DisneyFilm is trying to get kids interested in Star Wars. Sure, they’re still replacing George Lucas’ legacy with their own and flipping off fans of the original Trilogy and previous media, but is everything they’re making crap? Well, since I’m hearing previous fans of The Mandalorian are now in the same spaceship as every other Disney-era Star Wars viewer perhaps so. Still, I’m hoping someone with skills who understand the franchise and why it grew such a strong fan base sneak in somehow.
Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures is show on Disney Junior, the only place in Disney that still remembers what a superhero story should be considering P.J. Masks, Spidey & His Amazing Friends, Superkitties, and I’ll even toss in Puppy Dog Pals out of desperation is hosted there. Then again, it’s set in the “High Republic” time period, so I’m waiting to see if they do something worse than the navigator who’s a big rock.
For May The Fourth, Disney Junior unleashed the first episode of Young Jedi Adventures on TV but only one story on their YouTube channel. (Disney Junior’s shows carry two to three stories per episode.) We’ll look at the first full story but they also put up a series of shorts to introduce the character. It’s too many videos for one post so I’m going to focus on a few to introduce our new younglings and then the full adventure. Let’s see if this is any good.
Short 1: Meet The Young Jedi
Well, it fits in with other Disney Junior hero shows. You should see the stuff Spidey and the PJ Masks have and they’re the same age. A kid with her own ship is actually less of a stress to disbelief in that sense. It’s a show for preschool to elementary school, so kids see other kids doing good and learning to be better people. The shows all push teamwork, believing in yourself, and other positive social lessons while still…and here’s the detail being lost on adult stories…also being entertaining to the target audience. Kai is impulsive but eventually learns how to be a better Jedi, as we’ll see in the full story as well as here. Also, you have to like his name: Kai Brightstar. That’s a Star Wars name. Since Kai is the focus character of the main story and this one to a degree let’s look in on the others.
Short 2: Lys’ Creature Caper
So Lys is the more excitable of our group and really likes animals. She’s good natured and helpful. I like her, but she’s not my favorite. Still, connection with animals could definitely prove useful in certain situations.
jumping to Short 4: Nubs And The Flower Fiasco
Nubs will hopefully be more than the cute mascot character. Kids like them but adults don’t. “Who cares, it’s a kids show?” My philosophy is if the character has a use on the team nobody should care. Nubs needs to do more than be cute. We saw in the previous vids that he also has superstrength. He also appears or at least acts like the youngest member of the team.
Short 5: Nash’s Firehawk Frenzy
So Nash Durango is our Han Solo, the non-Jedi pilot who still hangs out with Jedi. If the Force isn’t your thing, you have an alternative. She’s good at flying and I’ll be curious to see how. We didn’t meet an untrained girl who can suddenly do everything because she’s awesome, we see someone clearly trained as a pilot, self or instructed, and has a cool ship. Plus I like her droid. RB-28 is more than BB-8 with BD-1’s body. This is my favorite pairing. Yes, I have favorite characters in a kids show. Are you new? Then welcome. Hope you like what you see around the Spotlight.
There are two more shorts. One focuses on Kai while another introduces the “dread” pirate Taborr and his crew but they’re all the focus of the full story so let’s just watch that and finish the article.
Hey, an actual intro! I haven’t seen that on a Star Wars cartoon since Droids and Ewoks back in the 1980s. It’s also a really good intro, giving each of the characters AND the pirates a chance to show off their personalities and unique talents. Why is it preschool shows still remember how to do an intro and all the other age group shows can’t squeeze out more than a logo?
Pitor Michael our new Yoda is and a good job he does. He takes over from Tom Kane, who of course took over from Frank Oz in the movies and it’s a good impersonation. As for the story itself, Young Jedi Adventures differs from the other shows in that these are recruits rather than kids already established as heroes. They’re still learning to become heroes, Jedi Knights, and that’s okay. It’s a good way to teach kids how to be good people. For example, I was sure Kai was going to be able to save Nubs and retrieve his lightsaber during the test, but he wasn’t. Instead he had to learn what was important so when in the same situation later (except Nubs was in more danger) he makes the right choice. These are not going to be perfect heroes. They need to learn, which is one of the biggest issues fans have with Rey.
Of course being for little kids the show is lacking the more violent aspects of the show. We saw in one of the shorts that the heroes didn’t fire back on the pirates. Nobody lost an arm (which I think happens once a movie). And yet the action still felt like Star Wars, just toned down a bit. I do worry about the future though. The Mandalorian had reviews about Star Wars being “back” and that all changed this season, and not just because of what happened to Gina Carano. It just fell into the traps that the other Star Wars shows had. Even Clone Wars doesn’t seem to get the same accolades that it did on Cartoon Network, Resistance didn’t impress me enough after the first episode, Rebels was okay, and so on. So even the kids shows haven’t held up to what Star Wars is. So even if kids enjoy it, will it really be Star Wars at the core beyond some marketing name? It is set in the High Republic era after all. Points for actually making the black character feel important, eh Finn? Wonder how this will play in China?
As it stands Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures is a good show in the same vein as the other Disney Junior hero shows. Will it last a long time like PJ Masks (which just reformatted as PJ Masks: Power Heroes this season–haven’t had a chance to watch it) or will it disappear like The Rocketeer but a biracial girl in present day? Time will tell.