LEGO® STAR WARS™: DROID TALES – A DVD Review by John Strange

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnFA7rvKMxo
 
LEGO® STAR WARS™: DROID TALES – DVD Review
 
John Strange
 
This DVD is all five episodes of the LEGO® Star Wars™: Droid Tales miniseries.  These stories are the Star Wars stories told from C-3PO’s point of view.  Along the way we see many of the stories we have come to love but the look is slightly skewed due to the personality and perspective of our favorite human-cyborg relations droid!
 
In episode 1, “Exit to Endor”, we see the Rebel Alliance celebrating their victory over the Empire and the destruction of the Death Star on the forest moon of Endor.  We also see a short montage of people partying on several planets including the ice-planet, Hoth! 
 
The next morning as C-3PO and R2-D2 are cleaning up the debris from the previous night’s party, many of the partiers are leaving leave Endor and setting out to begin their new job, keeping the peace and rebuilding the Republic.  C-3PO is not happy being on clean-up duty.  Princess Leia tells to relax as they just won a war!  He says that no one is more jubilant than he or R2 as together they had spent three decades in the unrelenting conflict.
 
They are asked if this means they fought in the clone wars and C-3PO replies that that they had, along with Obiwan, Master Yoda, and Luke’s father, before he became Darth Vader, of course.  Han jumps up and exclaims, “What?  Luke’s father is Darth Vader?”  C-3PO replies that “everyone knows that!  We learned it months ago!”  Han replies, “I was frozen in carbonite!  Sue, me!”
 
Luke asks C-3PO to regale them with stories from those early times.  C-3PO says he would love to but he and R2D2 are scheduled to leave with Admiral Ackbar on a mission to liberate the lost battledroids of Bandalor.  When the princess says that the mission can wait and the admiral agrees, C-3PO is forced to admit he no longer has those memories!  R2-D2 comes to the rescue with a memory module that he had saved and reloads the memories into his friend.
 
He begins to tell of the Phantom Menace that arose and led to an attack of the clones!  Turmoil had engulfed the Galactic Republic, taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems was in dispute (every shining face in the crowd now begins to fall asleep, one of them even falls off his seat).  He decides to fast forward to the day the unfinished/pre-gold-plated him first laid eyes on Anakin Skywalker, the boy who would become Darth Vader
 
The boy adds eyes to the partially completed droid.  They discuss what he wil be named and Anakin decides upon C-3PO.  His mom arrives to announce lunch and, the young Anakin is elated.  When he hears it it PB&J on rye we see the first indications of the dark side in him!  You will see this ploy used a lot in these episodes.  I like the way it gives us a preview of the man he would later become or perhaps the man/boy who was already there.
 
We see Queen Amidala and two Jedi’s (Obiwan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn) racing from the planet Naboo to prevent Queen Amidala from being forced to sign the treaty with the Trade Viceroys.  In the fight to escape through the Viceroy’s fleet, their ship is damaged and R2-D2 goes outside to make the repair (all of the other droids in the bay are too scared to try, those that are already outside get blown away as R2 works to make the repairs).  In the first of a several appearances, Jar-Jar Binks walks up to the droid (yes, out in the vacuum of space) and asks, “whatza goin on here?” just before a blast knocks him off the ship.  He wails, “I thought I had a big part in this…” and a bolt comes from nowhere and blasts him into his constituent atoms!
 
This incident highlights what you will see throughout the episodes.  The writers, while staying true to the basic story have added some fun touches that fit with Threepio’s personality and made the heroes just a bit more human (and fallible).  The introduction of Darth Maul is perhaps that best example of this.  His desire to exclaim, “Awesome!” in a voice makes him seem a lot less evil.
 
This story is that told in the feature films from the Star Wars series: The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.
 
Episode 2, “Crisis on Coruscant”, begins where the last episode left off.  The mysterious cloaked man, aka the Mysterious Villain, had stolen Admiral Ackbar’s sweet ride (‘Daisy Mae’) and R2-D2.  The admiral and Threepio are in hot pursuit in the admiral’s less than luxurious old ship.
 
Arriving on Coruscant, the two try to find the missing ship and droid.  They question battle droids that have been re-commissioned as cleaning droids.  They are no help.  The two sit down and each begins to tell their tale in a fashion much like to singers who blend songs.  Each telling a sentence of their story and then is interrupted by the other with telling one sentence until Threepio insists that he tell his story first.
 
He tells of the Separatist Leader, General Grievous, who had “somehow” acquired the Republic’s battle plans.  He is chased by Obiwan and his men.  With his ship destroyed, General Grievous steals a ship.  It is Senator Organa’s private ship and Threepio is the ship’s steward.  Anakin Skywalker is in front of the Jedi Council being reprimanded for being too impulsive.  When he sees Threepio waving from the ship stealing him away, Skywalker takes out his lightsaber uses the force to pop out the window and jumps (followed by R2-D2).  He bounces off several ships before landing on the windshield of the ship being piloted by Grievous.
 
Obiwan and his men take up the chase.  To fight Anakin, Grievous forces Threepio to fly the ship, despite the droid’s admonitions that he is a terrible pilot.  The two enemies fight until the droid’s poor flying skills make Skywalker fall of the ship.  “See you, would not want to be you!” taunts the cyborg general as he returns to the ship’s cabin.   
 
Anakin is caught by Obiwan in his speedster.  The general and Threepio fly off to attend the meeting of, well, the bad guys.  Threepio has the job of feeding hors d’oeuvres to these villains.  He decides it’s not such a bad job.  He runs into a disguised R2-D2 but can’t figure out where he knows him from.  R2 transmits what is happening to the Jedi Council.  Once again Anakin is being called on the carpet for his reckless and impetuous ways.  When the transmission is played in the Council Chamber, Master Yoda reverses himself and tells Skywalker to get the plans back.  He must go now!  Anakin uses the force to pop out the newly replaced window and jumps out, followed by the entire council. 
 
Back at the meeting, the disguised R2-D2 takes the disk but displays a bunch of Ewoks dancing instead of the battle plans.  Before anyone can grab him, the Jedi arrive.  The small droid escapes from the room during the fight but is cut off by General Grievous before he can complete his escape.  R2 jumps over the rail into the machinery below.  Instead of dying, R2 disrupts the machinery and forces the battle droid plant to explode.
 
Back to Threepio’s chase of the Mysterious Villain and R2-D2, we find the intrepid droid on Coruscant.  The Villain has abandoned the admiral’s ship and moved to a shuttle to somewhere.  Threepio figures out where they went but not before regaling the crowd with the next part of our story, the fake kidnapping of the Chancellor.  Darth Vader is created in this set of battles.  Luke and Leia are born, too.
 
This, in a nutshell, is his version of Revenge of the Sith.
 
Episode 3, “Mission to Mos Eisley”, finds Threepio headed back to Mos Eisley on Tatooine on a shuttle.  He sees a young Twi'lek who is looking through his collection Rebel Cards.  The kid learns that the droid had an adventure with the rebel crew of the Ghost (from the Star Wars Rebels episode "Droids in Distress".  Needless to say, we see the tale as the pair of droids bumble their way through the story.
 
Upon arriving in Mos Eisley, we are given Threepio’s version of the story behind A New Hope, complete with Jawas and the introductions of Luke Skywalker, Old Ben Kenobi (Obiwan Kenobi), Han Solo, Chewbacca, and the Millennium Falcon.  I have to admit, with all of the characters being the exact same height; Chewbacca comes off looking a bit squished.  I also find I like this Leia better that the one from the movies.  She isn’t afraid to take charge and show the guys the right way to do things!
 
I always wondered why Chewbacca didn’t get a medal with the other two guys.  Now I know.
 
In Episode 4, “Flight of the Falcon”, C-3PO enlists the aid of Chewbacca and the Millennium Falcon to follow R2-D2 and his captor when they flee Tatooine.  Threepio tells the story of The Empire Strikes Back as they search.  The scene with the big reveal by Darth Vader is spoiled by a pushy waiter was a little disappointing but watching R2-D2 zap Lando Calrissian to convince him to return to rescue Luke from underneath the cloud city was fun.
 
In Episode 5, “Gambit on Geonosis”, C-3PO has found R2-D2 in the ruined battledroid factory.  They are quickly captured by General Veers and his band of rogue storm troopers who bent on using the factory to build a droid army to restore the Empire.  Threepio regales the storm troopers left to guard them with their adventures from Return of the Jedi.  
 
We see Luke and Leia rescuing Han.  As in the movie version, it doesn’t work at first but bit by bit things turn against Jabba the Hutt.  The valiant heroes win the fight and Luke flies off to see Yoda while the rest head for the Rebel Fleet.
 
Yoda finally admits the truth about Luke’s father.  He also tells Luke that he has a sister.  Luke immediately figures out who it is.  After all, there aren’t many women in the story.  Later on the forest moon when Luke decides he must try to save his father from the Emperor he tells Leia why he has to go.  She doesn’t want to believe him.  “Why not?  He’s your father, too!” replies Luke.  Leia faints.
 
I am amazed but the folks who made this miniseries were able to compress the stories from six feature films and an episode of Star Wars Rebels into five 23 minute episodes.  In fact, two of the films were paraphrased into ONE episode!  As much as I loved (most) of the feature films, I love this miniseries even more!  It has a lot more humor and Jar-Jar Binks gets killed more times than poor Kenny McCormick did on South Park!
 
The disk doesn’t come with any video extras but it does give you a pack of three Topps LEGO® Star Wars™: Droid Tales trading cards.  I admit that I did not open my pack but the front card was Darth Vader and the back one appears to be the Rebels including Han and Leia.  According to the sticker on the box cover, there are three different sets available.                                                                                                                                   
 
Directed By:
 
  • Michael Hegner (3 episodes)
  • Martin Skov (2 episodes)
 
Cast:
 
  • Eric Bauza as Luke Skywalker, FA-4 Droid Pilot, Waiter, Stormtrooper #2
  • Michael Daingerfield as Han Solo, Bossk, Stormtrooper #1
  • Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
  • Trevor Devall as Chancellor Palpatine/Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious, Admiral Ackbar, Jar Jar Binks, Jango Fett, Boba Fett, TionMedon, Garbagedroid #2, Battledroid #1, Nien Nunb
  • Tom Kane as Yoda, Narrator, Qui-Gon Jinn, Garbagedroid #1, Pit Droid, Officer
  • Michael Donovan as Old Obi-Wan Kenobi, Count Dooku, Owen Lars, Captain Panaka, Pilot, Poggle the Lesser, Spaceport Announcer
  • Heather Doerksen as Princess Leia Organa, Shmi Skywalker
  •  
 
Extras:
 
  • Free Topps Trading Cards
 
Specifications:
 
Runtime:
 
  • 115 Minutes
 
Studio:
 
  • Walt Disney Studios
 
Release Date:
 
  • 03/01/2016
 
Region:
 
  • 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
 
Website:
 
  • http://movies.disney.com/lego-star-wars-droid-tales
 
MPAA Rating:
 
  • US: TV-Y7-FV
 
Selig Rating:
 
  • BRAND NEW
 
Selig Rating Scale:
 
BRAND NEW: Should add to your DVD collection at any cost
SALE ITEM: Worth owning, but try to catch it a sale
SECOND HAND: Plan to get it, but wait to buy it used
RENTAL: Worth taking a look at, but not owning
COASTER: Pick it up at a garage sale and use it for drinks
PULL!: Makes a great Trap Shooting target
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