This past summer closed out with a LEGO Star Wars special fans won’t soon forget. LEGO Star Wars: Summer Vacation took viewers on a journey through space and time, featuring a variety of characters, events, and unforgettable moments.
None of it was technically canon. Those who enjoyed it the most didn’t seem to mind.
In Star Wars, the concept of canon has usually and largely unofficially meant that anything in a movie (or book, comic or other story told after 2013) actually happened. Everything else didn’t. As far as we know. Obi-Wan Kenobi singing in front of a Tatooine crowd to create a distraction maybe could have happened at some point. But in terms of canon? It probably didn’t.
That didn’t stop many viewers from having the time of their lives watching the special. Ben Solo returned! As did Ghost Obi-Wan and Emperor Palpatine. The classic LEGO Star Wars humor and off-the-rails fun ranks it among one of the most re-watchable Disney+ Star Wars offerings since … the other LEGO Star Wars specials from the past few years, pretty much.
In the realm of LEGO Star Wars — whether it be the games or these animated specials — canon doesn’t matter. Continuity doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is telling a series of stories that will make viewers laugh.
Why can’t we all view more Star Wars the way we view specials like this one? Perhaps it’s genuinely fun for some to debate whether or not this character is canon, or when Star Wars might bring back another character who isn’t technically canon anymore. If that’s fun for you, by all means, yell about Ree-Yees, Starkiller and Mara Jade to your heart’s content.
But when obsessing over canon and “retcons” becomes your entire presence in fandom, it becomes a little tiring. Not every story Star Wars tells has to be canon. That’s why going back to Legends stories is so fun — they’re, for the most part, enjoyable stories that expand the Star Wars universe. It shouldn’t matter how it fits into the larger story if it’s a story you enjoy.
Star Wars is supposed to be fun. When you watch it, it should be OK to enjoy it. Just because small details in stories don’t always line up doesn’t mean the entire thing is broken. Just because Ben Solo rightfully got his own spotlight story in this special doesn’t mean he’s coming back from the dead. Continuity is hard. Do you know what isn’t hard? Loving these stories whether they’re “canon” or not.
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