Lucasfilm’s new series of animated shorts, Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures, reimagines classic moments from the saga in a vibrant, energetic style. With a focus on themes and characters, they’re a great way to introduce younglings to the galaxy far, far away. (We longtime fans are allowed to love them, too.)
Last week, StarWars.com spoke with Josh Rimes, producer of the series, about the genesis of Galaxy of Adventures and his thoughts on the first six installments; five new shorts, which you can watch below, arrive today on StarWarsKids.com and the Star Wars Kids YouTube channel, and Rimes once again provided his own commentary for each.
Princess Leia vs. Darth Vader – “A Fearless Leader”
“For Leia’s first Galaxy of Adventures short, the team always had in mind one of the earliest moments in A New Hope. It’s really when the world first met Princess Leia in 1977 — in the corridor of her ship, breached and boarded by the formidable Darth Vader and his stormtroopers. Taken prisoner, she’s marched right up to the hulking Vader, but is unafraid to call him out. That spunky fearlessness is something we wanted to capture and honor. It’s a testament to the timelessness of Leia, but also Carrie Fisher and everything she brought to the role. Stylistically, the animation team really leaned into the theme of light vs. dark as Vader’s side of the frame is awash in shadow, with Leia’s bathed in light. We also utilized montage action to portray Leia the fighter. The action, edited against her explanation to Vader, brings her rebellious spirit into even sharper focus — and that little, knowing smile at the end is just the cherry on top.”
Luke Skywalker vs. the Death Star – “X-wing Assault”
“Capturing the rhythm and big beats of this battle were imperative. Making the stakes clear and keeping it in Luke’s point of view helped boil down one of the most iconic action sequences in all of Star Wars to a tight one minute and fifteen seconds. We are with Luke the whole way as he dives into the Death Star trench to make his run and take his shot. The trench itself and the X-wings are all 3D CGI models, which makes the frame pop and gives the action a weighty, tangible look and feel.”
Han Solo – “Galaxy’s Best Smuggler”
“For our first spotlight solely on Han, we also looked back to the way the world first discovered him in 1977. We knew we wanted to meet him in the cantina, but it took us a few tries to get to that light-bulb moment of starting with Han leaning in, as if he’s selling his smuggling ability to the viewer. Only at the end do we see this is in fact his meeting with Obi-Wan and Luke. Gotta love the expression on Luke’s face in that final moment! In the montage, we were thrilled to be able to incorporate glimpses of the Kessel Run set piece from Solo. It’s a testament to the character design work from Titmouse that their Han feels timeless and could work as both Harrison Ford’s original trilogy Han and Alden Ehrenreich’s young Han Solo.”
Chewbacca vs. Holochess – “Let the Wookiee Win”
“Humor was the primary goal of this short. Han’s ‘Let the Wookiee win’ line has become such a part of the pop culture Star Wars lexicon that we had to take this moment on. The question became: How do we make dejarik (holochess) exciting? The team found an answer and went to town in creating a montage that visualizes exactly why one shouldn’t upset a Wookiee. Even Han himself isn’t immune to a Chewie throttling or roar every once in a while!”
Luke Skywalker vs. Emperor Palpatine – “Rise to Evil”
“Much like the Vader and Luke duel at the end of Empire, we knew we wanted to dramatize the climax of Return of the Jedi. Partly so we could see Luke dressed in black, with his new green lightsaber! Attacking this one proved difficult — another Luke and Vader clash felt redundant and thematically we couldn’t really go too deep, since we wanted to avoid major story points. Instead, focus switched to the man who orchestrated this whole thing — Emperor Palpatine. Through his chilling speech to Luke, we flash back to prequel days as the then Chancellor manipulated, deceived, and rose to power. In the end, as sabers clash, he has Luke and Vader right where he wants them.”
Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content strategist of online, the editor of StarWars.com, and a writer. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.
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