What better trio can you get? Star Wars, LEGO, and Disney? This show is about to take over this coming Monday, June 20th, on Disney XD. While attending the Finding Dory Event, we had the opportunity to screen LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, and it was fantastic. Funny, like hilarious, and what intrigued me most was the amount of creative game-play this show creates for kids. The world of LEGO and Star Wars now has a vision for the imagination.
LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures
StarWars.com is thrilled to announce LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, an all-new animated television series scheduled to debut this summer on Disney XD in the US. The fun-filled adventure comedy series, set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, will introduce all-new heroes and villains in exciting adventures with many familiar Star Wars characters.
Told in the whimsically-charged style that audiences have come to expect from LEGO Star Wars entertainment, the series stars the Freemakers, a family of scavengers who build and sell starships from the scoured debris of space battles strewn throughout the galaxy. When their youngest discovers a natural connection with the Force through an ancient artifact — the Kyber Saber — his world is turned upside down, and he and his family are thrown into an epic struggle against the Empire to restore peace and freedom to the galaxy. Throughout their adventures, the Freemakers explore new worlds, meet new and familiar characters, and learn the true value of what it means to be a family.
Creators Bill Motz, Bob Roth and voice actor Nicolas Cantu, sat down with us to give us some incite on how this show came to be.
Watching the show, I liked the fact it gives the world to kids to play. What was your idea behind that?
Bill: That was very intentional. The story, so that you know how we came up with this. So we were at Comic-Con. Someone whispered to us that you know hey, explore this idea of like a new Lego Star Wars show sort of and some humor and that kind of thing. So Bob and I walked three blocks after that to dinner. And we get there, and we’re waiting to sit down at the table, and Bob says, I know what the show is. And I was like, what show? And we talked about it because it was a side that Lego being obviously a big thing for us, but also Star Wars. And for me, I was like I loved the kits but I loved the bucket. You know what I mean? Pouring out the blocks and creating your own thing. No offense to people who glue their bricks but that to me is that’s not the point. And for me, it was like playing with my family, right? This is like; it was something that my mom and dad did with me. Building these bricks is something I had done with my kids. So for me, it was we invented this out of that play together. There have been so many battles in Star Wars. There’s so much busted junk, right? I mean it fits so the idea that you’re going to take like this you know piece here and slap it together and make a new thing just felt really…
Bob: And it’s something we see in our home. My sons, you know, I see them play with the tie fighter and eventually you know the tie fighter gets smashed. Thank God my sons are creative enough to go, you know, I’m going to have to re-piece it back together with the instructions kit. I lost that booklet ages ago. But the beauty of LEGO is that’s not a ruined toy at that point it’s just the beginning now. He takes those tie fighter wings and slaps it on, and he’s got a brand-new toy. And he’s thrilled, and I’m thrilled. And you know that’s the beauty of LEGO, and it seems to fit perfectly with Star Wars for that inspiration.
Do you already have plans set in motion for Lego sets to come out so kids can have their sets to go along with watching the show?
Bill: Well, did you see the kits that are on the table? Turn around. Those are the two fo them.
Bob: There are the star scavenger and the eclipse –-
Is it already in stores?
Bill: It’s in stores as a Freemaker yeah, and it doesn’t say Freemaker Adventures on the box because they wanted to brand everything Star Wars. It’s got our characters on the box front.
Bob: That is a crazy moment. Walking into a store and going, oh yeah there’s the starship we created, yeah. Two of those, thanks.
Bill: It was amazing. And one of the things that happened early on I mean it’s been over a year that we went to build in Denmark which is where LEGO headquarters is. And to talk with the designers about the ships. And so it’s a surreal moment where 15 minutes of here are our first design. We were holding it going, oh my gosh this is so weird.
Bob: And all I was thinking was, don’t drop it. Don’t drop it. They call these sketch models. And they work with LEGO bricks the way an artist works with a pencil and paper. Like they just go, oh yeah, I see now kind of what they want to do.
What is it like having a story part of the Star Wars story? Something that you created is now a part of Star Wars?
Bob: I still wake up every morning and go, oh yeah, we’re doing this, okay. Star Wars means a lot to me, it always has. And I remember 1977 when my brother came home and said we’re going to the movies tonight. I’m playing outside and didn’t want to go to a movie. No, no, we’ve got to go. There’s a movie; it’s better than Star Trek. Which I was like, nothing’s better than Star Trek. He said no, no, trust me. We’re going to go. And then the TV happened to be on, and AD came on for Star Wars. I remember thinking, “Okay this maybe is better than Star Trek. We went, and it was a magical memory. I walked in there, seven years old not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. What seven-year-old does, right? That’s not a problem, but I walked out of there going, oh I totally know what I want to do with my life. I want to give other kids the viewing I had right now. It’s just huge joy bursting out of me. And I did. I had my brother to thank for that. And you know the beauty of it is, is that my brother is not with us anymore. And I always will have the memory of that night. He gave me Star Wars. And then I have the memory of my mom working late to make sure I could live my dream. So Star Wars is family. Like in the movies one minute you think it’s a story about this kid who has a connection and has an amazing adventure. But by the end of the second film you realize in the Empire strikes back you realize oh no, this is a story about a father and a son. And then going by the end of the third movie you realize oh no, it’s a father, son and a daughter. It’s about a whole family. And then we go back in time when we see oh no, this is where the father met the mother and how they all became a family. So Star Wars is very much about family and so is LEGO. I’m just rambling at this point. But I remember the basement in our home growing up I had all my Star Wars put up on the shelves on one wall. And then on the other wall in the corner I had LEGO. And I would build LEGO bases. But they didn’t make Star Wars LEGO toys. So I could build little bases from my can of Star Wars figures just to bring it all together into one universe. So what’s it like? This is what I’ve been doing since I was seven. So it’s, I’m not just doing it in my head anymore.
Bill: It’s surreal. I mean we work out of Bob’s guest house. And it’s you know and it’s filled with all of Bob’s memorabilia of Star Wars stuff from when you were a kid. And then all of your collections growing up. And it’s been that way for years. I mean when we worked on other projects you know well there’s Darth Vader’s helmet and there’s you know these tie fighters. And here’s all this sort of stuff. So when we finally get to do this show it seemed amazing. He has an art print that’s sort of framed behind the TV where we screen you know where we go over our episodes all the time that just says, it’s a picture of a young Luke Skywalker playing with a toy ex wing and it’s says destiny on it. And we go like that’s us. We’ve told everybody on the project you know we’ve had to pinch ourselves. We had to pitch the idea and we had to convince them that we were the right people to do this show.
You guys are both dads. What are their ages and have your kids had any input or have you been sharing it with them at all?
Bob: My kids are 12 and 14.
Bill: My kids are 18, 21 and 24. But even last night as I’m sitting there and I just want to relax because you people make me nervous. I was nervous about this so I was like, I just want to relax. And you know what? I do like to build LEGOs, so I broke out my star scavenger kit and I started building it. And my son is 24, sat down at the table with me and broke out his millennium falcon. And we sat down building our LEGOs together and listening to the Star Wars soundtrack. But more to the point with Bob’s kids.
Bob: Yeah, so not entirely, certainly loosely. Rowan is my younger son and Zander is my older son, very much so. Rowan and my 12-year-old, Zanny share the super enthusiasm for life and the inability to just sit still for a damn moment. You know the touching things we shouldn’t touch, the lack of focus. And also just good heart you know Rowan has a really good heart. And a lot of that not entirely, not everything, there’s one thing that I’m not going to talk about came from my older son that’s in Rowan, just one specific moment. I don’t want to say because I told him that and he’s like, well what is it? And I’m like, I’m not going to tell you, you’ll see it when it comes true. It’s been a full week of constant, is it this? My older son is very much a Zander, also a good heart. He is a gear head, he is obsessed with fast cars. And he can hear a Ferrari eight blocks away going around the corner. And he cannot only tell you it’s a Ferrari but he can tell you oh, that’s a Ferrari, F tight 21 with a twin cam engine with blah, blah, blah, blah. Zander is very much this guy who can see a starship into hyperspace just out of the corner of his eye. And he can tell you oh, I can hear….
Bill: Yeah, and I’m going to say something that I know you talked a little bit about this but one of the things that are touched upon, with Danny he has struggled with all this you know ADHD. And then deciding that we wanted to have Rowan have that character is played. You know academically it’s a struggle. A kid like that is always going to be faced like why aren’t you focusing on school? Why aren’t you doing these things? Why you know, it’s just hard and it’s hard as a parent too to have a kid who is struggling. I love the fact that you made your son who struggles with that the hero of our show. Some ADHD kid, I want to make him the hero because they get a lot of why aren’t you sitting still? Why aren’t you focusing? By the way, you’ll start to see it in the next episode. Part of the humor comes from me just trying to get him to do his homework, right? Like to master the force you’ve got to focus. But yeah, they had a really strong influence on our show.
What do you want the audience to know or get or feel?
Bob: It’s fun. You understand me? We struggle all the time with a lot of serious heavy things. Every episode even our darkest episodes are fun. They’re fun and funny and you know there’s joy in all of them.
Bill: And really you know like we’ll get asked, they’re like what’s your dark audience? You know it’s usually you know the demographics will be you know six to eleven or whatever it is. My answer is families. Like I really, really want this to be something that families watch together. And I do feel like there’s comedy we try because you know we have kids. And you know we want to make sure that with parents watching with their kids that they’re not going, oh my gosh. You know, we’ve all been to like, dad, come watch this show, it’s the greatest. Oh, it’s 22 minutes of screaming, great. I think it also plays for all ages up through and there’s a few in there for mom and dad to look at each other and go, oh yeah. And the kids, it’s right over their heads.
Bob: There’s jokes for your hard-core Star Wars fans.
How long have you guys been working together?
At the same time, “25 years”.
Do you have to get a lot of approval from Lucas film?
Bob: Yes, but I will say I think they have some sort of approval over us. We know this universe inside and out. We really do. I’ve watched those movies even the prequels.
Bill: So yes, there are approvals.
And then Nicholas joined us, and we asked, how is it to be a part of Star Wars legacy?
Nicolas: This is a big thing for me. Like as a child, oh I’ve watched you do stuff for Disney. Oh I love to, do that sort of thing. Star wars? It’s a dream come true. LEGO? That’s like every kids dream ever. And you know being lucky enough to have this opportunity is really amazing. You know? It’s just; it’s the whole package though. A Disney show, with LEGO and Star Wars. And having a toy of me? I might as well just retire.
How old are you?
Nicolas: 12 years old.
When you look at him what do you see from yourself-being a 12-year-old boy and then where you are today?
Bob: Well, first of all, he’s way more intelligent. I see the enthusiasm. It bubbles out of you. You know we auditioned a lot of kids. Some would come in and say hello. And some would come in and stare at the floor and just shuffle their way into the booth. This kid came in and he was so natural with everybody. He just owned the room. But I also have to say Nicholas is an incredibly talented and intuitive actor. And so what that gave us the freedom of is because our writing then to comedy knowing that you can actually accomplish the things. So there’s, without spoilers I mean we’re not going to you know spoil it. But there’s some stuff coming up in the season that’s pretty emotional and intense. The cast was like almost like on the verge of tears.
What do you think kids are going to really like about this show? If you were talking to other kids about it what would you tell them?
Nicolas: I’d tell them that if they watched any other LEGO stuff you know the comedy is very strong. I love all the LEGO jokes in there. They’re all very funny. And you’re also going to get that classic Star Wars storytelling that you’ve come to know and love you know, the battle between good and evil. And they’re just going to love having very serious moments and awesome ones. And then different jokes. So I think they’re going to enjoy kind of the mix between it’s got adventure, it’s got action and comedy. So I think that’s what they’re going to enjoy. And also the content and you know the characters too. They’re all wacky and wonderful. So I think that’s what they’re going to like the most.
LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures will premiere Monday, June 20, at 10:00 a.m. EST on Disney XD!