LEGO Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles is out on DVD this month and it’s a good bet that fans of both Star Wars and the LEGO universe will enjoy this title.
This DVD is a compilation of four shorter episodes that first aired as specials on Disney XD, which seems to be the Star Wars universe’s new television home. The episodes follow the Jedi as they hide and later retrieve the holocrons from the Jedi temple, first at the end of the prequel trilogy and then during the original trilogy.
Episode 1 – “Escape from the Jedi Temple”
Episode 1, “Escape from the Jedi Temple,” begins in the original trilogy era right after the destruction of the first death star. We see Yoda and ghost Obi-Wan discussing Luke’s training, and how it might be time to find the holocrons. The rest of the episode is a flashback to the time directly after Episode III, of a previously unknown mission to retrieve the Jedi holocrons, (think futuristic security camera recordings) and hide them for the currently infant Luke to find and watch later to help him become a Jedi.
The humor in the first episode is a bit of a mixed bag. A lot of the humor is rather simple, and obviously written for kids. Watching it as an adult I know I would have loved this as a kid, but doesn’t do much for me now. However, as I watched, especially in the later episodes, the humor did get a lot better and they started slipping in a lot of very clever nods to, and scenes parodying, both the original trilogy and the prequels. I actually found myself laughing out loud more than once while watching, which is a lot more than I can say for a lot of “kids” shows.
Episode 2 – “Race for the Holocrons”
Episode 2, “Race for the Holocrons,” sees Luke and the gang searching the galaxy for the holocrons and Darth Vader searching the galaxy for everyone else. Most of the gang ends up on Utapau, while Han and Chewy end up on Dagobah. Eventually everyone makes their way to Tatooine, where the holocrons were collected by the Jawas. There’s a pretty great scene in which Luke finds himself racing Darth Vader, while he pilots Anakin’s original podracer from The Phantom Menace, while Vader drives Luke’s speeder from A New Hope.
This episode was where the humor started to get really good. I think the first moment when I actually, literally laughed out loud was when Luke, Leia, R2-D2 and C-3PO were on Utapau trying to escape from an angry Varactyl. R2 is extremely hesitant to plug into an old ship, because he doesn’t know where it’s been, and, while the others are screaming at him to hurry up because the giant dragon is almost on them, R2 is thoroughly soaking down his computer interface arm with hand sanitizer and slowly, timidly inserting it into the foreign ship. Aside from this hilarious visual gag, there were a lot of great lines as well, such as Darth Vader’s “I find your lack of telling-me-what-I-want-to-hear disturbing.”
Episode 3 – “Raid on Coruscant”
Episode 3, “Raid on Coruscant,” sees the gang heading to Coruscant to retrieve the holocrons, which Darth Vader stole from Tatooine at the end of the last episode. The confrontation ultimately results in all the holocrons but one being destroyed.
One of the hallmarks of the LEGO series is that it turns every character into ridiculous parodies of themselves, and this episode is no exception. We see Qui-Gon Jinn brought back as a ridiculous caricature of himself, who is pretty much only good for opening pickle jars, as well as Emperor Palpatine, who is basically a hilarious, unthreatening version of himself that yells at everyone when things don’t go his way. One of my favorite lines from this episode was when Emperor Palpatine yells across the empty senate at a senator who is still sitting in his senate box, “You! Senator Yawn of Bureaucratosis! I thought I told you to get out!”
Episode 4 – “Clash of the Skywalkers”
Episode 4, “Clash of the Skywalkers,“ sees the creation of the rebel base on Hoth as Han, Chewy, and 3PO go ahead of the rest of the rebels as a scout team and are captured by a Wampa. Meanwhile Luke, using information from the last remaining holocron, lures Vader into a final confrontation on an asteroid. It culminates in Vader being eaten by an Exogorth, one of the same species of giant space slugs that swallowed the Millennium Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back. The episode ends with the rebels throwing a giant party in their new base on Hoth.
This episode was chock full of references to scenes from the original trilogy, as well as quite a few hilarious one liners. A couple of my favorite include Admiral Ackbar song-songing, “Guess what this is!” as the empire falls into their trap, as well as Darth Vader, after Luke tells him he has one last chance to surrender, saying, “Me, surrender? I’d laugh if it didn’t sound weird and cause me horrible pain!”
There is one bonus feature on this disk, which is an alternate ending to “Clash of the Skywalkers.” It is word for word the same final battle scene as the real episode, up until the Exogorth appears and Vader reveals that it’s his “Schnookums.” The episode ends with the slug eating Luke and R2, and the empire throwing a party instead of the rebels.
When I first got this DVD I did not know what to expect. I saw, and loved, The LEGO Movie and I am a huge fan of Star Wars, so I was hoping for something great. But, judging solely on the cover, I wasn’t expecting to be blown away. Thankfully The New Yoda Chronicles turned out to be a lot funnier than I expected and I really enjoyed it. I would gladly recommend this DVD to other Star Wars fans, especially if they have kids.
What do you think of the LEGO Star Wars series? Will you check out this DVD?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes