The Padawan Menace
The Padawan Menace was a short animated film produced in partnership with Lego and the Cartoon Network. With a run time of 22 minutes it was longer than regular Lego Star Wars shorts like Bombad Bounty and the Quest For R2-D2. As a result you won’t find this particular short film on Youtube (legally) though you can pick it up on DVD and Blu Ray.
The synopsis of the film is as follows:
The Padawan Menace
Star Wars and the LEGO Group join forces for this all-new animated adventure!
A routine Jedi Academy field trip is turned into a rip-roaring comic adventure in LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace.
Tour guide Master Yoda leads a group of rambunctious Jedi younglings through Senate chambers when he senses a disturbance in the Force.
Summoned to help save the Republic, he discovers that one of the younglings, Ian, has secretly boarded his ship… and young Ian has a taste for adventure! Meanwhile, C-3PO and R2-D2 are put in charge of the boisterous group and find themselves in over their heads.
As the evil Sith prepare to wreak havoc, it’s up to Yoda and the Droids to ensure that their young charges aren’t torn to bits!
The Padawan Menace Book
It differs from most other Lego Star Wars comics because the artwork is not hand-drawn illustration but screen captures from the movie itself.
Personally, as a fan and mother, I think this detracts slightly from the overall experience of the comic but I realize I might be in the minority here.
For me, books like Darth Maul’s Mission and the other comics in that series can inspire kids to create their own comics more than still-photos from a movie can.
When an artist is able to illustrate the scenes and characters of Lego Star Wars in a dynamic and humorous way, it can inspire kids to try their hand at similar drawings themselves. Photo-comics like this don’t have that similar energy and spontaneity.
Having said that if your child is a fan of the movie and just learning to read then this would be a wonderful early reader to help them engage with books.
The reading level is appropriate for early grades, with a few larger words like “hyperspace” which young Star Wars fans will probably learn with glee 🙂
Overall The Padawan Menace is an inexpensive book that complements the short animated film well and would be a worthwhile addition to a young child’s collection.
For older fans who like reading comics, try the illustrated series first as this photo-novel won’t have long-term interest for more discerning fans.