By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Some fans of a peculiar galaxy far, far away love LEGO, and it’s about time a new animation is made. The Yoda Chronicles was short lived and The New Yoda Chronicles (retitled due to rights ownership) just did not have the same quality that the previous season had. LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales is suffering from a similar fate. Ever since Disney acquired the rights, the consistency of this spinoff world has not been perfect.
When the directors and executive producers have changed between products, perhaps that’s the cause. The only person involved in all these shorts is Lucasfilm writer Michael Price. His plotting is quite good. Somehow, as more products have been made, the execution has not matched what was presented in The Padawan Menace. The way young Anakin is characterized in the premiere is familiar. He’s a touch annoying in the films but the fact he almost becomes Darth Vader is toyed with much like how Lloyd Garmadon in Ninjago wants to be evil.
The humour is also inconsistent. Some animated LEGO products are better than others and over time, when I’ve watched plenty of LEGO’s own animated shows, a familiarity can be found in Droid Tales. The roles are atypical for a LEGO product than that of what they are like in the films. The only character that’s remotely close is C3P0.
While there’s promise in the narrative setup to help move the story ahead — taking place after Return of the Jedi — this new chapter is thankfully not a total retelling of the past six films from this translator droid or astromechs perspective. There are story instances that they would not necessarily know at the time, but would eventually learn about afterwards. In the first episode, The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones are briskly recounted. The scenes presented are a best of the two films. Anakin and Padme’s romance is quickly glossed on but the second film gets cut short when a new intrigue is happening in the now. A shadowy figure is stealing bits from the Ewok camp and only R2 notices.
In part one of a five part series, the Droid Tales is promising in its own plotting and disappointing in its humour. Just like in The New Yoda Chronicles, a lot of the jokes are forced. The nonsense moments are overwhelming and unnecessary. The better parts come in the style of a Road Runner cartoon and it’s those moments that are better appreciated. To see how Price will fit in the remainder of the four and a half films will see me tuning in. I’m just hoping the broadcast will be made weekly than sporadically because I feel that’s what killed The New Yoda Chronicles. Despite its flawed sense of humour, I’ll still eat up anything Star Wars related when presented in a video form.
3½ Stars out of 5