At last, a spin-off Star Wars video experience that is worthy of its name. I’m sure all of you are familiar with the Lego Star Wars series of video games and exactly how much fun they are. Lucas decided to make a wise decision and turned the outstanding games into a 20 minute animated feature that premiered on Cartoon Network. Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace was voiced by the excellent cast from the Clone Wars animated series, and features its own unique, not-exactly-cannon Star Wars storyline. I’m going to come right out and say that I loved The Padawan Menace. It had the right amount of charm that you should expect from Star Wars, but unfortunately, at this point in the game, most people don’t.
The visual quality of the show was outstanding presented in high definition widescreen format. One thing I don’t think Lucas has ever been hounded on to a great degree is his staff of highly talented digital artists. They created a visual story that fits perfectly within the realm of the Star Wars universe as well as captures the feel that the Lego video games are so well-known for. It looks great, making it a truly beautiful experience.
The audio is likewise top knotch, and this is another area where Lucasfilm typically shines. All of the sounds effects are from the movies and the Lego Star Wars video games and they really help sell the authenticity of the experience. John Williams’ classic score plays throughout, and the voice of Anthony Daniels, the ever eccentric protocol droid, also lends credibility to the experience.
The storyline is adorable and is one that will be enjoyed by Padawans and Jedi Masters alike. It tells the tale of a stow-away aboard a Jedi field trip for younglings and the mischief that follows, landing our characters in places that are iconic of the universe. The part that really got to me, however, was the ending. I will not spoil it here, but I will say I certainly did not see it turning out like that!
If you have twenty minutes to spare, head over to your local media retailer and pick up the blu-ray of Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace. As a 20 minute show, it should be relatively cheap and well worth the price you’ll pay. This is the kind of kid-friendly experience Lucas was trying, but failed, to create in the prequels.