Is the new Young Jedi Adventures animated series considered to be canon material in the wider Star Wars franchise universe?
It’s an exciting time for fans of the Star Wars franchise with the Jedi Survivor video game, and the second season of the Visions anthology series dominating the global headlines.
However, not all of the new Star Wars content will be in the same vein as these titles; in fact, the franchise’s latest series is targeted towards pre-schoolers and families with young children – Young Jedi Adventures.
As fans countdown to the series premiere on Disney Plus, many are curious as to if Young Jedi Adventures is indeed canon within the wider Star Wars universe – unfortunately, it’s more complicated than you might expect.
Is Young Jedi Adventures canon for Star Wars?
Whilst neither Disney, the Star Wars franchise, nor associated producers have specifically commented on Young Jedi Adventures being canon within the wider universe, the new series is being widely considered to be official timeline material.
This is because Star Wars and Disney continued to use canonical terms throughout the series’ promotional campaign, for example using terms like the High Republic Era; which is the setting for Young Jedi Adventures set around 200 years before The Phantom Menace.
Moreover, the series features everyone’s favorite little green Jedi Master Yoda, who teaches the younglings in both the pre-premiere shorts (released between March 27 and April 24) and in new episodes from season 1 of the main series (May 4 premiere).
The inclusion of such characters is usually a good indicator that a title is canon within a wider universe, in a similar manner to how The Bad Batch developed into canonical material – the official Fandom page also lists Young Jedi Adventures as canon.
Specifically for Young Jedi Adventures, the goal was to bring the Star Wars universe to life in a way that would target a younger demographic, who have often been left by the wayside as box office cinema and streamed series have understandably taken precedence.
Executive producer James Waugh shared how “When developing Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures, the first Star Wars series created for pre-schoolers, the creative team never stopped thinking about how this show may be a youngling’s first step into a larger world, and their first time experiencing the limitless potential of the Star Wars galaxy.”
“The show’s characters, tone, and the life lessons woven throughout each episode were written just for them, and our talented team was committed to honoring the cinematic legacy while staying true to the expectations of parents for the youngest of audiences.”
Senior VP at Disney Junior Alyssa Sapire also acknowledged that Young Jedia Adventures was “an amazing opportunity to introduce this universally cherished franchise to a younger generation.”
“As an early entry point into Star Wars, we have created a series with exciting new and familiar characters and storylines that highlight the values of compassion, teamwork, and friendship, which are important elements for all of our Disney Junior programming.”
So, whilst fans are left to assume that Young Jedi Adventures is indeed canon, the nature of this title being specifically designed for kids means that its storylines are highly unlikely to crossover into more adult-targeted titles in the future anyway.
However, both this new child-friendly adventure and the upcoming second season of the Visions anthology series does mark a poignant moment for canon material in the Star Wars universe.
Interestingly, producer Jacqui Lopez recently acknowledged in an interview with Inverse how the idea of canon material will be used in a more flexible way from now on in the Star Wars universe.
Rather than simply expanding the canon material, Visions’ goal is to broaden both the franchise’s cultural palette and the accessibility of the universe for fans around the world, no matter their background or ethnicity.
“This is what George Lucas was interested in from the beginning, George was so steeped in history and telling stories that drew from different cultural places. He wanted to tell stories about the light and the dark”, Lopez said.
Waugh then added how, “If there is a natural place [to expand content]— like in Volume One, we had some publishing tie-ins that really continued and expanded out those stories. So if it feels right, I think all of these stories could scale out. But no, we’re not planning on using Visions that way [as a platform to launch other spin-offs].”
By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]