Web Series Wednesday: 'Star Wars Forces of Destiny' (2017-18)
Now if only we could actually get them to cross over and not just in the picture...
After experiencing all nine movies - and enjoying every single one - I thought I'd check out some spin-offs and other extra content in the Star Wars universe. On my YouTube travels, I came across this little web series featuring the main females of each major SW era: the prequels (Old Republic), the originals (Galactic Empire), and the sequels (First Order).
Forces of Destiny's two seasons are stocked with two to three-minute episodes of the heroines working either alone or with their friends to overcome various obstacles, whether they're fighting against a baddie, helping out someone in need, or simply building their relationships with one another that lead to some excellent character development.
I like how these episodes serve to do just that: give depth to these characters rather than to the overall plots of the stories they come from. The actions they take, however big or small, show us their morals, their abilities to think outside the box, their willingness to team up with others, the support they have for others' growth, and their patience to learn for their own.
I was also pleased to see an episode dedicated to Luke Skywalker, Grand Master Yoda, and R2D2 clearly based on the former's Jedi training in The Empire Strikes Back as well as one about Chewbacca offering a hand to a new family of Porgs. Seeing them was a nice change of pace from the usual characters, with the former undoubtedly paying homage to such an iconic moment in the franchise where audiences were first introduced to the concept of Jedi training. SW is filled with cute and sweet moments amidst all the action and politics - that's definitely reflected here too.
Now with all that being said, I do nevertheless believe there were plenty of missed opportunities with this series. Like the others, Rose Tico deserved at least one more episode. I also would have liked to see Rey Skywalker and General Leia Organa work together (although that would call for an older design for Leia, and I think they were just trying to keep things simple).
Other female characters I feel should have been included in this series are Duchess Satine Kryze, Senator Padmé Amidala's handmaidens (especially Sabé), Mon Mothma, and Asajj Ventress. I realize they are all from the prequel era but I just feel it didn't get as much attention as the later eras, particularly since we have characters like Leia who appear in both.
The art style looks like it was made with Pixton; while I would usually much prefer if a company like Disney invested more in the thing they are known for, I don't actually mind it here as this is such a short series. The same cannot be said, however, about the animation, as it is quite spotty in places to the point of lagging.
The script is graspable for youth but also witty enough for adults to enjoy, except for all the moments these characters keep thanking each other. Still, it's nice to see our favourites appreciate each other. The voice acting is just right by the entire cast, nothing overly dramatic, and it's always great to hear the likes of Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Daisy Ridley again.
I'd definitely like to see Disney either continue with Forces of Destiny or follow up with something similar because these are really easy to get through with only maybe half an hour of content. It's refreshing to witness our heroes in all sorts of scenarios that are more lighthearted among the darker stories out there. It's good to have a balance, especially as we are introducing younger children to the franchise.
If you have children of your own, I'd recommend sitting them down with these and then working your way up to something like Revenge of the Sith.