Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is a Life Day miracle

© Disney+

‘The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special’ is a silly, mostly fun meta-comedic celebration of the Star Wars universe.
by Jeremy Fogelman

The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special knows what it means to have that title. The oft maligned, only aired once, now only found in ripped videos online and illegitimate bootlegs, the original Star Wars Holiday Special was truly a boring, confusing mess. But the LEGO Star Wars property itself, mainly through the shorts and video games that had their name, were fun, self-aware retellings of the often overly serious Star Wars movies.

This new holiday special takes place after the events of Rise of Skywalker, and it’s about to have fun with all of it. There are two or so main storylines, revolving around the same thing, and all about lessons at the end of the day that we can all learn something from. Poe is hosting a life day party on Kashyyyk, Chewbacca’s home world and the location of the original holiday special. Immediately you start with the gags, some of which, like Poe’s Life Day sweater (that has a Death Star) are legitimately laugh out loud funny.

So one of the storylines is how Poe (who certainly is made out to be quite the doofus here) is trying and failing to pull off his party, while the rest of the gang, Rose, Finn, C-3PO, R2-D2, etc, watch in concern. But the main storyline is kicked off when Rey is training to help Finn become a Jedi (which is shocking because it seems like that was an actual storyline cut out of RoS). Rey is running into difficulties, when she finds an old prophecy in one of her Jedi books, about a mysterious way to help a Jedi achieve their true potential.

Off Rey goes with BB-8 by her side, promising not to miss the party, as she travels to a mysterious planet. Once there, she discovers the secret -- it’s a time machine! Or time thingie, that part doesn’t matter, the point is that she then goes through a series of adventures through time. At first it’s the sort of stuff you’d expect, seeing a young Luke or even a young Anakin, she’s nerding about it. All of which have rapid fire, mostly pretty decent gags as we see all the critical moments of Star Wars past and present.

© Disney+

But then, as they must, things go wrong and Rey must battle against forces she knows and doesn’t to try and save the day and also fix her own mistakes. Without spoiling all of the twists and turns, there are basically cameos from just about everyone you’d expect, and most of the characters are played by their animated voice actors (except for Kelly Marie Tran as Rose and Anthony Daniels as C-3PO who absolutely never turns down a chance to play that character).

It’s a fairly family friendly take on things, being all made with LEGO and all, and sure, the “logic” is a bit thin about everything -- although with time travel, the point here is that’s it’s fun to see some amusing combinations of people, not belabor the nature of the timeline. And ultimately, yes, it’s all about some fluffy lessons and having time together as a family, either the one you’re born with or one you make.

But considering how stupid Star Wars can sometimes be, I appreciate the way this special (a trim 45 minutes) was just about having some laughs and being wholesome. Honestly, that’s already better than most of the movies.

Get it on Apple TV

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