Back in April we found out about Star Wars Forces for Destiny, a collection of animated shorts.
The shorts were to feature various well-known characters from the franchise, with actors like Daisy Ridley (Rey), Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso), Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano), and Lupita Nyongâ€™o (Maz Kanata) reprising their respective roles.
Now the first few shorts, titled “Sands of Jakku,” “BB-8 Bandits,” and “Ewok Escape,” have been released online. Continue below to check them out.
In addition to the videos, the Star Wars website has also shared five highlights from each of the videos. Those are also included below each of the Forces of Destiny shorts.
Star Wars Forces of Destiny can be viewed at the official Disney YouTube channel.
Maz Kanataâ€™s soothing narration (provided by Lupita Nyongâ€™o), the twinkling strains of Reyâ€™s theme, and Daisy Ridley herself bring a strong and welcome sense of deja vu to this first installment. Coupled with the twin suns peeking through the logo, we suspect Forces of Destiny will leave fans feeling like they sense something, a presence theyâ€™re not felt sinceâ€¦well, the last time they watched Star Wars.
2. The nightwatcher worm.
Glimpsed briefly in The Force Awakens, the rarely spotted Arconan night terror gets its moment in the Jakku sun, terrorizing Rey and BB-8 in its quest for junk food. Luckily for the hapless astromech, Rey is well-versed in scavenger lore and knows just how to deal with this beady-eyed, multi-tongued beast.
3. The patented Rey pause.
Itâ€™s a move that serves her well time and again. When everything is going sideways â€” whether sheâ€™s locked in a fierce lightsaber duel or being chased by an enormous worm â€” Rey takes a moment to assess the situation, think about the best way to outmaneuver and outwit her opponent, and then act. Or, perhaps our favorite Force-sensitive scavenger is just beginning to tap into her powers as she flings her staff and deftly hits her mark.
4. Sassy BB-8.
We may not be fluent in BB-8â€™s particular form of communication, but itâ€™s not hard to tell what this droid is beeping about when Rey warns him that the nightwatcher worm feeds on junk. (Completely non-canon translation: â€œWho are you callinâ€™ junk?â€)
5. The power of compassion.
Rey doesnâ€™t like to see any creature, organic or metal-bodied, being mistreated. Thatâ€™s why even as sheâ€™s fighting to save her new roly-poly friend, she takes a moment to apologize for stepping on the sandborerâ€™s head, and even tosses it a bit of mechanical debris, no doubt costing herself some portions, once she and BB-8 are safely on high ground.
Theyâ€™re brief, but glimpses of the downed Imperial AT-AT that Rey turned into her home, the distant wreckage of a Star Destroyer, and other debris from the Graveyard of Giants add visual interest to the stylized animated background.
2. BB-8 strapped in for the ride!
Although Reyâ€™s speeder doesnâ€™t have an actual sidecar, we have to imagine BB-8 had a great time riding around in the net the scavenger typically used to pick up the precious cargo she trades with Unkar Plutt to survive. Or at least he would have if it were a joyride to Niima Outpost and not a daring escape.
3. Teedo strikes back.
Rey already rescued her hapless little friend from these diminutive reptilian creatures on film once, but as we learn in this short, Teedos may be easily startled, but they soon come back. This time, this Teedo brought friends.
4. Reyâ€™s flying skills.
In a move thatâ€™s strikingly similar to a different pursuit in the forests of Endor, Rey uses her piloting prowess to pull up her speeder and avoid a pursuerâ€™s aggressive sideswiping maneuver, sending him crashing into another would-be BB-8-napper. Two down!
BB-8 and Rey work together to hatch a plan to lose the Teedo, proving that even a formidable force like Rey still needs friends to get out of troubleâ€¦at least sometimes. Together, they ensure that the last junk collector on their tail will need to find a new ride before he can bother them, or anyone else, again.
Wily Wicket is just one step ahead of Leia, who quickly pivots from needing to find her own friends to wanting to help the two Ewoks they discover in peril. Weâ€™ve all been there. Youâ€™re talking to your friend and you look down and realizeâ€¦youâ€™ve just had a conversation with a spear.
Star Wars just isnâ€™t Star Wars until the perennial baddies with blasters show up. These bucketheads may have a whole new stylized facade, but inside theyâ€™re still the same dismissive Imperials we know and love.
3. A vine, some blasters, and the power of physics.
Itâ€™s a classic cartoon sight gag â€” use a pulley system to save the day! But hereâ€™s a fresh take: Leia using all her strength to show the Empire its troops are no match for her and her new pal.
4. That sweet Ewokese.
Just like the shrill beeps of a faithful astromech, the Ewoks require no translation. Leia herself has no trouble deciphering their tongue, but it doesnâ€™t take a protocol droid to give us a pretty good idea what theyâ€™re saying as well. Yub nub!
5. Wardrobe mystery solved.
To be honest, weâ€™ve always wondered how Leia found time to pack a change of clothes (and where she kept it â€” beneath her camouflage poncho perhaps?). But now we have a more definitive answer. It turns out the simple dress she wore to lounge around the Ewok village was a gift from her very thankful hosts.