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Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures: Season 1: Story 19: Visitors Day



What is it ? : The Young Jedi are escorting Marlaa Jinara and a large cargo container to the Visitors Day celebrations that Master Zanna is arranging.
They arrive and tell her that Marlaa's statue to celebrate Visitors Day is ready for unveiling later, and join her as she checks on the various people who have set up stands and displays, among these is Draiven Bosh, a collector of rare things. He uses the opportunity of speaking with Zanna and her Padawans as a distraction so his droids can steal the statue.
Afterwards the Young Jedi convince Marlaa to give them a peek at the statue, but the cargo container is empty as it has been swapped. They notice that Draiven is also missing so quickly locate him, only to find him connecting the container up to speeder bikes for removal from the settlement. They take speeder bikes and chase him, but fall behind due to an obstruction on the road, but one of his speeder bikes is leaking, so they follow the trail to his starship.
Once aboard it takes off, and the Jedi try to use the force to move the cargo container, but only succeed on triggering an alarm, and Draiven locks them in the hold, planning to drop them off on a distant planet.
They call for help from Zanna, who locks onto their signal and rushes to rescue them, so when Draiven comes to the hold to force them out, they delay him by threatening to destroy some of his valuable collection.
Zanna arrives, cutting her way in through the cargo doors, and Draiven has his droid take off, angling the ship steeply upwards to shake the Jedi out, which it does, along with his cargo and the massive cargo container.
Zanna and the Young Jedi use the force to lower the container gently to the ground, as Draiven threatens revenge upon them. Returning to Kublop Springs, they unveil the statue to the waiting crowd to much applause.

High Points : It's nice for them to introduce a new villain apart from Taborr, but this really does seem to be a Taborr episode, as Draiven has his own starship, has two sidekicks, and steals a statue. This is almost exactly the plot of a previous episode.
There's definite attempts here though, with the Jedi losing the Draiven in the chase and having to follow a trail of lubricant that one of his speeders conveniently drips.

I also particularly enjoyed the amount of returning characters in this one. The Visitors Day celebration is supposed to be for everyone the Jedi have helped, and who have helped the Jedi, so we get the twins from "The Girl and Her Gargantua", the bounty hunter from "The Missing Kibbin", and quite a few others. The Young Jedi Adventures world is getting pretty large, and that's nice to see.

Low Points : It's all just a bit convenient, the main characters don't really triumph, the world just allows them to succeed. When they lose Draiven, one of his speeder bikes just happens to be leaving a trail for them to follow. When the cargo container they've come to recover remains on Draiven's ship as it's too large to fit out of the hole that Zanna cut in the door, the door itself fails and the container drops out.
While I don't expect much from a show for this age group, it would be nice if the protagonists actually moved the story along rather than just following the trail the story leaves them. If they'd caused the damage which left the trail, or if they used the force to press a button to open the door to let the cargo fall out. Have them do something.

So what do you really think ? : It's an enjoyable enough episode, but one which feels lazy in the writing. Just a few tweaks would have made it far better, but it really seems as if the writers did just enough for their audience, and no more.

Final Words : I thought the message was going to be, "don't steal", but noticed that it was actually, "ask for help if you need it", and thought it was subtle, and I liked it. Then in the final moments they hammered the message home again and again.

Score : 8/10






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