CREDITS: Written by John Shirley (novelist specializing in comics and video game tie-ins who has also written a Deep Space Nine episode and lyrics for Blue Öyster Cult) and Rich Fogel; directed by Dan Riba.
REVIEW: Can you do a space opera story in a Batman Beyond episode? While, yes, the DCU does have a cosmic component, which IS explored in Superman and Justice League in the DCAU, it's a harder sell for the heroes of Gotham. Even the science fiction of the Beyond timeline is down the earth, at best cyberpunk. So the opening shots of warriors with lightsabers flying on discs like the New Gods immediately evokes a one of the kids' VR games rather than any reality that fits the show. And I was right in that presumption no matter how much they try to make me think the story is based on The Last Starfighter.
And yet, as "Sentries" turns into a Star Wars tribute, we're nevertheless bombarded with visuals atypical to the show, and which are perhaps more annoying for their being a con. The episode essentially hinges on a video game's producer dressing in Jedi robes to scam fans of the game so they destroy a lawsuit pursued by the game's writer, Eldon Michaels, a cross between George Lucas and Bruce Vilanch. Along the way, we get Terry knowing Jar-Jar is lame, Philip K. Dick's typewriter, a finale involving the villainous Simon Harper throwing electricity out of his hands like the Emperor at the end of Jedi, and words akin to "Once upon a time...". Sure, okay, the kids turn out to be true fans and become heroes at the end, but is it a Batman Beyond story? It feels like something else, and that something else is incredibly derivative.
Maybe I'm just not a Star Wars fan. Was Sentries a real kick for Warsies? Or did it fall flat for them as well?
SOUNDS LIKE: Simon Harper is played by soap star Tristan Rogers, who is also the voice of Jake in The Rescuers. Eldon Michaels is voiced by ubiquitous stand-up comic Patton Oswalt. And Corey is played by Chris Demetral of Dream On and The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne.
REWATCHABILITY: Medium-Low - While the plot is technically fine, the Star Wars tribute feels rather tedious.