The latest episode of animated series Star Wars: Forces of Destiny shifts its attention to Leia. Following the pattern set by the first two episodes of the series, the episode is set within the existing Star Wars timeline. All three episodes up to now pick up at some point within the cinematic universe and focus on characters from those films.
Where the previous two run as what are essentially outtakes from The Force Awakens, episode 3, called ‘Ewok Escape’, fills in the blanks in Return of the Jedi. The two-and-a-half-minute short picks up from the scenes in which we see Leia first meet Ewok Wicket and takes us on a micro-adventure that never made it to the big screen.
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It shows Wicket demonstrate his resourcefulness as he tackles two stormtroopers who have stumbled across two of his friends. Leia helps him out of a sticky situation and a bond is forged. If you’ve ever wondered why the Ewoks more readily accept Leia into their fold than her buddies – who initially wind up on the menu for a feast in C-3PO’s honour – this gives us a deeper understanding.
The end of the episode also shows us the moment that Leia receives the outfit she’s dressed in when her own friends eventually arrive in the Ewok village in Return of the Jedi – the natty boho dress. It’s revealed that her new Ewok pals gift it to her and she gratefully accepts it, then asks if it comes with a spear. Wicket gives her his.
Star Wars: Forces of Destiny was conceived to spotlight the women of the franchise. Characters featured include Jyn Erso, Padmé Amidala, Sabine Wren, Ahsoka Tano and Maz Kanata as well as Rey and Leia. It’s a series of 8 shorts, with each episode coming in at around 3 minutes.
Star Wars: Forces of Destiny is being released one episode at a time via Disney’s YouTube channel, and premieres on the Disney Channel proper on July 9. A second series follows in the autumn.