No lie: The cold open for tonight’s episode of Conan is one of the darkest Star Wars moments since Darth Vader sliced off Luke’s hand. Not because anything particularly epic happens, but because it shows the fates of some of the franchise’s most memorable and iconic minor characters, and they aren’t pretty. In fact, it’s pretty much like trying to make a living in LA.
Featured in the video are several characters from the original trilogy: Andy Richter playing a pretty convincing Dengar, a bounty hunter from The Empire Strikes Back, who calls the Wookiee “a roided-up hamster”; Aisha Tyler as Jabba’s doomed dancing girl Oola; T.J. Miller as Jango Fett, Boba’s dad and the clone model; Alex Fernia as Jabba the Hutt’s majordomo Bib Fortuna; and Ron Funches as Lando Calrissian, the smuggler-turned-hero made famous by Billy Dee Williams. They and a dilapidated power droid are sitting around a table at Jerry’s Famous Deli eating and lamenting the fact that they weren’t asked to come back for The Force Awakens. Across the room, Chewbacca is sharing a booth with a smitten young woman amd fails to acknowledge the group, whose dinner is then ruined when Lobot — the cyborg from Empire, played by Conan O’Brien — shows up and is revealed to be a racist, arrogant jerk.
It’s pretty damned funny. And, if you live in LA, depressing — because you’ve either had conversations like this or watched them happen with mind-numbing regularity. Well, except without the tentacles and space weapons.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams — referred to in the cold open as “the guy who directed Felicity — and some of the cast are on TBS’ Conan tonight as the film begins its first public screenings. Perhaps you’d heard that latter news.