LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles

 
(i)

 

Hilarious parody rises above its commercial qualities.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive messages

The distinction between good and evil is obvious, with the exception of the duplicitous Chancellor/Emporer, who plays both sides to his advantage. But the show's humor greatly diminishes any tension, as foes often joke with each other in the midst of battle, and even injuries are comical because of how the LEGO figures come unhinged. Nonetheless, fighting is the most common way to solve problems in this dimension. 

Positive role models

Some good, some bad. Yoda takes center stage in this series, and he's a force of good and fairness. Those on the other side plot evil, but they come across as sillier than they are threatening. All of the characters are goofier than are their counterparts in the live-action movies. Young Jedis-in-training often go against their teachers' advice and jump into the danger themselves.

Violence & scariness

All of the characters are shown as LEGO figures, which lessens the impact of the violence, but destruction and battle sequences are common. Characters use lightsabers and laser guns as well as telepathic powers of the force to choke or force victims into submission, and spacecraft explode when they're hit by laser blasts. Death and injury is often shown as characters losing limbs or breaking in half (as Lego figures are wont to do), and inanimate structures crumble into Lego blocks as well. Some of the creatures can be intimidating, and the good guys are nearly always in peril.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

There's no cursing, but you'll hear some playground-style talk like "well, duh," "buzz off," and verbal jabs like "you slimy slug."

Consumerism

The series blends two marketing powerhouses in LEGO and the Star Wars franchise, and toys and other products bearing the characters' images line store shelves.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles is an animated series that parodies parts of the storyline 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 storyline 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.

Parents say

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What's the story?

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?

QUALITY
 

LEGO STAR WARS: THE YODA CHRONICLES 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 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the parody genre. Can shows like this one 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?

TV details

Cast:Anthony Daniels, Kirby Morrow, Tom Kane
Network:Cartoon Network
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Space and aliens
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byTheIceKing January 10, 2014
 

Love it!

This is a must watch for anyone! It is totally hilarious!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 10 years old January 4, 2015
 

Yoda

Great and very funny
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byIsaac T October 5, 2014
 

A very tame parody.

A hilarious "Star Wars" parody. It's not very violent at all, even milder than "The Phantom Menace." Perfect for young fans of the series.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism

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