A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles is an animated series that parodies parts of the story line of the first three live-action Star Wars movies. Because the characters and much of the scenery are built of Lego pieces, the show can feel like a lengthy ad for the accompanying Lego products, but a quality comical story line ensures it's more than just something fun to look at. Expect to see a number of battle sequences, both with light sabers and between spacecraft, and some short-lived injuries that leave victims without limbs or entire portions of their Lego bodies.
What's the story?
In LEGO STAR WARS: THE YODA CHRONICLES, the scheming Darth Sidious (voiced by Trevor Devall) and his minions, Count Dooku (Michael Donovan) and General Grievous (Kirby Morrow), hatch a plan to upend the Republic by creating clones infused with Jedi powers. When Master Yoda (Tom Kane) senses the disturbance in the force, he heads off to defend the galaxy from their plot, leaving his class of Padawans to the likes of C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and later, Anakin Skywalker (Morrow again). The Sith have minimal success with their plan, creating a clone named Jek-14 (Brian Dobson) who's less than willing to play his role for them and encountering one roadblock after another in their efforts to undermine the powerful Jedi. Meanwhile, the funky Calrissian family makes the Jedis' acquaintance, and Darth Sidious continues to hide his double identity from Yoda and crew.
Is it any good?
This is a laugh-out-loud parody of the Star Wars prequel stories, in much the same vein as The Empire Strikes Out. With Yoda in the starring role, there's the expected bevy of jokes at the expense of his trademark speech pattern, of course, but those are just the icing on this show's comical cake. What's most fun are the persistent jabs at the live-action movies themselves, with rapid-fire inside jokes that will fly above the heads of kids tuning in but will delight those viewers with at least a working knowledge of the original films' storyline.
The Lego Star Wars joint franchise has gained traction with fans, all of whom will celebrate the fact that Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles spans three episodes rather than just one. Of course, this means more screen time for the marketing side of the show, since nothing makes Lego more enticing than animated Lego. But that's a relatively small price to pay for this gem of creativity and comedy.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the parody genre. Can shows like Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles be enjoyed even if you haven't seen the movies it's parodying? When (if at all) can a spoof be taken too far? Is it ever acceptable to get a laugh from someone else's quirks in real life?
How is the violence in this show affected by the fact that the characters are Lego figures? Does it pack less of a punch because the pieces can be put back together after they're broken? Does this send any questionable messages about those same actions in the real world?
Kids: Does the media have an impact on what kinds of products you want? Why is it fun to own toys or accessories that show a favorite character's image?
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