***This is a review of episode two of Star Wars Forces of Destiny, “BB-8 Bandits.” It contains spoilers.***
In the second episode of Star Wars Forces of Destiny, “BB-8 Bandits,” we return to Jakku and continue our journey with Rey (voiced by Daisy Ridley) and BB-8. (Click here to watch this episode.) The episode picks up the morning after Rey meets BB-8, decides to take him in for the night, and rescues him from the Nightwatcher Worm — as seen in the first episode, “Sands of Jakku.”
The duo are planning to head to Niima Outpost, where BB-8 is hoping to possibly meet up with his master, Poe Dameron. Before they head off, however, Rey notices Teedo off in the distance. You'll recall from The Force Awakens that Teedo attempted to make off with BB-8 so he could use him for parts. Rey saved the little droid then, and she's not about to let Teedo get him now.
Suddenly, trouble comes at them from behind. Teedo isn't working alone this time. Rey is able to fight off the attackers, and takes off on her speeder with BB-8 on board. With the bandits in hot pursuit, Rey manages to pull some maneuvers that shake a few of her pursuers. As Rey comments on BB-8's popularity with the residents of Jakku, she has an idea — the Nightwatcher Worm!
Rey heads into one of the fallen Star Destroyers (in a nice bit of foreshadowing for The Force Awakens), with Teedo hot on her tail. Of course, he has no idea she's led him straight into a trap. Not until it's too late, and the Nightwatcher shows up for dinner. Teedo's speeder is quickly devoured, and Teedo himself takes off in fear for his life.
Of course, Rey's intent was never to harm Teedo, and she assures BB-8 that he will be fine. He just might want to rethink entertaining any ideas of snatching BB units in the future. Rey and BB-8 then head off to Niima Outpost, and the big adventures that await them there.
Just like the previous episode, “BB-8 Bandits” showcases Rey's skills, ingenuity, and kindness. These two shorts don't add much real substance to the overall canon of Star Wars, but they do add an extra dimension to the character of Rey. She's lived in the harsh environment of Jakku for years, surrounded by hard people. Through it all, though, Rey maintains her humanity. That's not to say she isn't tough herself — she certainly is — but she never let the hardness of her life take control. She wants to help, even if it seems to go against her initial instincts. We see that in the way she interacts with BB-8, and then with Finn, and eventually with Han Solo and the Resistance. Rey's destiny lies far beyond the cruel world of Jakku.
Again, I'm impressed with the style of these shorts. Its quality work, and it shows. I know the animation isn't to everyone's taste. We like what we like, and that's okay. Still, I'm hoping Star Wars fans give these a chance. You can learn much from brief stories when they're told properly (as is the case here), and I always enjoy gaining insight into these characters — especially newer ones like Rey. After all, we've only seen her in TFA. There isn't much we know about her just yet. These shorts won't address the larger mysteries surrounding Rey, but they will help us get to know her a tiny bit better. That alone should be worth a few minutes, right?
You can read my review of the first episode of Star Wars Forces of Destiny, “Sands of Jakku,” here.
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