Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace (2011)

Rating: **
Review Date: 2/19/13

Equal parts awesome and awful, this short film takes the popular Lego Star Wars characters and places them in the context of "The Clone Wars" animated series. Master Yoda and a group of Jedi younglings are going to the Galactic Senate for a school field trip. When Yoda senses something is amiss, he leaves the younglings with R2-D2 and C-3P0 in order to investigate. Naturally, hilarity ensues. A young stowaway named Han Solo tags along in order to avoid some security guards, and his pranks make a mess of everything. Sith Lord Asajj Ventress is planning to sabotage the Senate hearings, which somehow leaves the droids and the younglings stranded on Tatooine, while Yoda and Solo chase her to Hoth. Lightsabers clash and more hilarity ensues.

It's all very silly and aimed at the 6-10 year old crowd, which just breaks my heart. It looks great and sounds great, and the visual effects are stunning and emotionally resonant, but the juvenile writing and attitude are downright appalling. Granted, there are a few very clever bits that older fans will appreciate, but the majority of the narrative is just painful to sit through. Not to mention, the young Han Solo is supremely irritating.