It’s time, everyone, for the final round of Muppet Casting!
Well, maybe that’s putting things a bit strongly.
A year ago, inspired by Grampton St. Rumpterfrabble’s Muppet Shakespeare threads on the old A.V. Club After Dark disqus page, I started Muppet Casting, mostly on a lark. Really, I felt like replacing the cast of Dr. Strangelove with Muppets worked so ridiculously well, I had to share it with someone, and created a whole feature to do just that. I didn’t have much of a plan for what movies I’d cover past that point, yet over the last year I’ve had a ton of fun making these each week, and I hope those of you reading and commenting have as well.
But, as the series has gone on, finding new movies to cover has become difficult. With each installment, I try to choose a well-known movie that has a large enough cast of distinct, memorable characters to make choosing their Muppet counterparts interesting, and after fifty Muppet Castings, those are starting to dry up.
I could keep it going a little while longer, but since today marks both the 50th installment of Muppet Casting, and one year since the series began . . . seems like a good milestone to go out on.
I won’t say I’ll never do a Muppet Casting again, if a movie comes along that sparks some inspiration, but as a weekly feature, this is it for me. However, if other people wish to post their own Muppet Castings to the Avocado, not only should you feel free to do so, but I’m eager and excited to see what you might come up with!
So, with all that said, it’s time to dig into the final round of Muppet Casting (in its current incarnation). A year ago, we started with Star Wars, so it’s only fitting that we end with Star Wars . . . The Prequel Trilogy!
Miss Piggy as Anakin Skywalker – In half these Muppet Castings, I cast Kermit as the leading man and Piggy as the leading woman, because those are the roles they traditionally take in Muppet movies. In the other half, their roles get swapped around, because the way Hollywood tends to write men and women, the aggressive, hot-tempered, and physical Miss Piggy is often a better fit for male roles, and the put-upon, voice-of-reason Kermit is a better fit for female roles. That’s the case here: I just can’t see Kermit ever going Dark Side, but Piggy “letting the hate flow through her”? That I can see.
Kermit the Frog as Obi-Wan Amidala – Yeah, that’s right, I’m straight up compositing characters. It’s the only solution I could come up with. If Piggy is Anakin, then her epic romance has to be with a character played by Kermit. But the Obi-Wan role? A friendly but often irritated guy struggling to keep a poorly put together organization afloat? That part just screamed Kermit. And Piggy doesn’t have a close enough bond with any other Muppets for the big Anakin vs. Obi-Wan fight at the end to have the proper oomph if she’s fighting anyone else. You’d need to rejigger the plot immensely to fit in this character combination, and I’m not at all sure it’d work, but I’d be interested to see someone try.
Rowlf the Dog as Qui-Gonn Jinn – Rowlf was practically made to play the cool old dude who bows out after the first act.
Fozzie Bear as Jar-Jar Binks – If anyone can take unfunny comic relief and make it endearing rather than irritating, it’s Fozzie.
Sam the Eagle as Jar-Jar Binks – Have him recite all of Jar-Jar’s dialogue verbatim, but with absolute disdain for the material oozing out of his voice. And give him a sharp jab in the shoulder any time he tries going off-book or leaving out a “me-sa”.
Statler & Waldorf as Palp & Tine – Partly for the “evil (or at least grumpy) old man” factor, partly because Palpatine spends an astonishing amount of time on one type of balcony or another.
Lew Zealand as Darth Maul – Instead of his cool weapon being a double-ended lightsaber, it’s a fish-shaped boomerang lightsaber. I think we can all agree which is more awesome.
Uncle Deadly as Count Dooku – What other Muppet could even come close to matching the sinister gravitas of Christopher Lee?
Gonzo the Great as General Grievous – Turning himself into a cyborg so he can wield four lightsabers at once seems like a very Gonzo thing to do.
Bert & Ernie as C3PO & R2D2 – I try to avoid borrowing from the Sesame Street roster, but Bert & Ernie’s dynamic maps so perfectly onto that of the two droids, I just couldn’t resist.
Yoda as Himself
Those are my picks for a Muppet rendition of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy. What are yours?
And that’s a wrap, everyone. I’m going to miss doing these Muppet Castings with you each week. It’s been a blast, and you all have been awesome. Take care!