Chris Hardwick, of The Nerdist podcast and TV show as well as most things geek-centric, started up a charity event with Peter Levin called “Course of the Force,” a Star Wars-themed relay race where lightsabers replace batons, and all proceeds go to the greater Los Angeles chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The race kicked off this past Tuesday at George Lucas’ famed Skywalker Ranch, and will continue until this coming Tuesday, July 16, where it will end up in San Diego just in time for Comic-Con.
You’d think the good cause alone would be enough, but Hardwick and his all-star friends also created a series of promotional videos to promote the event, each one just as cheekily hilarious as the next. The most recent clip (above) features none other than Lando Calrissian himself, Billy Dee Williams, performing karaoke at the Mos Eisley Cantina. As if this wasn’t already meta enough, Williams performs the song “West Coast,” a song by Coconut Records, a solo musical project from actor Jason Schwartzman, who also appears in the video. Patton Oswalt, whose comedy often turns to Star Wars-related humor, most notably in his Parks and Recreation filibuster, plays a bartender with far too few lines. Hardwick’s musical partner and comedian Mike Phirman also makes an appearance, as does TV personality Carrie Keagan.
But the central focus of this video is the karaoke performance, as Williams is joined by a revolving door of Cantina characters, all giving the song their own unique, non-English-speaking performance. Baniss Keeg, Elis Helrot and even Greedo gets a turn (before getting shot again). My favorite moment has nothing to do with sci-fi, however, and occurs when Williams gets a cape draped across his back, in the style of James Brown. Just a nice, silly little detail in a video full of them. Somehow I don’t think Episode VII will be nearly as amusing.
In the video below, Hardwick gives up the search for the lightsaber, which is ostensibly the purpose behind these promo clips, and has his Man of Steel viewing interrupted by the robed ghost of Andy Richter, who tells him to “Do or not do. Or do not. But do not try. There is no try.” It’s funnier in the video, but not by much.
This was probably my favorite of the bunch, as it stars one of my favorite comedians, Kyle Kinane, and features Seth Green and Kumail Nanjiani battling each other to see who can out-Han Solo the other one. “Khan!”