by the Force, Luke fires into the port, destroying the Death Star, and he returns to the Rebel base with his friends to celebrate their victory.

Back at the Griffins' home, Peter wraps up the story as the power comes back on. Everyone thanks Peter for keeping them entertained, although Chris points out that Robot Chicken already told that story. Peter dismisses and mocks the show, and Chris storms off.