There’s a beautiful simplicity to the new series of animated Star Wars shorts, Star Wars Force of Destiny, debuting on Disney’s YouTube channel today. Where other forms of Star Wars storytelling have often focused on sweeping arcs and stunning visual effects to recount heroic tales, these bite-sized adventures serve as a reminder that even our seemingly inconsequential day-to-day choices have an important impact on who we will become. Here are five highlights from the first installment, “Sands of Jakku” — which you can watch below!
1. Familiar sounds.
Maz Kanata’s soothing narration (provided by Lupita Nyong’o), the twinkling strains of Rey’s theme, and Daisy Ridley herself bring a strong and welcome sense of deja vu to this first installment. Coupled with the twin suns peeking through the logo, we suspect Forces of Destiny will leave fans feeling like they sense something, a presence they’re not felt since…well, the last time they watched Star Wars.
2. The nightwatcher worm.
Glimpsed briefly in The Force Awakens, the rarely spotted Arconan night terror gets its moment in the Jakku sun, terrorizing Rey and BB-8 in its quest for junk food. Luckily for the hapless astromech, Rey is well-versed in scavenger lore and knows just how to deal with this beady-eyed, multi-tongued beast.
3. The patented Rey pause.
It’s a move that serves her well time and again. When everything is going sideways — whether she’s locked in a fierce lightsaber duel or being chased by an enormous worm — Rey takes a moment to assess the situation, think about the best way to outmaneuver and outwit her opponent, and then act. Or, perhaps our favorite Force-sensitive scavenger is just beginning to tap into her powers as she flings her staff and deftly hits her mark.
4. Sassy BB-8.
We may not be fluent in BB-8’s particular form of communication, but it’s not hard to tell what this droid is beeping about when Rey warns him that the nightwatcher worm feeds on junk. (Completely non-canon translation: “Who are you callin’ junk?”)
5. The power of compassion.
Rey doesn’t like to see any creature, organic or metal-bodied, being mistreated. That’s why even as she’s fighting to save her new roly-poly friend, she takes a moment to apologize for stepping on the sandborer’s head, and even tosses it a bit of mechanical debris, no doubt costing herself some portions, once she and BB-8 are safely on high ground.
What were your highlights from “Sands of Jakku”? Let us know in the comments below!
Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Follow her on Twitter @KristinBaver.