The Producer of Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures Talks Being 'Playful' With Classic Canon

Luke Skywalker holding a lightsaber for the first time.
Luke Skywalker holding a lightsaber for the first time.
Image: Disney/Lucasfilm

Yesterday, Lucasfilm released the first batch of Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures shorts, a series of animated shorts that pair new visuals with audio from the films, creating bite-sized reinterpretations of the Star Wars universe perfect for kids (except for the Darth Vader one, which is… kinda brutal). They’re playful, odd interpretations of their source material, and that’s the point.

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According to Josh Rimes, producer on the shorts, these were made to be inviting and creative takes on the franchise. “We were looking for ways to invite young kids into the saga through exciting and vibrant bursts of animation that didn’t talk down to them,” he told Starwars.com. In particular, he talks about the way the shorts are thematically focused, playful renditions of Star Wars.

“The idea of approaching moments with a sense of playfulness was important,” Rimes says. “We didn’t want to make one-to-one exact retellings of the moments a lot of us know and love. Through the storytelling, design style, and kinetic action, the team really heightened these familiar moments, making the battles big and vivid and exciting, and enhancing many of them with humor and levity.”

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This approach strikes me as a really interesting and valuable one. Like any big scifi franchise, Star Wars can take canon pretty seriously—sometimes way, way too seriously, crafting whole movies around giving it cohesion—and that can be a weakness. What’s really exciting about these shorts, beyond their being great entry points for children, is how willing they are to, well, reinterpret Star Wars. To turn those space myths into goofier, more vivid versions of themselves, framed slightly differently.

The whole interview is up at StarWars.com if you’re interested, but it’s this that stuck out with me: the importance of being playful, and creative, with canon. It’s an approach keeps the old stories alive, and we need more work like it.

io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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DISCUSSION

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fistrodisco

I suspect Disney is slowly (or quickly) deciding that the first trilogy needs a full remake in order to tie up with everything else. Thisnew take”, for an age audience that most possibly hasn’t seen the original one, would be the defining version, and it looks like it’s one of fully realized action heroes instead of slowly growing characters.

I find Disney’s situation fascinating. Chronologically speaking, I’d expect the original trilogy to be almost an unknown for their youngest viewers. TFA/TLJ feels like a bit of a confusing mess for those, between the nostalgia elements that probably will be meaningless to them and the attempt at subversion, so I don’t know how well it’s really working for such public. Star Wars Rebels ended up emphasizing prequel material (I’m including Clone Wars there), so it’s part of a continuity of style and storytelling that began with the prequels and didn’t stop until this year. Only Star Wars Resistance (which I’m not following up so I might be mistaken here) seems to be enough of its own thing despite the links to the new trilogy.

I think that, in retrospect, Disney should have done a full Next Generation move on the movies: cut most ties with the past, perhaps reintroduce some of the old characters in a very sparingly way, here and there where they might be interesting though not defining, and make it its own thing in a recognizable, working Star Wars universe background. TFA/TLJ feels like a foreign body despite trying so hard to be familiar.

Looks like that’s what they are intending to do once they solve the next movie and move on to make the following, Skywalker-less trilogy. The Mandalorian will be the real test of such a notion, I guess.