Force Building: The Creative Genius of "The Freemaker Adventures"

Image used courtesy of Lucasfilm, Ltd. and Lego

Vague spoilers for Seasons 1 and 2 of Lego Star Wars: The Freemakers follow. I don't go into extreme detail, but if you want to remain completely spoiler-free, please go watch the episodes then come back!

Both Star Wars and Lego have always been about creativity. The creation of stories set in the Star Wars galaxy has inspired countless technologies, artists, and fans. In the same way, the Lego brand has given millions of children (plenty of whom are now adults) brightly colored tools to build their dreams. It should come as no surprise then that in its two seasons, Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures is telling some of the most creative Star Wars stories around; after all, it’s in its DNA.

From the opening moments of the first season, new ideas abound in The Freemaker universe. Even the titular family that form the main characters of the show are innovative. The Freemakers are starship scavengers. They follow in the wake of the battles fought by the Empire and Rebellion and try to make a tidy profit off of all the bits of s-foils and ion engines left behind. It’s such a simple concept that I’m surprised it wasn’t used before.

While we’ve seen humorous battle droids in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, their jokes were always quick one-liners that annoyed some (mostly adult) fans. The mechanical marvel of the Freemaker family, Roger, often serves as the comic relief, but his humor comes just as much because of the humanity of his antics. At one point, he builds a giant, over-powered droid buffer in an attempt to make friends amongst his fellow droids. When that same creation shoots Roger into space, there’s laughs but there’s also an emotional connection because we know that many of us have also struggled to find friends at times.  

Both seasons of The Freemaker Adventures make liberal use of the time-honored Lucasfilm tradition of the macguffin. In the first season, Rowan uses his newly-discovered Force abilities to follow the ethereal trail of the crystal components of the kybersaber. The kybersaber is an ancient weapon built by the Jedi Master Baird Kantoo. The idea of a lightsaber built entirely out of kyber crystals is an interesting one made all the more so by the extent of its power. As we watch Master Kantoo’s first, prideful swings with his new creation cause a shockwave that literally chops a moon in two, we marvel at the strength of this creation only to wince as we realize the implications for the larger Star Wars galaxy. The same power hidden within the kyber crystals by Master Kantoo will one day be purposely used by the Empire to vaporize Alderaan.

In the second season of The Freemaker Adventures, the macguffin is the pieces of The Arrowhead: a ship that Rowan Freemaker has had a vision of using to win the war for the Rebellion. As crazy as it sounds, it nearly accomplishes that feat. Towards the end of the season, The Arrowhead and its embersteel blade can be seen cutting through star destroyers just as easily as an adult foot would through a child’s unseen Lego creation. It’s a spectacle that can only exist because of The Freemaker Adventures unique place just outside of canon. It can tell stories that dance around canon then introduce something so uniquely Lego to cause the fun to rise in a way that no canon story possibly could.

Being a part of the Lego license, it’s not surprising that the show places a great emphasis on the merits of “being a builder.” The Freemakers themselves build both uglies (creative, cobbled-together kits) and the more traditional, alphabetical starships of the Rebel Alliance. Even Emperor Palpatine puts his own dark designs into action when he constructs M.O.C., a droid henchman who uses his mad data sorting skills to hunt the Freemakers for much of the second season. At no point is the creative spirit celebrated more than when we learn of the Force Builders and the Jedi city of Aliston Nor. Aliston Nor is a city built by an ancient Jedi sect called the Force Builders. This group’s main drive is to create. From fashion and art, to architecture and ship design, the Force Builders specialized in innovation. The idea of a Jedi group whose focus is the joys of creation is an amazing concept. It speaks straight against the destructive nature of the Clone Wars-era Jedi to a time when they followed the Force’s guidance to create rather than destroy.

While many spend their time focusing on whether or not The Freemaker Adventures is canon, others are more than content to just take the ride. We thrill to adventures that would not be possibly in a canon show. We stare as kyber sabers cleave planets, as stars scavengers scoop up salvage (and the occasional hero), and as a child learns of the Force Builders and the joy that comes from giving form to our most outrageous non-canon ideas.

What’s your favorite contribution the Freemakers have made to Star Wars? Have a favorite Star Wars Lego set? Share them with me on Twitter at @mapplebee7567 !