LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace Blu-ray Review (with bonus video)

Posted 8 years ago by Movies

I get sent a lot of crazy stuff that people want me to review. Some of it gets on the site and some of it doesn’t. I wasn’t sure what to think about the direct-to-Blu-ray and Walmart-exclusive animated short film LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace until I heard Tim talk about it on the podcast, but I’m glad to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Not only am I growing utterly intolerant of prequel-era Star Wars, but I’d never heard LEGO characters talk despite being super cute in silent, video-game form, so I was leery. Luckily, it turns out that whoever wrote and animated this short film had a lot of creative freedom and decided to pump it full of slapstick, tongue-in-cheek humor, and lots of Star Wars in-jokes. Oh, and George Lucas makes a couple appearances.

George Lucas gives Darth Vader notes

The first thing I noticed when I started watching it with a few of my nieces (who happen to be pretty hardcore Star Wars and LEGO fans) was how great the animation actually looked. I knew it was a Blu-ray and would look decent, but for a short film starring LEGO minifigures I didn’t expect it to look this cool. The models and textures look a lot better than the videogame cutscenes, and the animators found all sorts of cool things to do with the LEGO bricks.

The story revolves around a group of younglings that get stuck under the supervision of Yoda, C3PO, and R2-D2, while various evil-doers ransack the Jedi Temple. Spoiler Alert – If you’ve even so much as seen the packaging of this Blu-ray, this won’t be a spoiler, but along the way the group meets up with a young Han Solo himself. The “H” on this nametag is sidewans and they call him Ian, and apparently he escaped from a nearby orphanage and causes the group to blast off into space in a very cool looking LEGO space school bus.

Wait, would't that be the future?

The younglings get marooned on Tatooine with the droids, and there’s a pretty funny bit at the Cantina that plays off the “Hey we don’t serve your kind here!” bit from A New Hope. Of course things don’t go as planned and they all end up as slaves of Jabba the Hutt, which is probably the outcome of like 80% of events on Tatooine.

Yoda and the always-awesome Commander Cody chase after the villain (Assaj Ventress) with ‘lil Solo stowed away onboard the ship. Further slapstick antics and the meddling of youngins cause Yoda and Solo to crash land on everyone’s favorite ice planet, Hoth. Queu the Tauntaun-guts joke and some droid battles and eventually the group all reunites on Tatooine.

It’s hard to explain this quirky little short film, but it’s definitely worth a watch, and for $13 on Blu-ray (complete with ‘lil Han Solo in LEGO form) it’s a steal for Star Wars fans. I didn’t buy the actual Star Wars Blu-rays, but I bought a copy of this after I gave my review copy to my nieces. I was hoping to turn them into little critics and get some sound bites on video of their reactions, but for the first time ever they decided to be shy.

In short, the 22 minutes of LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace were more entertaining than the majority of the prequels. That must mean George Lucas wasn’t very involved. Good move, LEGO!