Star Wars Lego:
The Empire Strikes Out (2013/Lucasfilm/20th Century Fox DVD)
Picture: B Sound: B Extras: D/Toy: B+ Animated Film: C+
I love Star Wars (as
everyone should); I can even put up with Episodes
I, II, & III, but this recent Lego
Star Wars craze leaves a bit to be desired.
It started with the actual Lego Star Wars toys, then it was taken to the
next level with the video games (which were excellent), and now has transformed
into television series and straight to DVD/Blu-ray films. As previously mentioned the Video Game
incarnations were excellent as they held true to the established mythos, but
poked fun at it with the Lego brand. Star Wars Lego: The Empire Strikes Out is
the latest straight to DVD release for the franchise (no Blu-ray available at
this time), following the Star Wars
Lego: The Padawan Menace which was also released straight to DVD/Blu-ray.
Star Wars Lego:
The Empire Strikes Out has nothing to do with the actual established story
arch of Star Wars but instead has
fun with the toyline and characters in a very childish manner. It is more than apparent that this release is
purely for children as hardcore Star
Wars fans will find little to enjoy, outside of seeing some familiar faces.
The story follows Luke Skywalker and crew after the destruction of the
first Death Star. There is no time to
waste as the Emperor and Darth Vader (and somehow Darth Maul) are on a mission
to build a second Death Star (out of Legos of course). It is up to Luke, Han, Leia, and Chewy to stop
them, but do to Luke’s new fame being ‘the guy who blew up the Death Star’ it
is hard to be covert and get work done.
Luke is constantly plagued by screaming, adoring fans; making it
extremely difficult to blend in, especially among Storm Troopers.
Again this is a short film (20 minutes) and is directed at
children. It is fun enough, but being so
short and without much depth makes the animated feature somewhat worthless to
hardcore fans. Children may enjoy this,
but would not have adults run out to grab it for themselves.
The DVD is basic at best presented in an anamorphic 1.78 X 1 widescreen
format with solid enough animation that boasts nice clarity and color; though
would fare much better on Blu-ray, especially being a CGI feature. The sound is also pretty basic in a lossy Dolby
Digital 5.1 Surround that does make use of the surrounds and is without
distortion, but being only 20 minutes long not many thrilling things were
There are no extras or shorts here, but what is included is a mini
(EXCLUSIVE) Darth Vader Lego figurine which can only be obtained by purchasing
this set, perhaps making the purchase VERY worthwhile after all.
- Michael P. Dougherty II