My question to you is, can LEGO (insert name of licensed series) ever be bad? Simple answer: No.
Taking place between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, these new adventures follow a family of scavengers who build and sell starships from battle debris strewn throughout the galaxy. When their youngest discovers a natural connection with the Force through an ancient artifact – the Kyber Saber –he and his family are thrown into an epic struggle against the Empire to restore peace and freedom to the galaxy. The Freemakers explore new worlds, meet new and familiar characters and discover the strength of family. Relive all 13 action-packed episodes in LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures Season One.
This show is ridiculously fun. I know what you’re thinking, reader. Yes, Disney allowed another Star Wars spin-off into another Star Wars-based television show on its own channel. No, it has not gotten to Spongebob/Nickelodeon epic proportions yet, so ease your mind a bit. You’ll probably feel the immediate need to complain about something in regards to how Lucas would have never done this had he kept the property and blah-blah-blah-blah. Here’s the deal, if you can make a show entertaining, funny and still keep the the characters and stories within the universe’s canon, while expanding into another beautiful branch of characters and storytelling, then why wouldn’t you? This is doubly true if you’re talking about a LEGO led property, which has absolutely done no wrong in every Star Wars production it has put out. In short, sit back and relax, enjoy the wackiness of the experience and the good writing and production value that come with it.
Let’s get this thing going.
LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures is the latest addition to the Star Wars LEGO universe. Resting firmly between Star Wars film episodes five (The Empire Strikes Back) and six (Return of the Jedi), this new take on new characters adds some interesting context to the LEGO Star Wars series, while at the same time reminding us at every turn about previous events with earlier Star Wars films. For example, the first episode starts with Palpatine absolutely railing Vader about losing the first Death Star, as well as letting him know what a bad idea it would be to build another one. Moments like this are scattered through out the entire Freemaker Adventures series and are firm reminders that LEGO, as well as Disney, is willing to make fun of the flaws within the actual stories from the films. Honestly, if you spent so much money creating a giant death planet, why would you spend more building another one? We all wanted to know that, right? Anyway, this is a charming aspect of the series and one that helps remind us of the canon content surrounding the comedy.
Anyway, nostalgia-embed aside, the show does a good job of establishing the world of Rowan, our main character, and his family of ship salvagers. Following them throughout the series definitely puts a unique spin on the Star Wars license, as most of the stories regarding ship salvagers has surrounded the likes of Han, Lando and Rey, but never really built any sort of strong content in regards to what goes on with their world. What I’m trying to say here is that it opens up some opportunity for storytelling from a different perspective that hasn’t been seen before in the SW universe and also allows for entry and exit of familiar faces from the films. Crossovers and passthroughs work for this type of setup. For example, we do see Lando in the fourth episode of the show, who is voiced over by Billy Dee Williams, that has commissioned the group to recover some property of his. Rowan and crew weave their way through familiar places and through the lives of familiar faces to create fun storylines. That one in particular is strong and fun.
Now, the main focus of the show is Rowan’s need to find ancient crystals that put together a powerful light saber called the Kyber Saber. Put together by a jedi master named Baird Kantoo, the saber’s power is nearly immeasurable, which makes it dangerous — especially in the wrong hands. Determined not to have it fall into the hands of the sith, Kantoo broke it apart and scattered its crystals across the galaxy, which Rowans spends his time searching for from episode to episode. This McGuffin of sorts is the driving point behind Rowan’s adventures through Freemaker and an interesting crux to the balancing act between antagonist and protagonist. Most of the episodes revolve around retrieving crystals and trying to get them before the sith obtain them. To add some intensity to the situation, Rowan is in constant danger from episode to episode and has sith knocking at his door, mostly unknowingly, through various methods. One character specifically driven by sith intentions is Naare, who offers to help train Rowan in the ways of the force, but is really a sith agent working for Palpatine and Vader. Seeing the journey unfold throughout the 13 episode series and how each character goes back and forth with each, sometimes through serious moments, but mostly through comedy, is brilliant at times.
Freemaker Adventures almost feels like episodic G.I. Joe shows from the 80s, where the storylines would stretch for five days and would put the heroes in constant peril, but allow for them to pull it out at the end. It’s a brilliant return to that sort of cartoon structure. It certainly keeps eyes glued to the television, as you don’t know if Rowan is going to prevent the sith from gathering the most powerful weapon in the Star Wars universe. Well, you do know, but kids will certainly be invested in the adventure, which is why this show works so well.
To keep things light, the writing is done in true LEGO Star Wars fashion. It makes fun of the universe, the characters have witty banter back and forth, and you have a robot named Roger, who is constant comedy relief. It doesn’t lose its light in the darkness of the adventure that is unfolding around the series’ McGuffin. That said, the series balances out what is seriously at stake, while maintaining the LEGO charm along the way. You couldn’t ask for a better written structure of a LEGO Star Wars show.
Overall, you’ll have a bit of every type of entertainment through the LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures. The show brings new faces into the mix and helps support them through old characters and storylines. It’s good mix of fun and serious, and definitely a great show to catch on Blu-ray.
On the Blu-ray features side of the tracks, here’s what you should expect:
– Freemaker Salvage and Repair
– The Freemaker Adventures: Meet the Freemaker Family
There isn’t much here, but it’s this sort of feature list is the standard for television show releases. They add to the show’s fun experience, but not in a huge way. Kids will like it, but it’s a bit shallow overall.