REVIEW: Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge
On Wednesday, Lucasfilm aired the first two episodes of Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge on the Star Wars Kids channel on YouTube and StarWarsKids.com. The show capitalizes on the obstacle course game show trend by pitting three sets of pairs in a series of challenges. The first includes a physical challenge on an Endor looking planet to retrieve pieces of a lightsaber hilt. The second is an intellectual challenge aboard the Starship Athylia to win a holocron. The last requires both physical and intellectual prowess as they travel throughout a Jedi Temple while tempted by the Sith along the way. Winning the final round rewards contestants with Kyber crystals to complete their lightsabers and, thus, becoming Jedi Knights.
Wow! What a fun show! I would have LOVED to have been able to complete in this when I was younger. When they first announced this show, I was imagining something similar to the Jedi Training Academy at Disney Parks. But, this is so much more. Think obstacle course meets escape room. And it actually looks challenging. They really make the kids work for it. The prize is absolutely gorgeous as it is a lightsaber of the same caliber that you pay $200 for at Savi's Workshop at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
The show is hosted by Ahmed Best, who was the voice of Jar-Jar Binks, as Jedi Master Kelleran Beq. Joining him is his wise-cracking protocol droid AD-3 (Mary Holland) and astromech LX-R5. Best and Holland really riff off of each other very well and are fun hosts to the show. It is also nice to see Best back. When he played Jar-Jar Binks, there was such a backlash against him and it really affected Best's mental health. So, to see him return as a Jedi Master and being very positive about it is nice.
Speaking of being positive, what I like about the show is that they make the kids feel good, even when they are eliminated from a round. They tell them that they need more training but are sure that they'll see them again. They work so hard in these rounds and I can imagine it would be disappointing to lose. So, to keep their spirits up is a nice touch.
I am actually surprised that this isn't airing on Disney+ as it would be perfect programming for the streaming service. Rich, co-host of our podcast, reminded me that they probably want to get this out to a wider audience and not all kids have Disney+. That said, it would be wonderful if they eventually end up there. This series is easily enjoyable by both kids and adults alike...especially this 51 year old kid.