Familiar sound effects, cameos, and a bit of Batuu are waiting to be discovered on the popular Star Wars game show!
With one foot poised on a platform and eyes on the prize, six young Jedi-Knights-in-training begin their trials of strength, knowledge, and bravery on Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge, the Star Wars game show on StarWarsKids.com and YouTube. In each episode, the plucky Padawans leap, balance, listen, think, and work together to finish building their lightsabers and join the ranks of the Jedi Knights.
As you focus on the kids and their considerable challenges -- and daydream about completing them yourself -- it’s easy to miss the incredible sets and props built into the world around them. You might be surprised to learn that while the setting and ship are brand new to the Star Wars galaxy, there are a lot of throwbacks and details hidden in the shadows. Sure, in one episode you might have spotted Jaxxon, the classic character from the early days of Star Wars comics, but we guarantee there’s a lot more you haven’t noticed. Until now.
Straight from show co-creator Scott Bromley and sound editor David W. Collins, here are 20 Easter eggs to hunt for the next time you watch Jedi Temple Challenge.
1. The series’ distant relative, the Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple stage show at Disneyland, offered inspiration in the form of costuming.
Padawan outfits are based on Jedi Apprentice Nedriss Narr’s costume, and Master Kelleran Beq’s boots were the same ones Cast Members wore when playing Jedi Master Vanzell Mar-Klar.
2. The training sabers are based on the Padawans’ wooden saber in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
In Season Five’s “A Test of Strength,” you can see a Padawan using the wooden lightsaber to knock away a familiar-looking training remote.
3. A bit of Batuu has made its way to Jedi Master Beq.
Not only does Master Kelleran Beq’s costume integrate pieces from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the Star Wars-themed land at Disney Parks, but his Jedi weapon is made using modified parts from Savi's Workshop -- the lightsaber-building experience -- on Batuu. He uses pieces from Protection and Defense, Elemental Nature, and Peace and Justice to complete his lightsaber.
4. The fruit hanging above the Padawans in the Leap & Lift challenge is called meiloorun, seen in Star Wars Rebels.
Hera Syndulla sends Ezra Bridger and Zeb on a mission for the difficult to find fruit in the Season One episode “Fighter Flight.” You can also taste meiloorun juice yourself at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
5. Gamers with keen ears might recognize quite a few sounds from classic Star Wars video games.
“The wooden saber box uses a portion of a Wookiee elevator sound from the opening Kashyyyk level of The Force Unleashed,” David W. Collins tells StarWars.com. Force “whoosh” sounds from the same game can also be heard when Master Beq raises a hand, along with LX-R5’s astromech sounds that were originally created for Star Wars Galaxies.
6. The names for droids AD-3 and LX-R5 aren’t random letters and numbers.
AD-3’s nickname mimics “Aidee,” a feminine name to match her voice actor. LX-R5, or "Ellex," is a nod to Scott Bromley’s young nephew Alex. “The ankles of AD-3 have the initials ‘GT’ and ‘MH’ representing Gordon Tarpley, both the designer and performer of the suit, and Mary Holland, the voice of AD-3,” Bromley tells StarWars.com. “LX-R5 was built in 16 days and is the fastest any droid has been constructed by the droid builders.”
The Trial of Knowledge
7. The stories the Padawans listen to, written by veteran Star Wars author Cavan Scott, feature characters from the Emmy-winning The Star Wars Show.
8. Mos Zabu, a Tatooine settlement mentioned in the third episode, also has its origins elsewhere.
You’ll first find the town in the story “Nerf Herder” in Dark Horse Comics’ Star Wars Tales #7.
9. The Millennium Falcon has an unexpected connection to the Athylia.
Those hyperspace levers might look familiar. They’re the same ones used in the touring Millennium Falcon Experience that celebrated the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story in 2018. Punch it!
10. Speaking of the Athylia, the sound of the ship as it passes by is deliberate.
The sound the ship makes as it leaves the planet is a combination of the ship carrying Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn, the Radiant VII, and Yoda’s escape ship in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. “Using [these sounds] is meant to signal that this ship is a Jedi Starcruiser,” Collins says.
11. You’ll also spot more of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on the bridge of the ship.
Unused wall panels from the Star Wars-themed land can be seen under the cockpit and behind the tiles on the wall, and props in the boxes are slightly modified items from Batuu. (The stuffed tooka and comlink, for example.)
The Jedi Temple
12. Calling all toy collectors! Did you notice the foam in the Jedi temple is a callback to a classic playset?
The foam cubes in the garbage masher are a reference to same (but much smaller) cubes from the Kenner Death Star Space Station playset.
13. The visual representation of the dark side might look mystical but is made of something more mundane.
The dark side, meant to be a stopper during the final round, has actual door stoppers integrated into its design. (Bonus Easter egg: if the dark side is called upon, the “scream” sound effect from Darth Sidious’s attack on Mace Windu in Revenge of the Sith can be faintly heard.)
14. Sam Witwer’s voice as the dark side never stays still for listeners at home.
“[It] actually moves all around in both stereo and surround sound,” Collins says. “This was done to convey his non-corporeal, spirit-like nature, and make him sound elsewhere, elusive...”
15. Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge is a tribute to kids’ game shows of the past -- and one notoriously difficult puzzle in particular.
“The Power Core puzzle was our homage to the Shrine of the Silver Monkey puzzle from Legends of the Hidden Temple,” reveals Bromley.
16. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is inside the temple, too? Absolutely.
The couplings holding the hoses on the walls are pieces from Savi’s Workshop on Batuu, and some of the wall panels of the garbage masher are also from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Eagle eyes can also spot a certain round beverage bottle near the Bridge of Balance!
17. The kyber crystals may not be directly from Batuu at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, but they are based on them.
“The kyber crystals are the same molds from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” Bromley says, “but were a custom translucent color to show up better on screen. What you don’t see is each contestant picks which color they want their saber to be, so when they insert the crystal into the saber, it actually is the color they chose.”
18. There is a set of drums from the video game Rock Band positioned on top of the Frigid Ridge.
Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.
19. The sound effect when the path lights up on the Bridge of Balance is from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
When balance is reached and a Padawan successfully lights the path for their partner, you’ll hear the same sound that’s used when Darth Vader steps on a platform to communicate with the Emperor.
20. Master Beq’s declaration to the newly minted Jedi Knights is a reference to the Star Wars: Clone Wars micro-series.
“By the right of the Council, by the will of the Force, you are now Jedi Knights,” avows Master Beq. Master Yoda spoke similar words as he knighted Anakin Skywalker near the end of the 2005 series.
Watch Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge now on Star Wars Kids!
Kelly Knox is a Seattle-based freelance writer who loves creating Star Wars crafts with her daughter. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox.
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