T0-B1 is yet another wildly different take on Star Wars. The short revolves around a droid called, you guess it, T0-B1 who becomes a Jedi… yes you heard that right. So let’s talk about T0-B1!
T0-B1 didn’t really appeal to me. After shorts like The Duel, The Twins, The Village Bride and especially The Ninth Jedi T0-B1 offers a radically different approach.
First, the art style is very cutesy, it’s something you expect in a cartoon for kids. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, since Star Wars for little kids is certainly something the franchise could need, but I feel that many adults will not really like the presentation here.
Then there’s the story. Some old Jedi master has built a droid, T0-B1, who wants to be a real boy, I mean Jedi. Now in established Star Wars lore droids are treated like household appliances and are not alive, so they cannot feel or use the Force. But I have no issues with the different take here. Star Wars has hardly ever addressed the issue of droid treatment, Solo did it for laughs (or at least tried to). Are they really just glorified household appliances or are they actually sentient and alive, at least some of them? But I digress.
In this short T0-B1 is certainly alive, learns to be a Jedi and when the Sith find his master and kill him T0-B1 learns to fully connect to the Force and defeats the Sith. T0-B1 then leaves the planet, wanting to continue the legacy of his master/mentor.
I can certainly appreciate the sentiment here. The short has heart. However, as mentioned above, I didn’t particularly like the art style and the overly cute designs. The story is certainly touching, but I feel that not too many will appreciate the idea of a little child droid becoming a Jedi.
That being said, something like T0-B1 could certainly work for young children. Star Wars has tried to offer content for kids, with not all too much success though, the Star Wars Kids YouTube channel is more or less an empty wasteland where most videos get a couple of thousand clicks, only the Galaxy of Adventures shorts are somewhat more popular.
But maybe something original like T0-B1 that could tell an ongoing story would be better suited to appeal to kids than animated clips from the various Star Wars movies that are mere snippets taken out of context. My suspicion is that the GoA shorts are mostly watched by adult fans anyway.
Ultimately T0-B1 is somewhat of an oddity, but that’s also the point of Visions, to try out very different things here and there. And T0-B1 is certainly different. Maybe nothing most adults will appreciate, but who knows, kids may love this. It’s wholesome and it’s Star Wars at its core, absolutely something kids could enjoy and used as a gateway to more mature Star Wars entertainment down the line.
But what did you think? Post your thoughts in the comments! And if you watched this with young kids… did they like it?