Over the past couple of years we’ve been treated to some amazing Lego Star Wars treats on television (The Padawan Menace and The Empire Strikes Out) and so comes this collection of the first two episodes from the new series, The Yoda Chronicles.
Fans of the previous two specials will be glad to hear that The Simpsons writer Michael Price, who penned the aforementioned instalments, has also written these little beauties.
These stories focus on, as the title may suggest, Yoda and find the little green one up against a new, dark force as Kaiburr crystals are stolen from lightsabers to produce a Sith-enhanced Clone Trooper. Old skool fans will be impressed to see that the Kaiburr crystal gets a mention and plays such a big part in the story (initially part of the original Star Wars screenplay).
The first episode, ‘The Phantom Clone’, sets up the premise whilst the second, ‘Menace of the Sith’, finds the Sith-enhanced Clone Trooper not too happy with being either a Sith or a Jedi, determined to make his own way in life. But don’t think that the plot gets in the way of humour – you’ll find both eps bursting with laughs.
There are numerous, very knowing, and quite surprising digs at the movies: Anakin Skywalker is a “great Jedi but not a very good actor”; a neat origin gag about General Grievous and his coughing; and the continuing inability of the Jedi to notice that Palpatine and Sidious were the same person (sorry, spoilers if you haven’t seen Revenge of the Sith).
But it’s Yoda himself that attracts the most guffaws as his speech pattern is wonderfully toyed with. It’s been done many times before, and by lesser talented hacks, but Price is a master at getting laugh after laugh with the formidable Jedi. When you hear the little green one come out with lines like “How I roll, that is,” and, “The way the cookie crumbles, that is,” you’ll be heading to Twitter to quote them immediately.
The sense of fun is felt throughout with numerous hilarious references to the films and also includes the great voice talents of Threepio himself, Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams (who plays Lando’s dad!).
The Yoda Chronicles may not be as technically proficient as its bigger brothers, The Padawan Menace and The Empire Strikes Out, but it hardly matters as it’s still the funniest DVD you’ll get this year. Full of laughs and full of love (albeit slightly cheeky).