Adopting an exacting wit that turns incessantly babbling fanboys into well-spoken funnymen, John E. Hudgens and his group of lively energetic creative partners know well enough what goes into a Star Wars spoof to make it work and in “Sith Apprentice”, everything clicks so well that it’s hard not to look twice and appreciate the effort even more.
Fielding a host of references from Monty Python to Christopher Lee’s association with Peter Cushing and vampires, “Sith Apprentice” is hosted by the Emperor (Robert Alley) intensely involved in the search for a new apprentice. More sniveling and snide than the Donald and his barely-breathing toupee, he offs Jar-Jar right at the beginning, not being able to imagine the possibility of this alien abortion working side-by-side with him in the quest for complete galactic domination. It’s just not right, and the competition is whittled down to three with Darth Vader (Robert E. Bean), Darth Maul (Kristen Caron), and Count Dooku (Patrick McCray). The task is to put on a talent show at the Coruscant Theater that doesn’t piss off the Emperor. The ideas are set into motion and it’s quite a show to behold, right up to Vader’s Riverdance with stormtroopers. When it comes to the Z Team, seeing it is splitting apart on the floor with nearly-asphyxiated laughter.
The entire cast works so well in lockstep that each joke complements the other. The performances of Bean and Caron are as expected, because evil only goes one way. Patrick McCray as Dooku handles himself as ably and professionally as the real Christopher Lee. He’s just as much an elegant man, peeved at the perceived stupidity surrounding him. Evil has never been so much fun, and these three get the point of evil performances that don’t always have to be over-the-top to be fun. Also, it’s the writing that makes it so, something that feels like it was hashed out in the heated confines of some kind of room where the lock on the door only works once all the details are worked out on what’s funny and what plain sucks. Fortunately, “Sith Apprentice” scores bigger than the word “big” implies. I dare you not to laugh at this. This is perfect comedy bottled up, shaken furiously and then popped open, exploding in all directions.