Star Wars: Roll Out - Review

Star Wars: Roll Out - Review | Anakin and His Angel

Star Wars: Roll Out is a new series of animated shorts created by Hideo Itoyanagi and Lucasfilm. The first episode debuted today on Star Wars Kids and the Star Wars Kids YouTube Channel. The adorableness is real with characters from The Force Awakens featured as BB units. Could there be anything more cute? Watch it below!

I wanted to come up with something never [before] seen in Star Wars animation,” Itoyanagi says. “I wanted to give everything a totally different look. Given that the characters are caricatured, I decided to make the backgrounds simple, with paper-cutout silhouettes put on top of each other like something you might see in a picture book. The camera motion is quite flat and might remind you of old video games. I wanted to take a different route from 3D animation and recent video games.

Just the conceit of presenting all the characters in the form of BB units opens the door for unique visual opportunities. Characters don’t just roll, they bounce. Backgrounds can tilt, impacting the action. “Spinning” can also mean digging their way out of a problem. In other words, the animation style affords its own rules, which are often bent to very fun results.

The simplified video game-inspired look of the series, as Itoyanagi described above, makes the cartoon all the more kid-friendly. I also think that incorporating elemental actions make it extra fun! Imagine if these cartoons open the gateway for both younglings and sithlings to become Star Wars fans? I always love to hear about how other fans were introduced to Star Wars and that's what I immediately thought of when Roll Out was announced.

Star Wars: Roll Out - Review | Anakin and His Angel

Hideo quite liked the idea that all of these shorts would be anchored by a theme — by a lesson — that would be subtly expressed, even with all the wackiness of the episode and fun stylization,” Waugh notes. Since the look and actions and of the characters are cute, I made sure the stories are heartwarming,” Itoyanagi says. “While problems do occur, I made sure the characters do not try to solve them with anger or hatred.

Star Wars: Roll Out - Review | Anakin and His Angel

In the first episode, BB-8 and the Jungle Adventure, our round friend BB-8 sets out to help his friends on the Resistance Base, which we get a quick glimpse of (I'd suggest pausing it to get a good look at the characters featured here). He ends up finding himself lost in a jungle but happens to be amongst other droid friends including a GONK droid! They all seem to be hard at work but not too busy to help BB-8 when he needs it. The episode runs just over two minutes long and although it was cute I didn't find it to be particularly exciting though I know I as a thirty-three year old woman, I am not the target audience. However, I will continue to watch the series as I love the simplistic look, the overall chubness of the characters and I'm really excited to see more of my favorite characters in this new BB unit form!

What did you think? Did the children in your life like it? How did they respond? Let me know in a comment below!

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