Saturday Night Live has long been poking fun at popular culture, and the Star Wars fandom is no exception. Just a few weeks ago, the Saturday-night comedy staple featured a skit showing off auditions for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
This weekend’s SNL brought us another Star Wars skit, this time targeting adult collectors of Star Wars toys. Taking the appearance of a fake commercial, the skit explored how far up the age range of “6 and up” can go.
The skit started like most Star Wars toys commercials, showing a few kids playing with some of the Force Awakens action figures and toys. They proclaim “The Force is with us!”, at which point two adults step out and say “And us!” From there, the adults compete with the kids for screen time and make it clear that they’re just as interested in the toys, but for slightly different reasons.
Throughout the skit, the adult characters make reference to keeping the toys in boxes and leaving them in pristine condition instead of playing with them. There are also references to how obsessive parts of the fanbase can be, with one of the adults taking a Millennium Falcon toy from one of the kids to show him how the ship would actually land. Geek stereotypes abound, up to and including the “lonely loser” stereotype when one of the kids ask an adult if his wife likes toys too, and the adult gets a wistful, lonely look on his face as the music takes a sad turn.
The skit plays up some of the stereotypes pretty hard, and at times it seems like it’s not sure whether it’s trying to make fun of adult collectors or adult Star Wars fans in general. The humor suffers a bit as a result, though it’s not totally without its laughs. It’s not the funniest thing that SNL has done on Star Wars, but it’s also not even close to the worst skit that the show’s featured in recent memory.
It may be that the format was a bit too limiting for the jokes that SNL wanted to make. Some of the components may have been funnier in a different context, such as a toy store or a visit to Santa instead of a toy commercial. That’s not to say that SNL can’t do funny toy commercials; there were several during the ’80s and ’90s that hit all of the right notes (I’m looking at you, Happy Fun Ball.) While some will certainly disagree, the skit seemed to be worth a few chuckles but will largely be forgettable in the long run.
Saturday Night Live airs Saturday at 11/10 Central on NBC. Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on December 18, 2015.