We all know that Stephen Colbert is a pretty massive Star Wars fan. Although, surprisingly enough, he hasn’t seen The Force Awakens yet. Last night on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert the comedian decided to recap the original three films, and the results were amazing.
Anyone who is a die hard fan of Star Wars can enjoy how Stephen Colbert chooses to highlight both the heart of the trilogy, and poke fun at how ridiculous the films can be. Colbert prompts his recap by claiming he’s doing it to help audiences in China prepare themselves for the release of The Force Awakens. Indeed, western media was banned at the time the trilogy was originally released, so Star Wars isn’t a cultural phenomenon in China the way it is in the US.
The recap begins rather plainly, with Stephen Colbert introducing Luke and A New Hope to the audience. Yup, he’s a farmhand who buys two robots, and is introduced to a local recluse on his planet. However, Colbert soon begins making jabs at the characters, likening R2-D2 to a garbage pail, and highlighting how C-3PO is apparently programmed to be perpetually scared. Personally, my favorite R-2 moment in the original trilogy is when he’s basically hired as a cocktail waitress by Jabba The Hutt, but agree to disagree.
How seemingly ridiculous the premise and characters of Star Wars can be is further exploited when Stephen Colbert described the villainous Darth Vader. Rather than describe Vader as a villain, a Sith lord, a fallen Jedi, or even a misguided antagonist, Colbert puts his own hilarious spin on the character. Colbert says Luke is destined to defeat "a handicapped man who needs a full body respirator just to survive". Cue me spitting out my drink.
Stephen Colbert also takes a moment to poke fun at the most WTF moment from the original trilogy: Luke and Leia’s kiss in The Empire Strikes Back. While George Lucas has always claimed that he had a master plan for the twins, and even Carrie Fisher maintains there was nothing romantic about their kiss, it’s always been one of the most bizarre moments from the trilogy.
Probably my favorite moment from the quick recap is Stephen Colbert’s recollection of the final moments The Return Of The Jedi. Skipping the majority of action in Episode V, Colbert simply states that the whole trilogy ends with a dance party filled with both teddy bears and ghosts. Is he claiming that the drums made out of Stormtrooper helmets and the always catchy "Yub Nub" Ewok jam is somehow a silly way to end a movie? Preposterous!
Overall, this clip really made me appreciate the nerdiness that is Stephen Colbert. It’s so refreshing to see Colbert out of his staunch republican character we watched for so many years on The Colbert Report. While he certainly has big Letterman-sized shoes to fill, I think his comedic timing and writing like in this recap are going to serve him well in the nights to come. May the force be with him.