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Mad About Star Wars: Thirty Years of Classic Parodies    by Jonathan Bresman order for
Mad About Star Wars
by Jonathan Bresman
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

What joy for the legion of fans of both Mad and Star Wars. Jonathan Bresman, who tells us in his Introduction that he once interned for both Mad Magazine and Lucasfilm, brings us Mad About Star Wars, thirty years of parodies from 'a galaxy far, far away (California)'. There's even a Foreword by George Lucas, a self-styled 'lifelong MAD fan', who essentially talks about Mad's stimulation of critical thinking by 'artfully weaving together intelligent satire and lowbrow laughs' and tells us that he has always defended the magazine from his lawyers (no small support.)

Having read Mad sporadically over the years - and watched all the Star War movies with varying degrees of enthusiasm - I enjoyed the Mad About Star Wars cartoons immensely. I especially liked it when they picked on nits that have niggled at me too, like why the bad guys wear pristine white and always miss whatever they shoot at. The stars are Lube Skystalker, Princess Laidup and Ham Yoyo - you get the idea. The covers are spectacular. The cartoon margins present fascinating tidbits like C-3PO's and R2-D2's appearance on Sesame Street. Highlights include an alien urinal (which rarely gets a mention in SF books or movies!); a musical Star Wars (which works well if you can recall the original melodies behind the songs); the telephone company charging for ESP; a series master plan; a Spy vs. Spy sequence based on Attack of the Clones; and Startling Similarities between Star Wars and the War on Terrorism.

Jonathan Bresman concludes his Introduction wittily with: 'So whether you're a fan of the Force or the Farce, may they both be with you.' Mad About Star Wars: Thirty Years of Classic Parodies is a must for those who enjoy the Farce in the Force, or the Force in the Farce - and there's plenty of both!

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