HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Lego Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles
HTS Overall Score:71
Star Wars is pretty much one of the most successful franchises to ever hit media, and I mean ANY type of media. George Lucas came up with a brilliant idea when he created the first film and it has only gotten bigger from there. Since 1977 we have had HUNDREDS of toys, books, games, puzzles, cosplay costumes, spinoffs, sequels, prequels and filler material to choke the proverbial horse. While much of it is serious and meant to world build, the whole “Lego Star Wars” has their tongue firmly implanted in cheek as they play around with the source material. Based off of the wildly popular “Lego Star Wars” games, “The New Yoda Chronicles” is actually the second “season” of a Disney XD webisode series that aired on their Cartoon channel in 2014.
The first “season” was actually comprised of three 22 minute episodes regarding the prequel trilogy of films. Due to the increased popularity, and the takeover by Disney, the second season, titled “The New Yoda Chronicles” is an expanded set of a whopping FOUR episodes dealing with Luke, Leia, Han and the rest of the cast between “Star Wars” and “The Empire Strikes back. The first episode introduces the old familiar cast, but also brings in a character from the first season who was created specifically FOR that season. This character being Jek 14, a cloned sith trooper that was fused with force powers and a crystal arm. Having decided to defect from the Empire, he joined up with Obi Wan and the rest to fight for truth, justice and the rebel way. Darth Vader has been a bit ticked off since Han popped him a good one during the battel of Yavin, and is kind of holding a grudge. Round and round the merry go round they go, and like always, Vader gets a bit of a bloody nose.
What really adds some new flavor to these episodes is the inclusion of the Holocrons. To prepare for Luke’s impending Jedi training, Yoda sends force ghost Obi Wan to Luke and instructs him to dig up the Jedi Holocrons that the two Jedi Master’s stole from under the Emperors nose decades ago. These holocrons store all the information of the Jedi over thousands of years and will be instrumental in the molding of the young Jedi. That is, if he can actually get them. Last but not least we end the whole story with a battle between the Empire and the Rebellion as Han and Chewie go to Hoth to prepare the planet to become the new rebel base.
Before we go any further, let me say that “The New Yoda Chronicles” is NOT Star Wars canon. It doesn’t even attempt to be, but instead acts as a fun little “diversion” in the same universe. I giggled and chuckled as the little miniseries manages to be just as fun and cheeky as the video games they were spawned from. Mixing in pop culture references out the yin yang (laughed quite a bit at all the winks and nods to the overly used Star Wars clichés, especially Admiral Ackbar and his “it’s a trap!” lines), the 4 episodes just breeze by in a nice lazy pace. By the time I finished I actually wished there had been some more content, but the more I think about it, the more I’m glad there really wasn’t. This overly cheeky and obviously tongue in cheek take on the iconic Star Wars universe is great in small doses, but if they had tried to stretch it out into a full series I could understandably see a big dip in the enjoyment level as it would wear out its welcome quite easily.
Rated G For General Audiences
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=53801[/img]Sadly, “The New Yoda Chronicles” did not get the Blu-ray treatment, as did its predecessor “The Padawan Menace”. Even the first season got a very rough treatment on DVD with the first 2 episodes being released, and then the final episode never getting any disc treatment to my knowledge. Thankfully Disney released the second season in its full entirety, even though that is only in 480p. Still, the colors are quite pleasing, with plenty of different shades well saturated across the spectrum. Fine detail is good, as the CGI animation of legos look quite nice, with no jaggies or other animated issues. Black levels stay dark and inky, with good shadow resolution to boot. My only complaint with the whole disc was some rather obvious banding that comes and goes throughout the 4 episodes. Still a very well done encode, in my opinion.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=53809[/img]The 5.1 Dolby Digital track is more than sufficient to get the job done. It doesn’t have the benefit of the full lossless treatment, but there is plenty of oomph to the track with some great surround support. The Tie fighters and X-wings screech across the soundstage, blasting away in the mains, and adding some good directionality in the surrounds. The dialog is always well balanced with the rest of the effects and locked in the center channel where it should be. Vocals are crisp and clean, with no sounds of distortion or level issues to my ears. The LFE isn’t WILD, but it is still very much noticeable with some good booms and explosions to keep that channel working throughout the runtime.
• Sneak Peaks
• Alternate Ending: Clash of the Skywalkers
“Lego Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles” is a fun little Star Wars jaunt that revels in not taking itself too seriously (actually more like not taking itself seriously at all). The adventures are charming and witty, but they aren’t as serious or serialized as their bigger brothers like “The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars: Rebels”. They act as a fun little filler series that allows you to relax and not think too much about the continuity, instead focusing on poking a good bit of fun at its own source material. The audio and video are well done for a DVD, and while there isn’t a real goodly amount of extras, I’m ok with that knowing the limited nature of the series. Next up, “Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales”! Recommended for a fun watch.
Starring: Eric Bauza, Anthony Daniels, Trevor Devall
Director: Michael Hegner
Written By: Michael Price
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French DD 2.0, Spanish DD 5.1
Runtime: 92 Minutes
DVD Release Date: September 15th, 2015
Buy Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles DVD on Amazon
Recommendation: Fun Watch
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