The animated series of shorts has expanded on the saga with stories about characters like Leia, Chewie, Jyn Erso, and, of course, the Porgs.
When Star Wars: Forces of Destiny was announced at Celebration Orlando in April of 2017, fans were promised a bevy of new mini-adventures (about two to three minutes in length each) centered on many of the female Star Wars heroines, including Princess Leia, Rey, Jyn Erso, Ahsoka Tano, Maz Kanata, Hera Syndulla and Sabine Wren, and others. Even cooler, these 2D animated segments would also be canonical — i.e. part of the “official” Star Wars in-universe history.
Forces of Destiny also includes books, comics, and amazing toys and collectibles, while many of the stars that bring these characters to life came back to do the voice work (Daisy Ridley, Felicity Jones, Ashley Eckstein, Lupita Nyong’o, Vanessa Marshall, and Tiya Sircar).
If you have not seen these shows (available for free on Disney’s YouTube channel) and are a fan of the overarching Star Wars mythology, then strap yourselves in for some interesting additions to the canon of that galaxy far, far away. Here are a couple of key moments from Seasons 1 and 2 that add some more excitement to the overall storyline.
Sabine Meets Leia
Fans of the recently completed Star Wars Rebels will recognize some familiar faces in Forces of Destiny. Sabine is featured prominently in the series, having an encounter with Leia in Season 1’s “Bounty of Trouble” in which the pair perpetrate a charade that makes it seem like Leia has been kidnapped. In actuality, this is a ruse so that she can give Sabine a data tape of Imperial base locations. The episode is set before the events of A New Hope, which means the Empire still thinks of Leia as loyal, even though Grand Moff Tarkin appears to have suspicions (see the novel Leia: Princess of Alderaan for more on that storyline). Regardless, it’s a great piece of connective tissue between different mediums, offering even more gravitas to Star Wars Rebels. “Bounty of Trouble” also offers a glimpse into the masterful espionage work Leia Organa is capable of.
Jyn Erso Begins
Building upon “Bounty of Trouble,” the episode “Accidental Allies” finds Sabine working with Jyn Erso of Rogue One fame. They end up helping one another out with some stormtrooper trouble and form an alliance. This takes place before the events of Rogue One, but manages to lay the groundwork that beneath that hardened exterior Jyn is a woman who is capable of great compassion and empathy. Yet again, Sabine works with an eventual member of the alliance and shows that she is an important figure in the Star Wars universe.
In Season 1 of Forces of Destiny, a famous deleted scene from The Empire Strikes Back makes its way to canon via the episode “Beasts of Echo Base.” It’s a different take on the scene, and takes place before the events of the film, but features Leia and R2-D2 looking for Chewbacca, who seems to have disappeared. They find him kidnapped by a fearsome wampa, and Leia, in a daring turn of events, rescues the wookiee and helps distract the wampa while Chewie and R2 seal the beast out of the base. And you think you had a hectic morning!
Forces of Destiny also gives us the answer to the age-old question “where did Princess Leia find that dress on Endor?” The answer: from the Ewoks, of course. In “Ewok Escape,” Leia rescues the diminutive Wicket from a group of biker scouts (for the second time, counting Return of the Jedi) and the grateful ewok takes her to the Ewok village. Leia once again shows her formidable combat skills, along with a penchant for creative solutions to potentially lethal situations. The dress also comes with a spear. Who knew that spears were in season?
Someone Who Loves You
In Season 2’s episode “Bounty Hunted,” a fascinating combination of Star Wars mythological elements combine. For one thing, the episode takes place on Ord Mantell, the planet Han Solo mentions in The Empire Strikes Back when he tells General Rieekan he has to leave the Rebel Alliance. This planet must be a hotbed for bounty hunter activity, because in “Bounty Hunted” it’s also where Princess Leia finds Boushh, subdues her, and then takes her costume for use on her mission to rescue Han from the clutches of the vile gangster, Jabba the Hutt.
Maz and Her Boyfriend
Another reason “Bounty Hunted” stands out is because it presents the first meeting of Leia Organa and Maz Kanata. Maz helps orchestrate the rescue of Solo by helping Leia and Chewie capture Boushh, with her wonderful charisma on full display. We also get to see her greet “her boyfriend” Chewbacca, who grins and gives her a heartwarming hug. The two could not be more different in stature or hirsute qualities, but both have big hearts and want to help the Corellian pilot turned Rebel hero, as well as the Rebellion itself.
Rey and the Porgs
In the last episode of Season 2, “Porg Problems,” we journey to Ahch-To and find Rey trying to levitate some rocks (#foreshadowing), only to have a group of porgs take her lightsaber and scurry off. She chases after the adorable residents, and uses the Force to stop one from jumping into the ocean in escape. She levitates the porg, brings it to her, and befriends the creatures in a matter of moments. This appears to be the first time Rey successfully levitates anything with the Force, and also reassures us that despite the curmudgeonly Jedi Master on the island, Rey is still able to find her center and some joy in her Jedi studies.
This is just a handful of wonderful moments from Forces of Destiny that add engaging elements to the Star Wars saga. What other surprises have you found in the animated series? Let us know in the comments below.