Whilst Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures may have already debuted in the US and other territories, it debuts for the first time tomorrow (October 17th) here in the UK, at 4pm on Disney XD. Note: the series has been brought forward a week from its original transmission date of October 24th – yay!
Here’s a look Behind the Magic of this new series, courtesy our magical friends at Disney…
BEHIND THE MAGIC!
We step behind the camera to bring you the lowdown on the epic new animation, Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures. What’s the show about? Who are these quirky LEGO characters? And how much comedy can we expect in the series? The show’s creators, Bill Motz and Bob Roth, give us the inside scoop on the swashbuckling intergalactic adventure…
“Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures is the story of the Freemaker family,” explains Executive Producer, Bob Roth. “Rowan, Kordi and Zander Freemaker are a family of scavengers who run a salvage business. This is their adventure.”
FEEL THE FORCE
What else can Star Wars fans expect from the interstellar animation? When 12-year-old Rowan Freemaker discovers a natural connection with the Force through an ancient artifact – the Kyber Saber – his world is turned upside down. Rowan and his family are suddenly thrown into an epic struggle against the Empire to restore peace and freedom to the galaxy. Bring it on!
Surprisingly, Bob Roth admits that audiences won’t discover much of the family history behind the Freemakers. “We are never going to tell the story of what happened to their parents,” the creator reveals. “It’s not an interesting story for these characters. In our minds, there was a tragedy of a mundane nature. There was no Sith Lord who cut their parents down in anger; it was just an unfortunate event.”
STEP BACK IN TIME
“Whatever tragedy took their parents away was a long time ago – but I do think that their salvage business was originally started by their parents or their grandparents,” continues Bob Roth. “Kordi was a little girl when that happened and this is her parents’ shop, so I think that some of her passion about making sure it keeps going is part of the legacy that her parents left behind.”
THE NAME GAME
It was a tough task for the show’s creative team to come up with an iconic name for the family of space scavengers in Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures. “We came up with dozens of terrible names in our search,” chuckles Executive Producer, Bill Motz. “When you hear the name Luke Skywalker, it sounds right. His name has a sense of destiny, so we wanted something similar. It took us a long time before we came up with Freemaker.”
Bill Motz continues: “I liked the idea of having ‘free’ in the name of our lead characters because there are lots of people who build by the instructions in their LEGO sets and then there are the other people who go ‘freeform’ and build whatever they want to build. The fun of LEGO is that you can do that. Our characters are builders – or ‘makers’ – and they are also helping to make
the galaxy free again. Plus, I think I also went to school with someone named Freemaker, so the name seemed to fit in place. We had to go through a lot of legal clearances to clear the name, but we love it. Freemaker was the perfect choice!”
IT’S A CHUCKLE-FEST
How much comedy can audiences expect from an animated series that brings together LEGO and Star Wars? “Our show is really fun,” admits Bob Roth. “We all struggle with a lot of serious, heavy things in life – but every episode of The Freemaker Adventures is fun and funny. There’s joy in all of them!”
THE DARK SIDE
The show isn’t all lightness and laughter, though. “You’ll see some darkness in the show, too,” explains Bill Motz. “Hand-in-hand with the good times of Star Wars is the moment when Luke gets his hand cut off. Nobody one is getting their hand cut off in our show, but we are telling stories that aren’t completely safe and happy all the time. We’re going to put our characters through some emotional paces.”
Matthew Wood provides the voice of a friendly battle droid named R0-GR in Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – but he’s also a Supervising Sound Editor at Lucasfilm who came up with many of the Star Wars sounds heard in the series. “The sound of the Kyber crystals, the battle ships, as well as the hum of the ship the Freemakers live on… That’s all down to Matthew Wood,” reveals Bill Motz. “Matt is fantastic!”
During their adventures, the Freemakers meet a ton of iconic characters from the Star Wars universe – including Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. “They even meet Maz Kanata from The Force Awakens,” admits Bob Roth.
A bounty hunter called Dengar from The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi also makes an appearance in the animated adventure. “We put Dengar into the story because we love Dengar,” explains Bill Motz. “You can totally out-run Dengar because he is overweight and he looks like he just got out of a Three Stooges movie. He looks like the most slovenly, sloppy bounty hunter ever – but he’s a lot of fun to play around with in the show.”
MEET THE CHARACTERS!
How would the creators describe the main characters from the intergalactic new series? Executive Producers Bill Motz and Bob Roth reveal all…
Bob Roth reveals: “Rowan was one of the first characters we came up with. I’ve got a 12-year-old son who is a handful and is awesome. He’s loveable and he’s funny – and he sometimes doesn’t do what you ask him to do. That felt like a character we wanted to see in our show.
Imagine a Jedi trying to train a little bundle of energy. How would that go down? We’ve seen Yoda train Luke. Well, Luke was 100% invested in the training and he was willing to focus on becoming a Jedi – but we’ve never seen a kid in that situation before.”
Both Roth explains: “Zander is 18 years old; he’s the older brother of the family. I’ve got an older son who is a car nut. He can see a Lamborghini three blocks away and he can tell what the model is from the sound of its engine. That seemed like a funny character for the older brother in our story. We love the relationship between Rowan and Zander in the show. At first, Zander doesn’t seem like he’s the brightest guy – but the more you watch the show, the more you realise that the best lessons in the Force that Rowan receives are actually from Zander. He has some weird intuition about The Force and about how it works.”
Bob Roth reveals: “Kordi is the middle sibling who keeps the two Freemaker brothers in order. She’s taken the weight of the world upon her shoulders. It’s her responsibility to make sure that the business runs well, that there’s food on the table, that the ship flies, and that the ships they build as a family are actually sellable.”
Bob Roth explains: “The fourth member of the Freemaker family; the honorary member, is R0-GR [aka Roger]. R0-GR is a battle droid. The Freemakers found him on a planet somewhere. They dusted him off and reprogrammed him to be their butler. He’s awesome and he’s become one of our favourite characters in the show. R0-GR was the very first character we had by name. We knew that we wanted to have a battle droid in the family, but it cracked us up that his name was RO-GR.”
DARTH VADER AND THE EMPEROR
Bob Roth reveals: “Darth Vader and The Emperor are the galaxy’s worst bosses. We see them as the out-of-touch upper management of the galaxy. They dispatch their orders to their underlings, but they are not really in touch with the day-to-day details of how the Empire is run. Especially The Emperor. They are a lot of fun in our story.”