LEGO® STAR WARS: The New Yoda Chronicles – A DVD Review by John Strange

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LEGO® STAR WARS: The New Yoda Chronicles – DVD Review
 
John Strange
 
 
The LEGO® universe has become very diverse over the last decade.  In addition to the figures and building blocks we have a series of films and episodic stories which are sold on DVD.  The newest offering is LEGO® STAR WARS: The New Yoda Chronicles.
 
The DVD has four short episodes that follow Luke Skywalker and his companions.  Luke’s teachers, Yoda and the spirit of Obiwan Kenobi, are trying to make sure that Luke’s potential to be the best Jedi ever.  Luke and the gang, Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2, run through a series of adventures which pit them against Emperor Palpatine and his apprentice, Darth Vader.
 
Each episode is done in the format of the live action films beginning with the scrolling story setup.  The action is fast paced but scaled back in what I would believe is an attempt to make the stories more enjoyable to younger viewers.  The humor is similar to cartoons and borders on slapstick.
 
Each episode builds upon the last.  The first episode has a flashback which introduces us to the holographic crystals called Holocrons that contain the history of the Jedi’s.  The flashback is setup by the spirit of Obiwan Kenobi and Yoda as they sit around a campfire roasting marshmallows and talking about how they stole the Holocrons from the Emperor soon after the Senate was abolished and a brand new Darth Vader was introduced to the universe.
 
The next episode follows the “Luke” team as they try to find the Holocrons.  Luke’s Jedi sense totally fails him and the team finds themselves in a race with Vader across Tatooine to the hiding place of the crystals.  The crystals have already been discovered and stolen by the sand people.  The good guys and the bad guys have to catch a sand crawler energized by the blue glow of the crystals.  They catch up to the crawler as it reaches town.  Darth Vader wins the race by escaping with the Holocrons.
 
Episode three finds the good guys infiltrating the Emperor’s Palace to recover the crystals before he uses those glowing blue crystals to ferret out the location of every Rebel base in the Galaxy.  Their penetration of the palace goes about as well as every other action this team has attempted to this point.  In other words, they fail to recover the crystals though Luke does trick the bad guys into destroying the Holocrons.  They are no longer available to be used for training the young Jedi but all is not lost.  After all, Yoda is still able to do the training.
 
The fourth episode pits Luke and Vader against each other.  The Emperor Palpatine has ordered that Vader and the fleet must do whatever is necessary to find and destroy Luke Skywalker.  The story begins with the Rebels tricking Vader into thinking he has killed Luke.  The ruse lasts only until the wreckage is scanned for signs of Skywalker.  Vader is quite upset about the ruse.
 
Solo and Chewbacca are sent to Hoth to open the base for the Rebels.  Hoth is every bit as cold and desolate as the live action film show it to be.  While they fight a dangerous creature, Luke takes the one Holocron that survived the destruction and begins to watch it to learn his craft.  The activation of the Holocron attracts the attention of the Empire.  The Emperor orders Vader and the fleet to attack the planet Mustafa (home of the “Temporary Rebel Base”).
 
The Emperor decides that Vader’s failures require him to handle this personally.  He boards his shuttle to take over the attack.  When he is told that the Imperial Fleet is coming to attack, Luke decides to take the attack to them to cover while the Rebel Fleet evacuates to Hoth. 
 
The Imperial Fleet chases Luke (after he first rams the Emperor’s shuttle and the shuttle slams into Vader’s cruiser.  The Rebels manage to get the majority of their fleet to the new base while the rest chase the Emperor’s cruiser (he gets away).  The final battle is between Luke and Vader on an asteroid deep in the middle of a group of asteroids.  The battle results in Vader being thrown off the rock into space.  The Rebels throw a party to celebrate their victory.  The alternate ending reverses this.
 
I have enjoyed all of the LEGO® animated films I have seen up to this point.  Sadly, to me at least, the filmmakers went a bit too far to the side of slapstick comedy for me to truly enjoy the episodes.  I liked the characters and I liked to stories but the comedy just didn’t seem to add anything to the overall story.  I can only think that the comedy was their attempt to make the stories more palatable to a younger audience.  Personally, I think they underestimated the younger audiences who would watch the film.  This isn’t Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.  It’s Star Wars and LEGO®.
 
Cast:
 
  • Eric Bauza as Luke Skywalker/Porkins Pilot
  • Michael Daingerfield as Han Solo/Admiral Ozzel/Biggs Pilot
  • Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
  • Trevor Devall as Emperor Palpatine/Admiral Piett/Admiral Ackbar. 
 
Episodes:
 
  • Escape From The Jedi Temple
  • Race For The Holocrons
  • Raid on Coruscant
  • Clash of the Skywalkers
 
Extras:
 
  • Alternate Ending: Clash of the Skywalkers (alternate version)
 
Specifications:
 
Runtime:
 
  • 92 Minutes
 
Studio:
 
  • Walt Disney Studios
 
Release Date:
 
  • 09/15/2015
 
Region
 
  • 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
 
Languages & Subtitles:
 
  • English, French & Spanish
 
Website:
 
 
MPAA Rating:
 
  • US: TV-Y7-FV, CE: PG, CF:
 
Selig Rating:
 
  • SALE ITEM
 
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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