Star Wars is so much more than just a series of films produced over four decades. It is a multi-million-dollar franchise and a culture all its own. It has nine core movies, numerous spin-off films, cartoons, toys, books, television series, videogames, dolls and so much more. Lego toys are almost three decades older than the Star Wars films but just like the movies, the little plastic pieces have a subculture of enthusiasts leading to numerous merchandising opportunities. When the two powerhouses team up to create a stop-motion holiday special, expectations are high. Luckily, fans who subscribe to Disney+ will be able to enjoy this forty-five-minute adventure beginning today.
Just like the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special, the group is getting ready to celebrate life day. However, this new version includes the stars from the most recent sequels, including Rey (Helen Sadler; True Blood), Finn (uncredited), Poe (Jake Green; The Catch), and BB-8. As the movie begins, we see Rey and Finn both becoming very frustrated because as much as Rey, a Jedi Master, tries Finn isn't able to break through to master the skills of a Jedi. Even after consulting all the ancient texts, Rey can't seem to find the answer as to how to help Finn harness and control the force.
As the crew of the Millennium Falcon prepares for the party, Rey learns that she must leave to find the answers she seeks in a hidden temple. Once there, she discovers an object that allows her to travel between time and space. At first, she is a little confused by what is happening but then she realizes, by watching former Jedi Masters train their pupils, she can learn how to train Finn in the ways of the force. Suddenly, Rey is popping in and out of time and place watching and learning. However, when Darth Vader (Matt Sloan; Chad Vader: Day Shift Manager) follows her and takes the object, all hell breaks loose forcing Rey to fight him so she can put everything back in order.
While the cast is very good for the most part, some of the voices don't sound like the original characters while others are spot on. Of course, in the cases of C-3PO (Anthony Daniels; Square Deal), Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams; Diary of a Single Mom), and Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran; Sorry for Your Loss), the real actors from the films voiced their Lego versions. Thus, lending even more legitimacy to the project.
As Rey jumps through time, we see references/snippets from all nine movies in the saga, as well as some other poignant instances, which Star Wars fans will undoubtedly recognize. Small children likely won't understand many of these moments and references but they will enjoy the story and the characters, nonetheless. In terms of the Holiday theme, other than some decoration and cheesy/ugly holiday sweaters, there isn't much of a holiday feel to the film, almost as if the holiday idea was an afterthought.
Despite the lack of true holiday spirit and some confusing time jump moments, The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special has some great references, a few good one-liners, some well-placed character cameos, and moments that will make the adults in the room laugh and applaud. (Since I don't want to give anything away, I won't reveal any spoilers). If you enjoy the Star Wars franchise, you definitely need to watch this special, even if you only watch it once. The writers incorporated the other films almost seamlessly, if only in just brief glances.
Even though the idea behind this special is for little kids to enjoy, the adults in the room won't be bored as there are plenty of "nuggets" for more mature audience members to laugh at and reminisce.
You can watch The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special starting today, November 17th, 2020, on Disney+