Hello Padawans! Today I am participating in the EVERYTHING STAR WARS BLOGATHON hosted by Eva Joy at Coffee, Classics, and Craziness and Katie Hanna at I’m Charles Baker Harris And I Can Read.
My contribution to this event is a post very dear to me called . . . “The Star Wars No One Else Knows.”
All right, so maybe that title wasn’t wholly accurate. I’m sure, somewhere out there in the universe, there is somebody who knows about the Star Wars shows and films I will be blogging about today. It just FEELS like I’m the only one who knows about them.
So I was exaggerating. So that was a click bait title. I DO WHAT I WANT, OKAY?
The point is, it FEELS as if I’m one of the few people in the galaxy who know about these Star Wars stories. And that is VERY SAD INDEED.
My solution is to ram the knowledge of these little-known series down your throats so that you can fangirl with me.
In addition, I knew everyone was going to be talking about the popular stuff – The Original Series, The Prequels, The TV Shows . . . . The Supposed Sequel Trilogy (Which, In My Opinion Should Have Been Stricken From The Record). #ButIDigress
Anyway, I wanted to do something a little different from everyone else. Whoops, my Rebel’s showing…
So are you ready to dive into The Star Wars no one else knows? Let’s go!
The Star Wars gem that I will be highlighting today is . . .
THE FREEMAKER ADVENTURES!
The Freemaker siblings head out into space in search of debris that they can use to design and build new vehicles. Spunky 12-year-old Rowan has a thirst for adventure, older sister Kordi keeps the family together while managing the family business, and oldest brother Zander is an ace pilot, who is the clan’s self-proclaimed star ship connoisseur. When Rowan discovers an ancient artifact with a connection to the Force, the siblings are thrown into an epic battle with the Empire to restore peace to the galaxy. During the clash, the Freemakers learn the true value of family and the importance of sticking together through difficult times.
A RATHER INCOHERENT LIST OF THINGS THAT I LOVE ABOUT THE FREEMAKER’S
It’s a LEGO movie.
Maybe you didn’t grow up with Legos, but I did, and they were an extremely formative part of my childhood. Legos were essentially our LIFE. They were one of the first forms of storytelling that my siblings and I engaged in and I can remember countless happy hours building and playing with those fabulous toys.
In consequence, the four of us never really got over our affection for Legos. Just say the word “Lego” to us and we’ll be all over it, “oohing” and “aahing” and sharing special memories.
It’s a show for families and about families. And, for once, in our benighted existence, we actually get to see a HAPPY family.
HAS THE WORLD ENDED??? A FAMILY THAT ACTUALLY LOVES AND LIKES EACH OTHER. WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?????
Even in some of the prequel shorts to this series, their parents are shown as having a very loving and healthy relationship.
Aren’t they cute??? LOOKIT THE LITTLE ZANDER AND KORDI. *squeezes babies* The Freemakers are the sweetest family.
This show isn’t JUST about siblings, it’s about siblings who all work together in a family business. For once in my life, I’ve been represented!!! IT’S THE TEBO’S IN LEGO FORM!!!
I have been waiting for YEARS to see a show like this. Finding fictional siblings that love one another and work together in the same business is as special and rare as a Bigfoot sighting!
Age diversity. There are no words to express my passionate dislike for the way society splits all of us up into little groups. Retirees this way, middle-aged people this way, college-age people that-a-way, high-schoolers here, middle grade there, kindergarten there, and all babies tossed into the nursery!
I. Don’t. Like. That.
In real life, or in fiction.
I think it’s damaging to families and society as a whole to spread the idea around that people of different age groups can’t spend time with one another. I think it’s very narrow-minded indeed to spread the lie that we can only fully communicate or feel completely comfortable with people who are in our exact age bracket. And that was what I loved about The Freemaker Adventures – they show siblings of very different ages enjoying one another’s company and appreciating what each age can contribute to the complete unit.
When my oldest sibling had just entered their twenties, I had just entered my teens. But we still hung out, we still talked, we still played together and explored together.
Age difference doesn’t really matter to the Freemaker’s: they still like one another, each member still has something unique and valuable to contribute.
One of the things I love most about the Freemaker’s is that it has a certain energy that can only come when a family loves one another and works together towards the same goal. When that happens, there is a buoyant quality – as if everything has become possible.
The stories are precisely my cup of bantha milk. Basically, if the Tebo siblings had gotten loose in the Star Wars board room and created a series: this would be it. They’re the perfect blend of adventure, heart, zaniness, and inventiveness. I can’t get enough of them.
Despite the crazy high-jinks and tongue-in-cheek references there is a surprisingly deep quality to the stories. There were parts in this series that made me choke up considerably. I’m not kidding, there were a few scenes that genuinely made me misty.
While there’s all of the maturity of themes and feeling (our characters deal with sadness, loss, injustice, sacrifice, loneliness) the creators kept the physical content down. Our three heroes (who are pretty young) are never really seen shooting at other characters, merely using other methods to overcome villains. Pilots inside of star fighters are seen floating away to live another day when their ships are blown apart.
The zaniness of the show keeps it from being intense but, at the same time, it enables the creators to embrace rambunctious adventure. It’s a unique dynamic.
To my mind, ever since the Original Series, Star Wars installments have a tendency to be either to hung up on political correctness to even bother with a cohesive story line, or too anxious to make something cool that they forget Star Wars was supposed to be fun. The Freemaker Adventure captures the same lively romplish quality of the Original Series. Star Wars was always meant to be a larger-than-life adventure about good versus evil, and the Freemaker show nails the core principles.
Awesome cameos! We get to see Leia, Luke, Admiral Ackbar, Vader, The Emporer, Dengar, Boba Fett, Lando, Jabba, and more! Even Han . . . sort of.
Strong moral codes. Unlike the rather dubious excuses of immoral behavior that can sometimes crop up in other Star Wars stories (*cough cough* Kylo Ren) there is a definite sense of right and wrong in the Freemaker’s. The main character’s are heroes because of their strength of character, not just their guts. It also shows that a strong family is imperative for creating this kind of noble framework. Rowan’s bravery and strong moral compass are one of the main aspects of the show. Where did he get those attributes? From his family! Kordi and Zander work hard to raise Rowan correctly and often council him. And where did they get that wisdom from? From their parents! Even though Pace and Lena Freemaker have passed away, their presence is felt in the show as we see the kids making good decisions and choosing right over wrong again and again.
IT’S CUTE. “Cute” seems to be a four letter word to most creatives these days. By all implications, they would rather die a torturous death than create a story that is anywhere close to cute.
It is one of the many reasons I loved George Lucas’s boldness as a creative. He wasn’t afraid of being cute! He knew that just because something is cute, it doesn’t mean it can’t also be serious. He knew that cuteness is a part of our daily lives and can be easily juxtaposed against sorrow or heroism. After all cute creatures and cute people – surround you every day.
And while we’re on the subject – CAN YOU PLEASE WATCH THIS SHORT? It’s one of my new favorite things.
Being relentlessly pursued by a friendly baby Ewok has now become my favorite mental fantasy. I WISH I HAD PROBLEMS LIKE THIS.
DID I MENTION THE CUTENESS OVERLOAD? And in Lego form – EVERYTHING is cute. I mean JUST LOOK AT THESE GUYS.
The humor is so funny it will make you laugh till you cry. Trust me, it’s hilarious.
I could go on and on, but this post is already getting quite long – so on to the next topic!
– THE CHARACTERS –
Ah, Rowan! You cutie. Rowan could have very easily been the selfish and annoying little Brat of a baby brother. But he isn’t.
I absolutely loved that Rowan is the one who is Force-sensitive. In a way, Rowan sort of redeemed what was attempted in The Phantom Menace. They captured the childlike cuteness of the concept while still infusing a wonderful and relatable character arc.
Rowan is adventurous and curious, with a knack for getting himself and his family into trouble.
When he discovers that he is Force-Sensitive, Rowan is catapulted into a series of events that he feels unprepared for. His naturally noble heart is often afraid that his impatience and inability to focus will cause him to fail. Indeed, his trust and impressionability get him into numerous scraps.
He has a deep sense of loyalty and commitment to his family. He is naturally brave and a strong moral compass.
And he’s very enthusiastic, maybe a little TOO enthusiastic.
Rowan has the power to sense pieces of the Kyber Saber. He can also communicate with animals among other skills.
As he trains, he begins to acquire the other Jedi skills we are familiar with, force throwing, jumping, levitation, etc.
Rowan also has some piloting skills and is also a budding mechanic and skilled scavenger.
He also uses his natural positivity to keep things light in the trio. To quote Kordi and Zander: he’s an awesome little brother!
As the manager of the Freemaker Garage, Kordi brings her management and administrative skills to bear. while she can defend herself and get in on the action, Kordi is primarily a talker. Whether she’s acting as the Garge’s main salesperson or frantically wheeling and dealing for her life, Kordi has a talent for negotiating. Essentially, she could sell sand to Jawas and walk off with their sand crawler. And she doesn’t take guff from nobody.
Ah Kordi. She’s hilarious! Finally, a female character I CAN relate to, even if it’s only a little. She is a wheeler and dealer who just doesn’t stop talking. If she can’t convince someone into doing what she wants with her smooth explosion of wordplay, she’ll overwhelm them with sheer personality. And, if worst comes to worst, she’ll belt them in the head. Her courage, intelligence, and frugality keep her family out of many scraps and keeps them afloat through tough times.
Even though Zander is the oldest, it is often Kordi who assumes the role of Most responsible in many ways. And yet, unlike other modern female characters, she is never too obnoxious and she never demeans her brothers. She is confidant, smart, and (best of all) caring. Beneath that sassy exterior is a warm heart that want to care for those around her and earn the trust of those she respects.
Zander could have very easily fallen into the hole that every other poor beleaguered male character falls into these days. You know what I’m talking about. Stupid, useless, effeminate, and there solely to make the “Strong Female character” look good since she’s incapable of looking good under her own steam.
But Zander – bless his dimples – isn’t like that. Even though he’s often content to let Kordi make quite a few of the business decisions and is often lacking in common sense, Zander contributes so much to the trio.
He’s charming, silly, confident – but also warm-hearted, kind, and talented. His multi-layered character perfectly blends together smoothness and goofiness. However, Zander isn’t a total goof-off. No one is more protective than him when his siblings are in serious trouble. He is quick to encourage and comfort his family and he doesn’t hesitate to sacrifice himself for them or to leap into action when action is needed.
Zander Freemaker is also a skilled starship mechanic who could even repair things while blindfolded and he often uses his building skills to invent entirely new ships and vehicles.
He’s also a “super star pilot guy” who can pilot just about anything. He has kept the family’s ship, The Star Scavenger, running for years, even though it was built before the Clone Wars. And if you ever need a getaway driver – Zander’s your man.
Lastly, there is just something so safe and comforting about Zander. Whether you’re a baby Wampa who has lost track of your mom, or a twelve year old struggling to learn the Force – Zander is the one you turn to for a hug and words of comfort.
ROGER THE DROID
We always knew the battle droids from The Phantom Menace would have been destined for comedic greatness if they had just been put in the proper format! Well, stick a rehabilitated battle droid in a Lego series and we have something truly hilarious. RO-GR used to be a soldier who was killed by Jedi multiple times (he remembers each encounter with some trauma) but he is now a full-time Freemaker, lending his skills as a slicer, mechanic, pilot, fighter, and even a chef (blue milk pancakes and sweet sand cookies, anyone?).
Though he TRIES to be helpful with his dubious skill-sets, Roger has an overinflated idea of his abilities and can be dangerously cocky.
When he’s not creating problems for his charges, he’s writing his memoirs: “From Trenches To Wrenches.”
Poor Roger! Continually aggravating, friendly and entertaining and not good at reading social cues.
In consequence, he also never shuts up. NEVER.
He can also be grumpy, pessimistic, and prone to panic in just about any given situation.
But he’s still adorable and he makes sweet sand cookies and he is very loyal to the kids and regards them as family. While he recognizes that he is a droid, Roger identifies firstly as a Freemaker.
And I’m just going to slip a little clip of him in here for your viewing pleasure . . .
And now, a little highlight on a few of the villains.
GRABALLA THE HUTT
Jabba the Hutt’s incompetent young cousin manages a mining facility . . . but he’s not very good at that, with his operating costs exceeding his profits.
Perhaps it’s because he’s just not too interested in his current line of corrupt work. This whiny businessman has big dreams. He yearns to create his own beach-side resort and grill. After all, at a mere 400 years old, he’s in his prime. He wants to live it up!
To be honest, words fail me when it comes to describing Graballa. He is, no question, one of my favorite villains of all time. Albeit, a rather useless and pathetic villain. He’s just stressed enough that we feel a little sorry for him, but never so nice that we don’t cheer when he gets his comeuppance.
You know what? Just watch a few of his scenes. You’ll get the idea.
I can guess what you’re thinking. Really, Allison? You like the Emperor?
Believe me when I saw this is not your usual Emperor. But this is definitely the Emperor I’ve been looking for.
Essentially, he’s my evil alter ego. Look at the gif below. Have you ever seen a more Allison-esque quote? My siblings have confirmed that this is very me.
Once again, the villains of this show are so hilarious and witty (and, in this case, slightly relatable) that it’s hard to describe. And, once again, I’ll let you discover the gleefully wicked Palpatine for yourself with the handy little clip below!
Oh boy, this turned into a thesis.
But I was trying to convince you that this show is worth trying! Did I convince you?
The Freemaker Adventures represented me and my siblings in a way I rarely see. Sometimes these siblings argue, sometimes they even hit each other. But they’re always a team.
They’re each other’s better halves. They’re best friends, sounding boards, role models, comrade-in-arms, and cheerleaders all rolled up into one person.
They need each other, and they’re not afraid to show it. They’re actively interested in one another and enjoy being together.
They’re not perfect, but together they are fabulous.
Maybe you’re looking at this post right now and thinking, “But this is still kids stuff. Why are you raving about it so much?”
I suppose it’s because there is a part of my heart that is still childlike – where adventure is not only exciting, but funny. It’s a heart where physics and logic don’t interfere with fun – and even small people who feel weak can do incredible things. It’s a heart where fun is infinite and family is the best crew in the world.
Well? What did you think? I am now accepting accolades for helping you take your first step into a larger world.
Seriously, though, did I convince you to watch these series??? THAT’S WHAT I REALLY WANT TO KNOW.
I have some good news for you. At this time, the first season is FREE on YouTube! *squeals and claps hands* I’ll just go ahead and embed the first episode right here. Go ahead, click it, watch it, you know you want to. YOU CANNOT RESIST THE POWER OF THE DARK SIDE. Uh, I mean, the Legos. 😊
I look forward to chatting with you soon. Until then . .