Posted by Steve on November 13, 2018 at 09:16 AM CST
Spoilers ahead for the latest episode of LEGO Star Wars: All-Stars!
“...and then, in dreaming, the clouds methought would open and show riches. Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked, I cried to dream again.”
~William Shakespeare, The Tempest
It wasn’t that long ago that the prospect of seeing LEGO Star Wars animation again was exactly that, a dream. When The Freemaker Adventures ended last year, there was no announcement made or indication that we could expect more content, at least not anytime soon.
So, when LEGO, Lucasfilm and Wil Film dropped the teaser and press release on us for LEGO Star Wars: All-Stars at the end of October, it caught many by surprise. And then we started seeing indications that, while we weren’t getting a third season of the Freemakers, we would be getting something in the same vein and would at least get to see our beloved Roger and Graballa the Hutt, as seen in this teaser…
As shorts trickled out and one by one, we were given some great Star Wars television to whet our appetites and see what we could expect tone wise from the shortened season. Much to our delight, Freemaker attaché Roger was guiding us through all of this and we even got a chance to see Zander Freemaker, albeit briefly. So, we were happy.
And then, with Part 8, “The Power at Jakku”, the clouds parted, and we were given a gift from the Maker himself. Sorry for the hyperbole, but when you’ve obsessed over The Freemaker Adventures like I have, the thought of never seeing them again or gaining any resolve on certain threads, was painful to say the least. So, the fact that this episode even exists is thrilling and tells us a couple things about creators Bill Motz and Bob Roth. It tells us they care about and respect the fans point of view immensely, and that they have a tangible and profound connection and love for these characters which they’ve created.
I have some theories about where this is all headed, but we’ll save those for later. In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at Part 8 and why it means so much to fans of The Freemaker Adventures.
We start off with Roger in the shop working on an X-34 Landspeeder when a mysterious female enters. They don’t show her face, but they seem to know each other, and she has returned to hear more of Roger’s stories. As the title suggests, we are thrust into the Empire’s last stand on Jakku by Roger, who is replaying these events from Chapter 482 in his biography.
Lieutenant Valeria has crashed her T-47 on the sandy surface, right in the path of an oncoming AT-AT. But just before she and her ship are squashed, Kordi Freemaker’s voice rings out and the Star Scavenger emerges from the skies. Rowan jumps out of the Scavenger and barber poles one of the AT-AT’s legs with his lightsaber, forcing it to topple over just in time.
A damaged Star Destroyer begins to plummet to the surface aimed directly at Roger, who is gathering parts for Valeria’s ship. Suddenly the Destroyer stops in mid-air and Roger thinks for a moment he is the first Jedi Droid! Turns out, a vastly stronger Rowan is the one using the Force to halt the ship (think Galen Marek) and Roger’s hopes are dashed.
They get out of the way in time, repair Valeria’s ship, and they all continue the fight. Back to the shop, Roger as usual, is taking all the credit, “…and that’s how I single handedly stopped a Star Destroyer and finished off the evil Empire.” The girl in the shop, reveling in Roger’s tales, reveals herself to be Moxie Freemaker, daughter of Zander and Becky Smoochenbacher! Just then her Aunt Kordi enters the shop and they have a loving embrace where Moxie expresses her desire to be a hero as well, like her family. Kordi, now a Senator living on Hosnian Prime (eesh), suspected as much and brought along an old friend to speak to Moxie about just that kind of opportunity. She has brought none other than General Leia Organa, former Senator and leader of the Resistance, to speak with Moxie about joining her ranks. The End.
“Hello Moxie, I heard you’re interested in joining the Resistance?”
Let’s first get some Star Wars business out of the way. For a 4-minute short there is a lot of information contained in it. Just showing the Battle of Jakku is kind of a big deal because up until now we’ve only read about it in books had it referenced on film. One of the fun things about Freemakers is the show puts them historically right in the thick of it, so while our point of view is through a lens, you can easily imagine what’s happening all around them. This sequence on Jakku is another great example of that. Think back to Claudia Gray’s “Lost Stars” or Chuck Wendig’s “Aftermath” series and you can now imagine the Freemakers and Valeria on Jakku doing their thing.
Two nice little The Force Awakens Easter Eggs to be found are a Star Destroyer with its nose buried in the sand and an AT-AT on its side. We must assume the destroyer is the Inflictor, once commanded by Ciena Ree and featured in movie The Force Awakens. Also, that AT-AT that Rowan takes down I’m guessing is the one Rey is using as her makeshift home when we first meet her at the beginning of her adventure. For the ship-heads, as mentioned we see an X-34 landspeeder, a CT-900 (the StarScavenger), a sand colored T-47 airspeeder, and lots of AT-ATs, AT-STs, Imperial Star Destroyers, Tie Fighters and X-Wings.
Timeline wise, there are some things we can determine from this episode as far as the Freemakers are concerned. This tells us that Rowan didn’t train with Luke right after “Return of the Return of the Jedi” and chose to stick it out with the Rebel Alliance, to stay with his family. Perhaps after Jakku, during peacetime, he re-connected with Luke, but we just don’t know. After that, who knows? In the “present day” portion the only one we see is Kordi while “Uncle Rowan” and “father” (Zander) are simply mentioned by Moxie.
Kordi mentions she’s from Hosnian Prime which was destroyed by the First Order, so this scene is before 34 ABY, before the events in The Force Awakens. Also, Leia is there recruiting so it takes place after the events in Claudia Gray’s “Bloodline” where she first formed the Resistance, which was 28 ABY. So, using today’s timeline, Kordi would be roughly 39-45 years old when we see her in this short.
And by calling Leia an “old friend”, Kordi is referring to the fact that they met 30 years ago during season one of the Freemakers in an episode called, “Crossing Paths” Leia, who was still going by Princess at the time, would leave a strong impression on Kordi which likely led to her decision to join the Senate.
Finally, for those who didn’t follow the Freemakers that closely, Moxie is the daughter of Zander and Becky Smoochenbacher. Becky, only appeared in one episode, but was mentioned several times as Zander was infatuated with her going back to his time on the Wheel. So, it’s nice to see Zander and Becky settled down after the war to have a family, which leads me to my next point.
“Family had to be at the heart of this thing.”
I know its LEGO, and that it’s animation, and that it’s “canon adjacent”, but to me, it’s every bit a Star Wars show as any other series. It’s some of the best cinematic and thematic Star Wars content ever produced, in my opinion, and I will gladly put it up against any of the other series to date as far as quality goes. It looks great, it sounds great, the writing is great, and the acting is top shelf. But it also has heart and a very strong point of view because at the core of the show, is a spirituality and a philosophy that can only be described as the Force.
Just Like Bob said, at the heart of the Freemakers IS family and the decision to expand that family with the introduction of Moxie, while obvious, speaks to the heart of the show’s strengths. Remember, we’ve never met their parents (yet), they’ve been orphans as long as we've know them, so for Zander to undertake the role of parent is a meaningful one.
Parenting requires many things including love, understanding and the ability to keep children on the right path. If done right, it is one of the hardest things you will do, but also one of the most rewarding. It’s about more than simply being their caretaker, it’s the concern you have for their present well-being and for their future endeavors. It is your watchful eye over them that protects them and keeps them safe and shows that you care about their lives. This is a big part of Star Wars and a huge part of The Freemaker Adventures. I have a very strong sense that Roger plays a huge part in this whole thing, specifically the lineage aspect of the Freemakers, but we’ll wait on that one.
So, my point is by letting Moxie join the Resistance, which is indeed fraught with all kinds of peril, it shows a deeper understanding on the part of the Freemakers, at a profoundly human level. They are all her “parents” to some degree, and rather than snuff out what makes her a Freemaker, her spirit and strength, they embrace it and provide the support she’ll need to succeed.
It’s this dynamic that drove the series and is the main reason people enjoyed it and continue to enjoy it so much. Bill and Bob, having fashioned this concept for the show, surely would’ve known what it meant to not only have the Freemaker family back, but add to it as well. This is a pair of hard-working family men themselves who love to obsess over Star Wars and laugh a little in the process, this show is a true reflection of their own charisma and character.
While these final few episodes are clearly turning out to be a last hurrah for the Freemakers, they are not disposable or throwaway characters. Whatever their outcome, they’ve made their mark and, for me anyways, remain at the top of my list for things I enjoy most about the Star Wars galaxy.
I look forward to what the future may hold for everyone involved, from the top down. I won’t hold my breath, but I’ll certainly keep one good eye open and one good ear to the ground. We've still got 4 episodes left so who knows what will happen next!
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