Cartoon Network, 22 July (US)
A mysterious runaway named ‘Ian’ gets caught up in a school trip from the Jedi Temple that goes slightly awry… with hilarious consequences.
One of the big concerns in Star Wars fandom was where would this one-off (at the moment) TV special fit in official canon. Well, the continuity police were in for a big surprise when [SPOILER] The Phantom Padawan turned out the be the first adventure we’ve ever seen of the the young Han Solo! Retcon that one, why doncha!
Using the unique LEGO Star Wars characters seen in various videogames and promo shorts with the addition of the voice cast from TV’s The Clone Wars, this absolutely hilarious 21-minutes is a seemingly endless series of laugh-out-loud moments. It also makes great use of the ability to remake the environment, ships and even people that LEGO allows. No sooner has one visual gag come and gone, than two others arrive: this may take several viewings to catch everything.
Breaking the fourth wall with unscheduled appearances by Vader (and George Lucas), whether this is aimed at fans or kids doesn’t really matter: like the best of Star Wars it truly has something for everyone, whatever level of dedication to the saga they have (as long as their sense of humour is intact, that is).
More please, and quick!
Verdict: Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!
‘The Phantom Padawan’: 10/10
Brian J. Robb