The Rise of Skywalker is almost here, and it’s supposedly the conclusion to the Skywalker Saga. So, I’ve decided to attempt a full canon rewatch before it releases, reviewing each chapter as I go. That’s all the movies, as well as the Clone Wars, Rebels, and Resistance TV series. We continue today with the web series Star Wars: Forces of Destiny.
I’ll keep this brief because, well, this show is brief. Forces of Destiny if a collection of 2-3 minute shorts featuring primarily stories about female Star Wars leads having adventures. It’s all pretty harmless stuff, but I’m not sure I understand who these shorts are supposed to be for.
The target audience is clearly kids, but these scenes are all presented without any sort of context. It’s all just characters like Rey, Leia, Ahsoka, etc. doing neat things for a couple of minutes. Which, alright, that’s cool and all, but without the context of knowing who any of these characters are to begin with, the shorts don’t really do anything. They also take place all over the Star Wars timeline, so there isn’t any sort of through-line here. It’s all just one-offs. It’s also seriously ugly. The art direction is, to my eyes, completely hideous. I don’t know why they went with this look, but it’s not good.
Looks aside, I really did struggle with the pointlessness of many of the episodes. There are a couple of shorts that follow Jyn Erso before she gets involved with the events of Rogue One. She’s nice to some kids, and that’s about it. I mean, I guess it’s neat, but what was the point? She could have been any random person, and it was completely devoid of purpose.
They aren’t all pointless though. In fact, some of them do some rather cool things. There’s one short that shows us Ahsoka knew about Anakin and Padme’s relationship to some extent, and she didn’t say anything. So that’s cool. Another one shows Hera on the other side of Endor where Leia sends Han to get some food, and Han and Hera apparently have a little ongoing rivalry about who’s ship is cooler, the Ghost or the Falcon. That’s pretty neat.
On the other hand, we do get one episode that involves Qi-ra, which would be great except that it also includes freaking Hondo, taking all sense of joy at seeing her again void.
The other good thing I’ll say about these shorts is that they’re well acted. Most of the time they actually got the original voice actors to reprise their roles. Obviously Harrison Ford didn’t come back as Han, but they did manage to do one with Mark Hamill as Luke, which was actually pretty neat. (I keep saying “neat”) It explains why Yoda was in Luke’s backpack in that training scene. Luke doesn’t really sound like Luke anymore because Hamill is obviously much older than he was in 1980, and they didn’t get Frank Oz to do Yoda so it’s the guy who did him in Clone Wars, but it’s still a cute little sequence.
And that pretty much sums up this show. It’s a cute little series of events, but presented to children who haven’t seen the movies and shows yet, so I’m not sure I understand the point of it. They’re all incredibly short, so you can watch all of both seasons in basically no time if you really want to, but I can’t recommend it. It’s always good to see more Sabine Wren, and having Mark Hamill reprise Luke was pretty special, but ultimately, it didn’t leave much of an impression. It’s not bad, it’s just… there.
There’s more TV to get through. The next canon piece of Star Wars following Return of the Jedi is The Mandalorian. It hasn’t finished airing yet, so I’ll just give my impressions so far. Spoiler: They’re good.