07th Oct2013

‘LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Features the voices of: Anthony Daniels, Trevor Devall, Brian Dobson, Michael Donovan, Brian Drummond, Andrew Francis, Adrian Holmes, Tom Kane, Kirby Morrow, Billy Dee Williams | Written by Michael Price | Directed by Michael Hegner

LEGO-Yoda

Conceived as a tie-in to the re-branded LEGO range of Star Wars playsets, LEGO Star Wars:  The Yoda Chronicles features two more totally brand-new and 100% original 22 minute specials – this time based on George Lucas’ god-awful prequels, namely episodes one and two, and the adventures of Anakin, Obi-Wan Yoda and Mace Windu as they take on the evil Darth Sidious, Count Dooku and General Grevious.

In Episode I: The Phantom Clone, the action-packed adventure begins when Darth Sidious unveils his plan to create a new super-weapon — an enhanced Sith clone named Jek-14 — to help him defeat the Republic once and for all. It’s up to Jedi Master Yoda and his young Padawan students to work together and save the galaxy. Episode II: Menace of the Sith sees Count Dooku use his new and improved Clone-a-Matic to create an army of Jek clones, but the original Jek-14 wants no part of the sinister scheme. Now, with the help of some old friends and two familiar Droids, substitute teacher Anakin Skywalker must lead Yoda’s Padawan class to victory.

It seems that given the makers of this particular set of LEGO Star Wars specials had to focus on the much-hated prequel movies, they decided to up the comedy quotient in comparison to the already available CG-animated LEGO tales – throwing many more jokes at the screen this time out, most of which had me literally laughing out loud! If it’s not General Grevious “accidentally” suffering a coughing fit when Darth Sidious praises Count Dooku and not him; then it’s the glorious afro-haired coupling of a young Lando Calrissian and his father Lindo (voiced by Billy Dee Williams), who also rocks the curly chest hair and gold medallion, who run a 70s style disco out of the Millenium Falcon; and there’s Yoda’s references to settling down on Dagobah as “it looks nice” and R2D2 using a clip from the live-action movies to make a point to the animated Anakin. The comedy comes thick and fast – yes some of it is childish, after all these are kids “movies” – but a lot of the jokes will hit home for Star Wars fans of all ages.

Given that I’m not a fan of the prequel movies I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy The Yoda Chronicles as much as I did. But by focusing on what makes these LEGO shorts work, namely poking fun at the characters and tropes of Star Wars and giving them a comedy spin, writer Michael Price (who penned the previous two LEGO Star Wars short films, along with a handful of The Simpsons episodes) knocks it out the park once again… Now when will we see a Return of the Jedi version? I for one want to see some Ewoks cause havoc in the LEGO Star Wars universe!

LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles is out now on DVD from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment,

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