LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales Interview Part II: translating mature subjects, 10 minutes a film

Chris Burns - Nov 20, 2015, 5:01 pm CST
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LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales Interview Part II: translating mature subjects, 10 minutes a film

Today we continue our interview series with Michael Price, writer behind the animated series LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales. In our second of several questions and answers with Mr Price, we asked whether the writer was given a set of rules to follow when writing this saga, or whether he was given free reign over the material. Price is also an award-winning writer for series like The Simpsons and the Netflix series F Is for Family. As such, his skills in adapting adult themes to animated, more kid-friendly environments made way for his growing LEGO Star Wars feature portfolio.

Everything you see below this paragraph and inside quotation marks was transcribed from a Q&A session we had with Price this month. Behold the entire collection as we continue to publish more questions and answers over the course of the next few days. If you’ve not seen LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales, head back to the first reveal and watch the trailer – and be sure to catch the whole series on Disney XD and digitally and on Blu-ray, hopefully sooner than later.

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“I would say, more or less, I was given free reign. With the only rule being that we needed to make sure that all the major plot points and story points of the Star Wars saga were covered in our recap.”

“We were really thinking about our target audience, or our base-level target audience being someone – a little kid, perhaps – who has never seen the Star Wars movies and wants to know what they’re all about. And what happens in them.”

“And who is Darth Vader, who is Luke Skywalker, who is Han Solo? What is this thing called The Republic? what is The Empire? -all that.”

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“So we had to make sure – as long as we covered those things – that main story points of all the six films, and the other two elements we were talking about, Rebels and a little bit of The Clone Wars, were covered, but especially the six films were covered.”

“Then once we we’re in that, once we had the story set, once we had the scenes going we were going to dramatize, which ones we weren’t, which way we were going to bridge the things we couldn’t dramatize…”

“Because, in some cases, we only had about 10 minutes to cover the action of an entire film.”

“Once the story elements were set in place, then I’d say I pretty much had free reign in terms of humor, in terms of jokes, in terms of ways to tell those stories.”

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“The only other kinds of rules, or constrictions that were placed on me – often, sometimes by our friends at LEGO, sometimes our friends at Lucasfilm, was to keep that young audience in mind and not do too many things that went too far over their heads.”

“Similarly, some of the films, as we all know, have very dark and disturbing material.”

“Things that would be very disturbing for young children – such as when, in Attack of the Clones, when Anakin turns to Tatooine and slaughters an entire village of Sand People.”

“Or in Revenge of the Sith, where again Anakin, now Darth Vader, lays waste to the Jedi temple, including the Padawan Younglings. Order 66, itself, is a thing that would be difficult for small children – as is the sight of Darth Vader crawling legless out of a lava river.”

“And there are other elements in the other three films as well that could be disturbing for young kids.”

“So we had to find ways to tell those elements of the story, stay true to the story, but also not traumatize or not show the more disturbing or more graphic things.”

“That was a particularly fun challenge, to find ways to do that without really doing it.”

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This is just one of several interview questions and answers from our series with Michael Price the writer behind LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales. Stick around our Star Wars and LEGO tag portals for more – and explore the timeline below!


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