The creator of Family Guy Seth MacFarlane, along with his co-showrunners Rich Appel and Alec Sulkin, met for an interview to commemorate the show reaching its 400th episode. Sitting down with The Hollywood Reporter, the trio were asked to talk about their show’s Star Wars parody episodes, the first of which, “Blue Harvest,” kicked off season six. Sulkin described the episode as “The highlight of the [sua] career” and explained: “Seth was kind enough to let me write that episode of Star Wars. I went to Lucasfilm and Lucas Ranch with Seth and some production people, and we got to watch it with George Lucas. He laughed the whole time, credit to him. He was just amazing. Simply fantastic”.
Family Guy and their exponential growth
The co-showrunners touched on a number of other topics during the interview, such as how Family Guy has grown since its first season in 1999 and how they maintain its signature edgy humor despite the supposed “cancel culture.” ”. Appel also revealed an interesting change in the notes they receive from the network, following the 2019 acquisition of Fox by the Disney. “The difference is that Disney owns so many properties that I will find myself making legal arguments that I know are winning about parody and why we can get away with certain things. And then the question becomes, ‘Well, it could be, Rich, but Marvel doesn’t want to see your character portrayed in that light.’ And sometimes I’ve said, “Well, what if we just put it on the air and see what happens?” ‘No, that’s not how we work.’”
The episode in question
“Blue Harvest” is an hour-long parody episode of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, in which Peter Griffin, the titular “Family Guy,” narrates the film’s plot, with the citizens of Quahog as various characters from Star Wars. “Blue Harvest” first aired in 2007 to generally positive reviews, and was made with permission from LucasFilm provided all characters look exactly like they do in the film. As of December 2010, two more hour-long follow-up episodes parodying both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are released. All three episodes are sold together as a titled box set Laugh it Up, Fuzzball: The Family Guy Trilogy for DVDs and Blu-rays.
Since they joined the writing staff of Family Guy in 2005, Sulkin and MacFarlane worked together on several projects. Sulkin co-wrote the screenplays for Ted and A Million Ways to Die in the West, and MacFarlane is credited as an executive producer on the Sulkin show Dads which aired for one season in 2013. In 2018 Sulkin, along with Appel, is became a showrunner of Family Guy starting with the show’s sixteenth season.
The 400th episode of Family Guy“Get Stewie,” airs November 20 on Fox.