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Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures: Season 1: Story 21: The Ganguls

What is it ? : The Young Jedi are enjoying a snack at Haps Snack Shack when Kai notices a boy unable to buy food for himself, claiming he left his wallet at home, so Kai pays instead, and the two chat for a while until Nash arrives.
Nash talks about her new speeder that her and her mum built, in the background the boy, Ori, listens in and looks out at the new speeder before sneaking away. Excited to see the speeder they head outside, but watch as it roars away. Examining the scene of the crime, they spot crumbs from the cookies that Kai had bought for Ori, and ask Hap about the boy, who tells them that he is from a nearby village, Aklyrr Bend.
Nash gets RJ to watch her ship since there are thieves about, and the group takes speeder bikes to Aklyrr Bend. Arriving they find the village very quiet and head inside the cantina, where everybody stops as they enter. They ask after Ori, and are told that he works for a local gang who have taken control of the village, The Ganguls, and they should give up on the speeder and leave.
They spot Ori scoping out their speeder bikes for theft, and chase him down when he flees. He says he has no choice but to work for the gang, and indicates where they are located. The Jedi confront the gang, finding Nash's speeder, but their lightsabers are grabbed from their hands by a giant magnet, and they are caught in a net and thrown in jail.
From the jail cell they speak to Ori who has been ordered to watch them, and convince him that with their help and by organising the village, they can chase the Ganguls away.
They head back to the cantina, and rally the villagers that by force of numbers they can scare off the 3 members of the Ganguls gang, so they confront the gang who flee with the speeder and some speeder bikes. A chase ensues, but the gangs escape is blocked by a waterfall, the only path apart from that is too small for the speeder which crashes into the canyon walls, so they abandon it laden with their stolen goods and flee promising revenge.
The townspeople recover the speeder for Nash, who offers Ori the chance to help make up for his crime by helping repair the damaged vehicle which will help teach him some valuable skills as well, and the townspeople celebrate their freedom from the gang. . . .

High Points : The scene I most enjoyed in this episode was close to the start, where Nash is boasting about her new speeder and Ori is listening in behind the group. His reactions are comically funny as he hears about the speeder, and shows interest, scopes it out, and then sneaks off to steal it, all while the dialogue is ongoing in the foreground. It's a comical scene and very well done.
Apart from that, it's entertaining enough, has some tension as the Young Jedi are disarmed and captured, and a little chase at the end, it's absolutely fine.

Low Points : I thought the Jedi were disarmed a little easily, as it's just by using a big magnetic gun to grab their lightsabers from their hands, something I think would have worked better if it was some kind of trap, which stuck their lightsabers to the floor or a wall, rather than allowing someone to just pull them towards the gun.
And I found it weird that these three gang members, who all seem to be unarmed, have managed to control an entire village which is only a short trip from the Jedi Temple, and they haven't restricted the villagers movement (Ori freely travels to Kublop Springs, so why couldn't someone else go and ask for help from the Jedi?)

So what do you really think ? : The episode is fine, nothing much of interest in it, but it moves along nicely. The message of this one seems to be, that it's never too late to redeem yourself, as Ori turns on his thieving ways to help lead the village to freedom.

Final Words : The short run time of these stories are definitely their saving grace, with the action keeping moving and not too much time to do anything too childish, the stories are inoffensive and simple.

Score : 8/10

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