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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that like other Lego Star Wars productions, Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures has many scenes that show two sides facing off with blasters or firing shots at each other in spacecrafts. Though death is never shown, it's implied that some characters (mostly nameless minions of the Emperor) die, and the occasional loss of limb happens in typical Lego block-disassembling fashion. Expect to hear some name-calling such as "slime" and "scum" but nothing edgier. A duplicitous main character hides her true intentions from the story's young protagonist, preying on his trust but secretly vowing to do him harm if he defies her. Obviously there's a commercial angle to this Lego production, but it's of such high entertainment value that that seems like an afterthought.
What's the story?
LEGO STAR WARS: THE FREEMAKER ADVENTURES is set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. As Emperor Palpatine (voiced by Trevor Devall) heaps guilt on Darth Vader (Matt Sloan) over the destruction of the Death Star, Vader concocts a plan to get back in his boss' good graces by locating the fabled Kyber Saber, said to be the most powerful Jedi weapon ever made. He dispatches stormtroopers to search for the sword at the same time that a trio of sibling scavengers -- Kordi (Vanessa Lengies), Zander (Eugene Byrd), and Rowan (Nicolas Cantu) -- stumble into the quest themselves. The three Freemakers meet a mysterious Jedi named Naare (Grey Griffin), who vows to nurture Rowan's emerging connection to the Force.
Is it any good?
This laugh-out-loud addition to the Lego Star Wars saga is a witty blend of new characters and storyline with old favorites. Vader and Palpatine take center stage initially, but the plot quickly pivots to focus on an impish Padawan, Rowan, who seems destined for greatness. Of course, to accomplish that, he must exercise patience and a willingness to heed instruction, somewhat reminiscent of a couple of other Padawan learners we've met in Star Wars productions.
The Freemaker Adventures is best enjoyed with a good command of Star Wars lore in your repertoire, but, even without knowing your Ewoks from your tauntauns, you'll find yourself laughing in many spots because of the sheer brilliance of the Lego-inspired humor. Those who do know the background (and foreground, so to speak, given the show's place in the Star Wars time line) will appreciate familiar quotes ("I've got a bad feeling about this") and comical twists on characterizations.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what motivates the creators of a series such as Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures. Does this show add to the Star Wars story in a quality way? To what degree do you think commercial interests guide the Lego and Star Wars conglomerates to join forces for this production (and others)?
If your kids are current on their Star Wars lore, how well do they think this story fits into the overall picture? Do offshoots like this one detract from the authentic original tale? Does seeing villains (especially Palpatine) in a comical role change how you view him in the movies?
How powerful an instinct is greed and the quest for power? Who in this story falls victim to those impulses? Kids: Have you ever seen this kind of behavior play out among your peers? How does it affect others around the perpetrators?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.