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We Speak With The Producers of The Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures

From a shared love of Star Wars at a USC Summer writing program in the early 90’s, Bob Roth and Bill Motz paired on a project together over that love and have been working together ever since. After a successful pitch to Disney/ABC Animation for a “DarkWing Duck” episode, the comedy duo has achieved great success including several awards and Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Children’s programming and writing, and winning the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding writing in Animation in 2008.

Bob and Bill collaborate on their story ideas jokingly “screaming and shouting at one another” out of Bob’s guest house. The house holds all of Bob’s Star Wars collection and has been affectionately named “Rancho Rowan” in comparison to “Rancho Obi-Wan”, the name given to the space that holds the vast private collection of longtime Lucasfilm executive Steve Sansweet. It was funny for Bob to read via Twitter that some fans of the show questioned their love of Star Wars and whether or not they were actually fans. Bob admits that a Star Wars shirt is part of his everyday wardrobe and his mind is about 80% Star Wars all of the time. Star Warriors can attest to know what that’s like.

Bob and Bill mentioned that their hardcore love for Star Wars was a major factor of consideration in going forward with working in the Star Wars Universe. They had to weigh “the risks” of possibly loosing their love for Star Wars by “peeking behind the curtain”. It’s a common thing to loose the luster of something so magical once you know how the magic is done. Being steeped in Star Wars, not because you want to but because you have to, might leave a bad taste in their mouth for the Universe they had come to know and love so dearly. Fortunately, they say, not only has it not been the case, but has “Enhanced their connection with Star Wars.” They feel lucky and blessed to be apart of it and really enjoy the fans. One of the highlights, they remember from Celebration, are the Cosplayers and being able to screen an episode of the Freemaker Adventures for the fans and to hear their reactions. It really lets them know that they are connecting with the fans in a positive way. That connection is important for them as producers and fans themselves.

Bob Roth remembers sitting in the theater in May of 1977, at the age of 7, and feeling that at the end of the movie he was moved towards his true destiny. Not being an actor or a Jedi, but being a creative person. The men both love the Empire Strikes Back as the one movie in the series that did what most sequels still struggle to achieve, especially in the Sci-Fi genre. Empire, they say, was a true continuation and expansion of the characters and the struggle that George Lucas started in A New Hope. The introduction of iconic characters like Yoda, Lando, Boba Fett, and the Emperor and places like Dagobah, Hoth, and Cloud City, is why they feel the Empire Strikes Back is the movie that they would both pick as their favorite of the series despite a New Hope forever holding a special place in their hearts. It doesn’t get more true Star Warrior then that! “A Caravan of Courage” is a Star Wars movie you should check out if you’ve never have. Bill mentions it jokingly in the interview. It’s the official name of what was first broadcast as “An Ewok Adventure’. It’s a story about a space family who is stranded on Endor and have Ewoks come to their aide; it takes place just before Return of the Jedi. Warning, it was the 80’s and a made for television movie. It’s not terrible, just…be warned.

The Star Wars Freemaker Adventures, which was nominated for several Daytime Emmy Awards, takes place just after the Empire Strikes Back. Bob and Bill say that this timeline is ideal for them because they are able to utilize the full character list and battles from both the pre-quels and the original trilogy. One of the things I enjoyed most about the Freemaker Adventures is how we re-visit or address some of the events and situations that might have risen in the movies, but were not important enough to be addressed or explained later. ***Spoilers*** One of these questions answered is: “Why is Lando wearing Han Solo’s clothes at the end of Empire Strikes Back?’ Watch the movie, it’s true. “Family Guy” also made fun of this as it’s something that has bothered Star Warriors for decades. The Freemaker Adventures not only answers that question, but gives a hilarious resolution for it as well. You need to watch the show. While watching, keep an eye out for visual easter eggs. I was able to spot the Airspeeder from the Star Tours Ride at Disneyland sitting in a docking bay during a fly over scene. I want to go back and re-watch the series with a sharper eye. Bob and Bill say that there will be a lot more of that coming in season 2. Bob says that Star Wars fans are some of the most observant about these kinds of things, so little has been missed, but does allude that there are still some that might have gone unnoticed.

The Freemakers are a family trio of space salvagers who put themselves at risk in order to salvage the best scrap parts from the ongoing battles between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire. R0-GR or Roger is former Clone War era battle droid repurposed for the Freemakers needs and baking cookies, he often relives the horrors of the Battles he’s seen. Season 1 focuses on Rowan Freemaker, the youngest of the three Freemakers, and the force sensitive one of the family. Rowan is befriended by Naare, a young “Jedi” who saves his life when she discovers that Rowan can sense Kyber crystals with the force. Kyber crystals, if you remember from Rogue One and the Clone Wars Series, are the crystals that power the Death Star laser and also power lightsabers. Naare tells Rowan of the Kyber Saber, a lightsaber made completely of Kyber crystals that is so strong that it can multiply the force users power by a thousand. Created by the maker himself, he realizes it’s too strong for the galaxy and can be used for great evil. ***Spoilers*** The Maker breaks up the saber into several pieces and has Jedi scatter them throughout the galaxy. During his quest for the Kyber crystals Rowan runs across some heroes you might recognize, like Lando and the Skywalker twins. Rowan, however, makes it clear that he is neither a Sith or A Jedi, but a Force builder. Something that “the Maker”, who curiously looks like George Lucas, tells him that he is. When I asked the Producers about what a force builder was they said that it was something that came down from Lucasfilm, and although the “building” part is intuitive to Lego, being “neither” is a potential addition to the Jedi Mythology. OOOOhhh Grey Jedi???

Even though the Lego brand allows from some license in comedy, you’ll not find Darth Vader throwing out any “Spank You’s” and “Alllllrighty Thens”. The Emperor does have a wicked sense of humor in the show but Bob and Bill both recognize that these are still the two most evil men in the galaxy. However, Bill reminds us that in the movies, The Emperor was very snarky. “Oh, I’m afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when your friends arrive.” Bill warns that in Season 2 there is a scene between Vader and Rowan that shows us just how bad Darth Vader is. Don’t forget that the ending of Rogue One is this Vader’s Past. He’s got the Dark Side in him and you get to see a bit more of that in Season 2.

You can watch the adventures of Rowan Freemaker and some of the classic characters you love from the original star wars movies in The Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures airing on Disney XD, check your local listings for channels and times!