The Force Is Strong With This One

5 Things To Know About Young Jedi Adventures, The First Star Wars Series For Little Padawans

The creators and young cast spill on what makes it so great.

'Young Jedi Adventures' is the first full-length animated series aimed at preschoolers and early gra...

There’s never been a better time to be a Star Wars fan. This year is shaping up to be one of the most exciting to date with a slew of releases: The Bad Batch Season 2, The Mandalorian Season 3, Visions, and (arguably most exciting for parents who need a break from Blippi), the franchise just dropped Young Jedi Adventures, its first full-length animated Star Wars series made for preschoolers and early-grade schoolers.

Set 200 years before The Phantom Menace during the High Republic Era, Young Jedi Adventures follows a group of Jedi younglings as they learn the ways of The Force. You’ll see some familiar faces (Yoda!) along the way as your kids get their first official introduction to the Star Wars fandom. In other words, it’s about to become your little padawans’ new favorite thing to watch on repeat.

Need even more incentive to add it to your kid’s queue? Scary Mommy picked the brains of the series creators and cast. Here are five fun behind-the-scenes things to know.

The creators kept the fandom in mind.

If you’re a longtime Star Wars fan and you’re worried this will dilute the lore, don’t be. Executive producer James Waugh, showrunner Michael Olson, and writer Lamont Magee were mindful to honor the legacy of George Lucas with the series.

“Ever since I’ve been in the Star Wars galaxy, which has been my entire life, Star Wars has been filled with passionate fans and opinionated fans. I am one of them. That’s just part of being a part of the galaxy,” Olson tells Scary Mommy. “I welcome their passion. I welcome their thoughts. I hope they know this show is made with a deep, deep love and passion for Star Wars, and it’s made with a deep passion for connecting with kids — and new fans, in particular.”

So, yes, it’s a kids’ show… but it’s got big Star Wars energy.

From the animation to the writing, Young Jedi Adventures is immersive. But would you really expect anything less from a Star Wars production? “We don’t make anything unless we really believe in it or really think it’s going to be good,” says Waugh. “It was a clear decision to push the animation, to make sure that fidelity lived up to the legacy of LucasFilm animation. And we definitely pushed the idea of what a preschool show could be.”

Adds Magee, “That’s the thing I love the most about this show: You can have preschool kids sit there and watch it and learn life lessons, but their parents can enjoy it with them. It’s something that they can actually say, ‘Wow, this feels and looks and gives all the vibes of Star Wars.’”

It’s full of hope and optimism.

Although many of the Star Wars films focus on the greater battles between dark and light, this series takes place during what is essentially the golden era of being a Jedi. “It’s taking place during a time when the Jedi are at their height; there are thousands of Jedi all throughout the galaxy. The people of the galaxy look up to them as heroes,” explains Olson. “So, it’s a special time because it’s a time of optimism. It’s perfect for our show because our little kids, as Jedis, get to be the heroes that our kids at home would aspire to be as well.”

The way the young Jedis travel to outpost temples to engage with different cultures also contains some fitting symbolism. Says Waugh, “It just seemed like nothing felt more perfect of a metaphor for kids going to preschool or the first few grades of school and having to face the new world, interact and engage with new people, and become little brave Jedi knights themselves in the world.”

The Pooba is here to steal your heart like the Ewok did in the ‘80s.

There will be many cute creatures in Young Jedi Adventures. But if you’re an ‘80s baby or a ‘90s kid who was obsessed with Ewoks (so... all of us), you’re going to love the Pooba.

“A Pooba is a new species to the Star Wars legacy, and they are a relatively rare species. The difference is that Poobas, first off, they're from completely different parts of the galaxy. And they come in a little bit brighter colors than your standard Ewok,” says Olson. “But also, they grow up to be — I don't know — seven, eight feet tall? Just these massive hulking creatures, whereas Ewoks kind of stay generally the same size. So, hopefully, we'll get to see some awesome adult Poobas walking around someday. That'd be pretty fun.”

The series is already impacting kids.

How? Just look to the young stars who voice the cast.

“My favorite thing about Nash is her confidence,” says Nash’s real-life counterpart Emma Berman. “She does every mission and goes on every adventure to the best of her ability because she knows what she's capable of, and she carries that out every single time. I think that's a very inspiring mindset for young kids, and just everybody watching the show, to have.”

For Juliet Donenfeld, who voices Jedi Lys, it’s her character’s, well, character that sticks with her the most. “Lys is so kind. She’s always so thoughtful about others, and she always puts other people before herself,” she shares.

Although Trey Murphy’s character, the pirate Taborr, doesn’t start the series in the best light, that’s part of what he feels will speak the most to kids — the same way it did to him. “The show is perfect for younger audiences when it comes to life lessons like teamwork and friendship,” he says. “But I think my personal favorite is perseverance: never giving up, trial and error, getting better at what you do.”

And it’s the diversity for Jamaal Avery Jr., who plays Jedi Kai Brightstar. “[The most important thing] I would say is representation in the show of people of different races or species and genders, and how they’re all strong — and strengthen each other.”