The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is a great watch for fans of any age.
It’s going to be hard to let the past die when it comes to the very-much infamous Star Wars Holiday Special from 1978. While nothing can top that — in terms of absolute WTF-ness — the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special enters the chat to say, “let’s give Star Wars holiday specials a good name.”
LEGO has done much work with Star Wars before in many aspects, from collaborating on toys and video games and other specials, so this is not new territory for either of the two. And it’s that solid relationship that helps this holiday special be absolutely out of this world. The special, directed by Ken Cunningham, clocks in at just about 44 minutes, so it makes for a quick yet exciting watch.
The story takes place after the events of The Rise of Skywalker. Rey, Finn, Poe and Rose all want to celebrate Life Day (you know, Star Wars’ equivalent of a winter holiday), but Rey becomes distracted after failing to teach Finn the ways of the Force. Because of that, she sets off to a hidden Jedi temple that promises a compelling reward to all who go there: the ability to travel through space and time. Rey thinks that with this ability, she’ll be able to learn from other Jedi masters about how to train their padawans. But of course, things go awry, as time travel adventures never go quite right in the first place.
Joining this fun film are a few returning Skywalker saga alums including Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), and Anthony Daniels (C-3PO). Additionally, The Clone Wars voice cast returns as well, including Matt Lanter (Anakin Skywalker), Tom Kane (Yoda, Qui-Gon Jinn), James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi), and Dee Bradley Baker (clone troopers). The voices of Rey, Finn, and Kylo Ren in particular are noticeably different since they aren’t reprised by their original actors — but it’s just a one-off LEGO special, so that doesn’t detract from the experience too much.
The best part about all of this, really, is Star Wars’ ability to poke fun at itself in this special. As Rey goes back in time, it gives them ample opportunities to poke fun at lots of Star Wars moments, from the boring talks about trade negotiations in the first movie to good old shirtless Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi. The closest thing this feels like is a safe-for-work version of Robot Chicken or perhaps the Family Guy Star Wars trilogy. But even though this is aimed at kids, the PG jokes still land incredibly well for adults who love Star Wars as well.
Sprinkled in between all the parody moments, you remember that this is a holiday special meant to be watched… around the holidays. So there will be plenty mentions of gifts, family, and all the other sappy things that come with this time of year. That C-plot of the special isn’t incredibly distracting, but it’s just small enough of a C-plot for you to still be able to enjoy this any time of year.
That being said, this probably won’t be the holiday special that you and your family make a habit of watching every year. Because this isn’t canon, it won’t necessarily make a huge splash in the halls of Star Wars history. But there is just enough there to hold Star Wars fans over in the absence of more Skywalker saga films.
The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is out on Diseny+ on Tuesday, Nov. 17.