Now that the first week of the all-new LEGO Star Wars: All-Stars is complete, and we sit and wait for new episodes, it’s time to reflect on the week that was!
Where else can you see the Republic, Imperial and New Republic Eras all in one shot? And see characters ranging from R0-GR, Admiral Ackbar, Captain Cassian Andor, General Hera Syndulla, Lieutenant Valeria, K-2SO, Chopper, R2-D2, BB-8, Zander Freemaker, a young Han Solo, and Chewbacca? Plus, introduce a brand-new character, Pace, that figures heavily in Freemakers lore?
The reason of course is thanks to a clever format, Roger’s journal entries which trace the B-1 droid’s romp through history. “From Trenches to Wrenches: The Roger Story” gives us a peek inside the synthetic mind of R0-GR, Clone War veteran, Freemaker attaché and current Resistance member.
With the short stories framed around five journal entries (Chapters 1, 18, 48, 129, and 202) we see Roger leaving a B-1 footprint all over the galaxy. These little stories manage to cover a lot of ground and offer up something for everybody. Whether you enjoy them or not will depend on how much you liked The Freemaker Adventures probably, since they are both from the minds of Bill Motz and Bob Roth.
For me, it’s pure delight and a return to form for these two smart and funny gents. And while I would rather have had a third season of The Freemaker Adventures, this will do nicely.
In this first short, “Lo, I Am Manufactured”, Roger is aboard the Millennium Falcon with a young Han Solo and Chewbacca who are avoiding some Tie Fighters. To break the tension, he takes them back to the battle droid assembly line where he was first assembled and the beginning of a life of “non-stop humiliation” We watch as Roger gets repeatedly destroyed and reactivated on planets such as Naboo, Geonosis and Felucia. But all these groundhog days taught him one valuable lesson, get out of troubles way, something he would carry with him forever.
The second short, “It Gets Ugly” Roger is aboard the Home One with Hera Syndulla and Lieutenant Valeria. He tells them about his first Master, post Clone Wars, a Corellian mechanic named Pace. Pace builds his first starfighter, which Roger inadvertently launches, and they take off to an unknown planet (Dathomir?) inhabited by Rancors. Roger distracts the Rancors long enough for Pace to piece together another ship, which he calls an “ugly”. This short is the birth of two things that would figure heavily in The Freemaker Adventures. The term “ugly” that Pace used, is what the Freemakers would call their ships, and Pace finding success despite Roger is a common thread throughout the Freemaker stories.
For “The Good Stuff”, Roger’s love of 30 Weight oil gets him into trouble and crosses paths with Rogue One heroes, Captain Cassian Andor and repurposed droid K-2SO. He inadvertently takes some Imperial Codes, which Cassian is after, and draws the attention of some nearby Stormtroopers. K-2 comes in for the assist and they both leave with what they came for. Back in present day, R2-D2 tells Roger those were in fact heroes of the rebellion he helped, and they drink some 30W in their honor.
Up next we had “Prisoner on Tatooine”, which is a direct tie-in to a Freemaker episode from season one called “Race on Tatooine”, it even features Zander Freemaker! The Freemakers are working for Ben Quadinaros and need a part for his podracer. Roger gets picked up by some Jawas but manages to escape, but not before he causes a scuttle between the Jawas and some Tusken Raiders. He gets back to the shop with the part Zander needs but feels unappreciated for his efforts, another reoccurring theme in The Freemaker Adventures.
Finally, we’ve got Roger stationed on D’Qar, working alongside BB-8, when he breaks into Chapter 202. This time he and Chopper, back in the days of the Rebellion, go off on their own to rescue some droids which are being transported by the Empire. They rescue them and bring them back to the fleet where they prove quite useful. This short is meant to teach BB-8, and us, that even old droids (Roger) can be quite useful and have a purpose.
Now, we wait. Next weekend we get all five of these shorts again, plus three new ones in a half-hour special. Based on the trailer released a week ago, there’s still plenty left to go, especially for the sequel fans as we have yet to see Rose Tico, Rey, Captain Phasma and Kylo Ren. Plus, we haven’t seen a young Lando Calrissian yet either!
They are off to a great start with these peppy, well paced shorts and I only see things getting better from here on out. LEGO Star Wars is back and in spectacular fashion!
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