The Freemaker Adventures introduced long form storytelling to the LEGO Star Wars animated world, following the adventures of Rowan, Kordi, Zander and Roger. The second season, that sees the Freemakers on a quest to build a creation that could end the galactic civil war, is released on DVD in the USA today. The home release includeas all 12 episodes and five animated shorts.
Executive Producers Bill Motz and Bob Roth spent time talking to Brick Fanatics about how Season 2 begins, their favourite episode and the secret to making LEGO minifigure characters relatable.
For those who have not seen it yet, could you set the scene for Season 2?
Bob: Everybody is pulled a little bit apart, they all have different responsibilities and different drives, but eventually they come back around to a common mission.
Bill: We wanted to mirror what happens in families.
Bob: So even though we say the Freemakers fly together, or they don’t fly at all, the reality is as you get older you start getting pulled in different directions. They all end up having complementary but different missions and purposes. It’s both good and sad, growing up is a mix of joy, hope and sad goodbyes.
Kordi knows what she wants to do right away. She wants to become a Mon Mothma, a Princess Leia or a Hera. She has role models there, she wants to be one of the ones up there making the big decisions. Zander wants to be a hotshot pilot, nothing has changed for him. So he starts going that way. That leaves Rowan without knowing really knowing what he’s supposed to do. We watched Return of the Jedi for the 2851st time and there are no kids on Home One. So where does Rowan go? What is Rowan doing?
Roger was a fan favourite in Season 1. What role does the character play in Season 2?
Bill: In the second season, I do feel like Roger at some point decides he’s going be a little more optimistic, to the point where his optimism is as annoying as a snarky comment. So that’s just a funny little thing that we played with, a slight variation.
Do you have a favourite episode in the second season?
Bob: Our seventh episode, “The Pitt and the Pinnacle”, we are immensely proud of. It’s an episode with some great comedy, but more than that, it’s got some great heart and a lesson for the times – without getting a little too full of ourselves. There’s a little kernel in there that I am so proud of. It is also the most gorgeous animation that WilFilm has done yet on the show, there’s a really beautiful sense of wonder.
Bill: I think there was a moment when they read what we’d asked for…
Bob: …it happened a few times in the first season and a few times in the second season, they come to us and say, “we just can’t do it, this is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.” We say, “we’ll revamp, let us know what you can do.” We give them a day or two, and they say, “we’ve figured out how we’re going do it. We can do it.”
Bill: Every time. Even in a design sense what we had written was ambitious. Really ambitious. When we saw the designs, it actually exceeded our expectations and we were like, “can you actually do that?”
Bob: I don’t want to say, watch for episode seven and there are eleven other episodes, I’m exceptionally proud of all of these episodes. But “The Pitt and the Pinnacle” is the stand out one to me. There’s lot of great stuff in this season.
Bill: I do feel like we hit the comedy, the action adventure, but there is also a Kordi – Rowan moment that I have yet to watch without choking up. It is, just for me, probably 25 years in the writing.
Bob: Nicolas and Vanessa did such a lovely performance with it.
Bill: I’ve never been more proud of any moment we’ve ever done in anything ever. That is the one I will take with me.
Bill: We wanted to model LEGO play. The characters are LEGO, and you’ve got the gags with their hair coming off and that kind of thing. But for me, I remember playing as a kid. I wasn’t thinking this is a LEGO character, I was thinking this is the character doing this. So in Rebels, for example – when you watch it, you’re not thinking, “well they’re animated”. Ezra’s not an animated character, he’s Ezra. What we wanted to do was have you think of them as characters. They should feel like flesh and blood so you don’t think about a plastic figure. I think The LEGO Movie did a very good job of this too.