Let the trials begin!

Two weeks ago Star Wars Kids released the trailer for their game show Jedi Temple Challenge. Now the first two episodes have dropped on YouTube and Disney.com. Three pairs of kids compete over three levels of challenges to become Jedi Knights. Let the trials begin!

The Trials Begin: What Are the Trials?

Ahmed Best return to the Star Wars universe as Kelleran Beq. Along with his two droids, 83 and LX-R5, he oversees three pairs of padawans (8-12 years old) as they undergo trials to see if they are worthy of becoming Jedi Knights.

Ahmed does a solid job MC-ing this show. The first thing I had to get used to was that this is a kids show meant for kids. The little nitpicks I started pointing out, quickly fell by the wayside as I was able to get into a kids mindset. Once I did that, the challenges gained a much more appropriate level. The droids are mostly set props except 83 has some good one liners though out the first two shows.

The Trials Begin: Round One

the young padawans
The Padawans are ready!

The first level did seem terribly difficult until you try and remember the physical prowess of the average 10 year old. The padawans had to complete four trial, which earned them a section of their lightsaber hilt. Once obtained, they ran the part back to the table and began the next trial. The first pair to retrieve all four pieces, assemble them and place them in the holder correctly won. The top two pairs moved on.

The four trials did not seem overly hard by themselves. One challenge has the padawans don heavy backpacks and mount a suspended platform. The pair then uses a rope to pull themselves across the expanse to the other side. Trial two the padawans ran across criss-crossed beams and had to hit a levitating ball. Trial three was a rope swing, and the final trial they must jump on a (weak) trampoline to first catch a fruit then get their hilts off a wall.

Most of these trials look far too easy, and for many it was. Some of the kids that were either smaller or lacked upper body strength found the course more challenging.

The Trials Begin: Round Two

The two fastest teams from round 1 move on to round two. This round is a trial of the mind. In a shuttle mock up, one padawan takes the captain’s chair while the other takes the engineer’s station (standard game pedestal). 83 tells a rather lengthy story and the padawans must work together via mic’s to be the first to lock in the correct answer. The first team to get 5 right wins a holocron.

The story is simple enough, but the padawans must remember minute details that do not often stand out. The kids really do need a fairly good memory to answer the questions. Given the natural attention span of a 10 year old, this level proves challenging. The fun thing is at the end of this challenge, the padawans sit in the pilot chairs. Master Beq says there’s only one thing left to do – punch it! The kids then get to throw the hyperspace levers and watch the ship jump to light speed.

The Trials Begin: Round Three

The final pair of padawans move onto the final timed challenge where they must enter the Jedi temple. First they climb a wall where they then must remember a series of light flashes and punch the colors into the console in the correct order (Simon Says anyone?)

Trail two is damned near impossible! One padawan sees triangles with symbols on a table. The second one sees the same triangles on the floor. One describes a triangle with its patterns to their partner who must then place it on the table correctly. Episode 1 the kids managed to pull it off. Episode 2 they turned to the dark side. That’s right! A button flashes red and the loud voice of the dark side encourages them to push the button and use the dark side.

Trial three they have to connect around a dozen power cables by their shapes at the end of the cable. This one is more time consuming than challenging.

The final challenge, they must climb a slippery incline with the help of a rope. Once they reach the top they face a tricky trial of balance where one padawan balances on a wooden platform with a half-sphere under it. They must balance on it to light up a bridge for their partner. The partner then does the same on the other side. Once across, they place their holocrons on a table and retrieve their kyber crystals and sprint out of the room.

The Trials Begin: The Jedi Knights Rise

The cool thing is if the padawans pass the trials they insert the crystal into their hilts and insert the hilt into a table. The padawans put on their new robes and then draw out their hilts, which now have blades ignited.

The first two episodes are a contrast of each other. Where one show looks way too easy, the other episode shows more of a struggle for every trial. In the end the show really is a lot of fun. I think most adult fans would do anything to appear on a show like this when they were a kid, or do an adult equivalent.

The one downside to me was the length of the show. They run about 22 minutes, which equates to a regular 30 minute show once commercials are added. Without the commercials, though, the show goes by lightning quick. It would be nice to see a bit more depth and play with the actors and kids, but the show does have to fit a formula.

In the end, this is a fun 20 minute distraction to watch. You can catch the show on YouTube or Disney.com under Star Wars kids.

Master Kelleran Beq and his droids
Master Kelleran Beq and company