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Why Planetina From Rick And Morty Season 5, Episode 3 Sounds So Familiar

Contains spoilers for "Rick and Morty" Season 5, episode 3: "A Rickconvenient Mort"

"Rick and Morty" Season 5 shows no signs of stopping the show's characteristically oddball references and unexpected plot points. The title of the third episode, "A Rickconvenient Mort," turns out to be a play on Al Gore's Academy Award-winning climate change documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth" — and the episode has more than its share of climate-themed inconvenience. 

"A Rickconvenient Mort" features plenty of the show's characteristic alien debauchery, but its central concept is the introduction of Planetina, a deliberately obvious and more than slightly corny expy of the environmentally-minded 1990s superhero, Captain Planet. Planetina starts out as little more than a loving — by "Rick and Morty" standards, anyway — nod at the original, but she soon strikes up a relationship with Morty (voiced by Justin Roiland). After a very, very thorough deconstruction of every single major trope associated with the original character, she ends the episode as a murderous, rogue eco-terrorist.

Planetina's rapid arc from a cliché-spewing do-gooder to a heartbroken villain means that the role is very challenging for the voice actress. In fact, you might have noticed that her voice sounds awfully familiar, because when it comes to voicing Planetina, "Rick and Morty" went for one of the best in the business. 

Alison Brie knows how to deliver a memorable voice role

Fans of "Rick and Morty" co-creator Dan Harmon's previous success story, "Community," may have immediately realized that Planetina is voiced by actress Alison Brie, who stars as Annie Edison in the show. Brie is, of course, an extremely accomplished performer, whose roles range from the struggling actress-turned-wrestling heel Ruth Wilder in Netflix's "GLOW" to Pete Campbell's (Vincent Kartheiser) long-suffering (and eventually former) wife, Trudy, in AMC's period drama "Mad Men." As it happens, she's also a seasoned voice actress, whom you may very well remember as Diane Nguyen in Netflix's "Bojack Horseman," or as Unikitty in "Lego Movie" and its sequel. 

Brie's ability to vocalize emotions ranging from deep frailty to unbridled rage with equal gusto — and, if necessary, within the span of a single sentence — makes her the perfect choice to voice the volatile Planetina. What's more, she has a previous working relationship with Harmon, and has demonstrated willingness to commit to a voice role for a lengthy period. Knowing this, it's perfectly possible that Planetina's evolution from a one-note Captain Planet parody to a fully realized, dangerous character might continue in the future.