The expansive universe of Star Wars, along with the imagination of LEGO, can create something that is both fun and reverent to both the mythology and the toys. Though the films have seen their share of ups and downs, nothing brings more joy than being able to create your own stories with the vast amount of bricks and mini figs at your disposal. And it’s no wonder that “LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special” can capture all of that spirit into one 45 minute film. Not only does it take a few comedic jabs at itself while also being a terrific time-traveling adventure that pays homage to films like “Avengers: Endgame,” it also recreates some of our favorite Star Wars moments in LEGO form.
Set right after the events of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, this LEGO Holiday Special opens with Yoda (Frank Oz) giving an explanation as to what Life Day represents in the Star Wars universe. Think of it as their version of Christmas, just with more aliens and lightsabers. And it’s there that we see Rey is in the middle of training Finn to become a Jedi. But let’s just say that things could be going a lot better for the both of them as Finn is unable to use a lightsaber, and Rey is frustrated that her mentorship is not getting to him.
Rey then discovers a nearby Jedi temple could offer the answers she is looking for to become a more effective teacher. But to find the answers, she has to go to the temple on the same day when her friends celebrate Life Day.
Though she promises to make it back in time for the festivities, Rey races to this temple to find the mysterious crystal that is “the key to galaxy’s past.” Though she is unclear on how to use it a better teacher, she unwittingly uses its power to open a time portal. And from there, she goes on many misadventures throughout the history of Star Wars. Where she will see Luke Skywalker train with Yoda on Dagobah, hide underneath a table while a bored Obi-Wan Kenobi and a wise Qui-Gon Jinn wait to settle a trade dispute, and even run into a cute Baby Yoda.
While animation may not be nearly as refined as some of the other LEGO movies that had a much bigger production budget, LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special still has many comedic nuances of those films. More than a few iconic shots are recreated in LEGO form that brings out a barrel of laughs and pays homage to the franchise. It’s something that Star Wars fans can appreciate as they watch Rey travel throughout time and interacting with the selected moments in history.
And the Holiday Special is more reminiscent of a short that utilizes a collection of cartoony gags that all take place within the Star Wars galaxy. The shattering LEGO pieces, the slapstick humor, characters from different era inter-reacting with each other. These are funny moments that may be over the top, but it’s never disrespectful to the franchise and all in good fun. And the stakes are raised when Emperor Palpatine instructs Darth Vader to follow through the various time portals that Rey has opened during her quest. It’s a time-traveling journey that comes with its share of goofy gags and funny twists on some memorable scenes.
And LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special leaves nothing is off the table when it comes to poking fun at the Skywalker Saga. Not only that, but it gets exciting then when heroes and villains from multiple timelines clash on Lars’s moisture farm, where we see a young Luke Skywalker drink blue milk. This moment opens the door for LEGO to get even more creative and humorous with our favorite Star Wars moments. In one scene, the film takes a swipe at the infamously controversial “who shot first” scene. The holiday special injects humorous fun into some of the darker moments of the Star Wars films. In fact, the film might be an excellent way to introduce the saga to those who may be young to start watching any of the live-action movies or The Clone Wars and Rebels.
Because Star Wars has a pretty sad history when it comes to Holiday Specials, some might question why Disney would be opening up old wounds by reminding us of its existence. But the LEGO Holiday Special is a chance to redeem Star Wars for its past mistakes. The film weaves in our favorite holiday tropes like exchanging gifts, setting up the decorations, finding a tree into the short. Meanwhile, Poe will attempt to roast a Porg for a Life Day dinner and find festive music.
Though it may be a while before we get to see new Star Wars that goes beyond the Star Wars saga, LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is a tidy little distraction from all the waiting we will be doing. It’s a good clean fun time-traveling adventure that is also a clever and funny homage to one of the most iconic sci-franchises of all time.
Streaming exclusively on Disney+ November 17.