THE LEGO STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL premieres on Disney+ November 17, the same date in 1978 as when the original aired.
THE LEGO STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL may not have an overabundance of musical and variety numbers or a singing princess, but it does have a well structured plot and so many hilarious moments. In pure holiday consistency, this Holiday Special is book ended as if it were a Rankin/Bass stop-motion television special of the 1960’s and ‘70’s. Jedi Master Yoda even serves as the narrator just as Burl Ives did in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Instead of continuing on with the original Holiday Special’s storyline, this takes place right after the events of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. THE LEGO STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL reunites Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewbacca, Rose and the droids for a joyous feast on Life Day. As Rey becomes frustrated with her Jedi teaching abilities for Finn, she is called into a new adventure with BB-8 to gain a deeper knowledge of the Force. At a mysterious Jedi Temple on the planet of Kordoku, she is hurled into a cross-timeline adventure through beloved moments in Star Wars cinematic history She comes into contact with Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Yoda, Obi-Wan, Anakin Skywalker and other iconic heroes and villains from all nine Skywalker saga films and The Mandalorian. But will she make it back in time for the Life Day feast and learn the true meaning of holiday spirit?
The humor here is top-notch LEGO quality. The jokes land even if you don’t get the deeper references. For instance Poe Dameron, who wears a BB-8 ugly Christmas sweater, heads up the Life Day party planning committee and wants to put Rey down for the Tip Yip. There’s even a running joke with Luke’s blue milk mustache!
As Rey searches for and finds the special key to the galaxy’s past, she and BB-8 jump in and out of events from the Star Wars saga. The storytelling is so tight and the animation is so much fun to watch, you almost forget this is based on LEGO toys. That’s the beauty of what this LEGO franchise can pull off as a whole, it exceeds the quality of what other toy franchises have tried desperately hard to achieve.
When the Life Day party kicks in on the Millennium Falcon, Chewbacca’s family Malla, Itchy and Lumpy are the first to arrive. Lots of credit to the filmmakers who use the actual Wookiee sounds for these characters from The Star Wars Holiday Special. I was waiting for any callbacks and this one made me pause the film to laugh really hard!
It could have been so easy to just do 44 minutes of jokes and fun 1978 Holiday Special callbacks and cliché jabs but this is a well-told story full of emotion and growth. But In her journey, we see Rey grow as a character as she understands where she has gone wrong in her Jedi teaching abilities and understands how to fix it. Real storytelling and smart comedy is where LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special excels!
As a Star Wars Holiday Special enthusiast, I would have loved to have seen Yoda, who makes an appearance dressed like the Burl Ives stop motion snowman, sing the Princess Leia “Tree of Life” song and more references throughout. But without a doubt, THE LEGO STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL hit on all cylinders and was everything you would expect from a LEGO production. If we aren’t getting any new Star Wars films for the next few Decembers I’m very happy that these LEGO specials will be taking their place.
Happy Life Day to all and to all a brick night!