Cast: Vanessa Lengies, Grey DeLisle, Nicolas Cantu (VOICES)
Release Date: December 6, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 6/10
The adventure begins after the events of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and before RETURN OF THE JEDI and follows a family of scavengers who build and sell starships from battle debris strewn throughout the galaxy. When their youngest discovers a natural connection with the Force through an ancient artifact — the Kyber Saber — his world is turned upside down, and he and his family are thrown into an epic struggle against the Empire to restore peace and freedom to the galaxy. The Freemakers explore new worlds, meet new and familiar characters and learn the meaning of family. Relive all 13 action-packed episodes in LEGO STAR WARS: THE FREEMAKER ADVENTURES SEASON ONE.
Get ready for some family friendly, animated fun in a galaxy far, far away with the latest ‘Lego Star Wars’ adventure ‘The Freemaker Adventures’. This new Lego animated series (consisting of standard episodes running approximately 23 minutes apiece) takes place between the events of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’ and follows the Freemakers, a family team of siblings operating as scavengers. Upon discovering that their younger brother has force abilities, in addition to a unique power to sense crystals which together form an ultimate Jedi weapon and have been spread throughout the galaxy, their lives are drastically changed as they begin to hunt down the crystals required to form the weapon; a weapon the Emperor himself is keen to possess by any means necessary, such as pulling strings to use the boy’s keen power for his own benefit. Now the relatively honest and hardworking Freemaker family begins to make some new allies and enemies throughout the galaxy as a barrage of adventures across countless worlds begins attracting some unwanted, yet unavoidable attention.
‘Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures’ constructs a generally light hearted and family friendly animated adventure that should be clean and calm enough for most younger viewers, while also building an enthralling, ongoing storyline throughout its course that will have no trouble keeping the older viewers glued to the screen as well. By placing itself in the timeline between episodes V & VI (The Empire Strikes Back & Return of the Jedi) it allows the series the opportunity to introduce viewers to some new and interesting characters we’ve never had the pleasure of previously, in addition to featuring guest and recurring appearances by many of the franchise’s most notable characters, particularly Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader who are both frequent players in the series, albeit each with less menacing and far more goofy and sarcastic personas naturally. I initially dove into ‘Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures’ entirely uncertain of what to expect and therefore with my expectations in check, but I promptly found myself pleasantly surprised with this thrilling, humorous and just outright enjoyable animated series. I would certainly urge fellow Star Wars fanatics to give this one a whirl when you have the opportunity to do so, odds are that those who enjoy such animated efforts as ‘Star Wars Rebels’ will also have quite a bit of fun with this one, especially if you take it with a grain of salt and are open to some over the top silliness amidst the adventure.
Overall, the fellow Star Wars fanatics who enjoy the various animated shows within the universe will likely want to make a point of giving this one a shot at some point, it’s an exciting, humorous and surprisingly enjoyable overall animated series that delivers constant fun and a continuing story that introduces fans to some unique new characters, along with plenty of fan favorites thrown into the mix for good measure. The Blu-ray release of ‘Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures: Complete Season One’ delivers fantastic high definition video presentations on every episode, and while it’s absent of any lossless audio presentations, the included multichannel soundtracks still sound pretty wonderful for what they are. There isn’t much in the way of bonus content included either, but for those who would enjoy reliving the entire exciting season time and again it would likely be worth purchasing a copy on Blu-ray as long as the price isn’t outrageous.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures: Complete Season One’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the show’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio on all of the first season’s episodes. The video presentations look outstanding in every way and deliver a beautifully vibrant, sharp and detailed presentation on every episode. They hold up impressively even during the fast moving and/or darkly lit sequences and never result in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected, let alone rendered indiscernible. Overall, these are wonderful high definition video presentations complimented by more than sufficient bitrates that should easily thrill the fans.
While it should come as no surprise following previous animated ‘Star Wars’ season releases from Disney/Lucasfilm, the Blu-ray release is unfortunately absent of any lossless audio presentations and features a 5.1 channel 640 Kbps Dolby Digital soundtrack on all 13 Season One episodes. That being said, these lossy multichannel soundtracks still sound quite impressive and provide sharp, discrete and notably active audio presentations on each episode. They regularly utilize all five available channels in order to immerse the viewer within the score and to send plenty of space activity, blaster bolts, explosions and a great deal more throughout the various speakers, while always making certain that any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously remains clean and fully audible. Overall, while it’s admittedly always somewhat disappointing to see no lossless audio soundtracks included on new BD releases, these 5.1 channel Dolby Digital soundtracks do manage to hold up quite well and deliver an active and immersive auditory experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures: Complete Season One’ includes a couple of brief extras. Included on the release is ‘The Freemaker Adventures: Meet The Freemaker Family’ which includes interviews/comments with the cast members discussing their roles, plus clips and more (running approximately 2 minutes in length), in addition to a guided tour of the Freemaker’s shop by the family themselves in ‘Freemaker Salvage and Repair’ (running approximately 1 minute). 6 Exclusive Bubble Magnets featuring characters from the show are also included.