Review: Temps — and feelings — are high in LEGO Star Wars Summer Vacation

Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader enjoy the sands of Scarif in LEGO® STAR WARS SUMMER VACATION exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader enjoy the sands of Scarif in LEGO® STAR WARS SUMMER VACATION exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

The end of summer is always a little bittersweet–it’s sad to let go of the lazy days of fun in the sun, but next year summer will come again. Seasons change, but they’re never truly gone. Endings, new beginnings, and the relationships you take with you are the themes of the surprisingly poignant LEGO Star Wars Summer Vacation, released on Disney+ August 5.

Finn, Poe, Rey, and Rose are on vacation in the luxurious Halcyon starcruiser (of Walt Disneyworld fame–I see what you did there, Disney!) to celebrate the end of the war. Former stormtrooper Finn has planned this getaway for his pals to give them one last hurrah before they all go their separate ways. But despite his best efforts and a rockin’ Hawaiian shirt, his plans have derailed. Poe can’t stop scheduling activities, Rey just wants to sleep by the pool, and Rose isn’t sure if heroes even take vacation! Poor Finn, alone and bummed, attempts to drown his sorrows in the starcruiser bar. It’s there that the action really takes off, as he’s visited, A Christmas Carol-style, by three ghosts, who attempt to teach him something about letting go.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is the first ghost, who greets Finn with a meme-worthy “Hello there.” Despite Finn’s disbelief that Obi-Wan has ever been on vacation, he spins a tale of a vacation-adjacent adventure with Colvett Valeria, a Rebel spy voiced by Yvette Nicole Brown. He sings! He dances! He uses the Jedi mind trick! He also dons a Hawaiian shirt! It’s a fun, breezy story and it’s a blast to see the often dour Obi Wan let his hair down. (And if you don’t leave this experience humming “Gamorrean Girls,” something is wrong with you.) His advice? Have fun! Enjoy the moment.

The next Force ghost is Anakin Skywalker, who hilariously appears in a scuba suit to bring that trademark breathing. He tells Finn about a vacation he planned with the Emperor to Scarif, where things did not go as planned. Emperor Palpatine is always good for a laugh at in the LEGO universe, and he does not disappoint this time. Rockin’ a red and black bathing costume, he’s not too enthused about vacationing…until he enters the “ruler of the beach” contest. Hijinks ensue, including a Rogue One joke in there that gently ribs the critically-acclaimed film.  It appears like he’s going to learn a valuable lesson, but instead he teaches Anakin a lesson–when you do what you love, every day is a vacation.

Our final ghost is none other than General Leia Organa. She’s the only one that Finn knew personally, so it makes sense that her story would be more personal than the other two. Her vacation story involves Han and teenager Ben taking a detour before they drop their son off at Jedi training. Han wants to visit sites of his past, while Ben just wants a chance to fly the Falcon. On Endor, past and future meet when Ben, through a series of mishaps involving a cute girl and a bully, ends up at the controls in an asteroid field made of Death Star debris. Ben must literally navigate the garbage of his family’s past to get to safety. The story ends with something that a huge section of the fandom has been clamoring for: a Ben/Leia hug. Watching Ben skip off to the Jedi temple while knowing what awaits him there definitely gave me the feels–the happy vacation is even more precious than Han or Leia knew because it will be their last as a family. Force ghost Kylo Ren appearing on the Halcyon, coupled with Leia reminding Finn “no one is ever really gone,” is a touching moment that will no doubt send Reylos into a storm of theories about whether Ben Solo is indeed truly dead for good. (Here’s hoping he’s not!!)

LEGO Star Wars is known for its Easter eggs and movie callbacks, and there are here in force. All three trilogies are represented, as well as the standalone films Solo and Rogue One. I won’t spoil them, you’ll just have to watch… but I promise you’ll laugh! Billy Dee Williams lends his considerable talents to a Lando hologram, with a cape joke you’ll be quoting for a while. There are plenty of jokes not in the trailer, and the Weird Al performance is a perfect addition to the galaxy far, far away. Overall, this special is a more-than-worthy entry to the LEGO Star Wars canon, with something for everyone to enjoy. It’s funny, it’s sweet, and just a little sad…just like the end of a perfect summer.

Catch LEGO Star Wars Summer Vacation on Disney+ now!