One bright shining light amid Covid lockdowns was a little show on YouTube called Jedi Temple Challenge. The free webseries was a love letter to the kids’ game shows of the ’80s and ’90s, starring Ahmed Best, Mary Holland, and Sam Witwer. Three teams of kids would participate in various challenges on a quest to become Jedi Knights. The series ran from June to August of 2020.
And it’s time for Jedi Temple Challenge to come back.
I’m sure the creators didn’t know how much fans, kids and adults alike, would respond to the show. Across social media, there was an outpouring of love, with some fans like Alex and Mollie Damon from Star Wars Explained making their own fake audition videos.
The show was wholesome and needed when it was released. In one of the darkest times in recent history, it was escapism and hit on nostalgia for many fans.
A lot has changed in three years since the last episode aired. The world has moved forward with the new normal, meaning Hollywood productions aren’t shut down. Understandably, the crew couldn’t film for some time, but it’s business as usual again.
Also, after season three of The Mandalorian, a broader audience has met Ahmed Best’s character. In a flashback, it was revealed that Grogu was rescued from Order 66 by Kelleran Beq, who is the star of Jedi Temple Challenge. It was a triumphant return for Best and one of the highlights of the third season. A new audience saw his character in action, leading to more people learning about the webseries in the process.
If anything is playing against the show’s return, it’s the ongoing strikes with The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Disney leadership has already shown their stubbornness to hoard wealth from deserving writers and actors who make Star Wars possible. The company has already cut content to save money instead of negotiating with the writers and actors. While Jedi Temple Challenge isn’t on Disney+, I don’t foresee them working on a free show for YouTube anytime soon.
Which is a shame because the webseries is beloved by fans of all ages. It’s a fun throwback to shows like Legends of the Hidden Temple but for a new generation. Once the dust clears from the ongoing strikes, I hope Lucasfilm strongly considered bringing back this gem.
You can watch Jedi Temple Challenge for free here on Youtube.
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, Star Wars wouldn’t exist.