There’s no denying that the 1978 Star Wars holiday special has gone down in history as the worst instalment of the franchise. Directed by Steve Binder, the television special debuted as the first Star Wars spin-off film, introducing the Wookie holiday known as ‘Life Day’. Well thanks to writer David Shayne and director Ken Cunningham, a new festive instalment is attempting to write that wrong, with everyone’s favourite Lucasfilm characters undergoing the LEGO treatment in the process.
In order to help better train Finn in the ways of the force, Rey and BB-8 set off on a new adventure to discover a deeper knowledge of the Jedi. Thanks to a magical crystal unearthed at a mysterious Jedi Temple, the two are hurled across key moments in Star Wars history, crossing paths with the iconic heroes and villains from the Skywalker films. But can the duo make it back in time for the fun festivities of Life Day?
Just like the heist sequence in Avengers: Endgame, thanks to the magic of the crystal MacGuffin, we’re transported across the time and space in the Star Wars universe. Rey and BB-8’s festive adventure clocks in at a brisk 45 minutes, and while the constant jokes may annoy Christmas grinches, it’s undoubtedly a lot of fun and full of heart – which is certainly what we all need at the moment.
This is a very family-friendly festive outing, primarily aimed towards the kids, with the humour very much in a similar vein to The Lego Movie and The Lego Ninjago Movie. It’s all a bit silly, with just enough plot to support the many gags mocking the more ridiculous aspects of the three-decade long franchise. The writers mostly poke fun at the villains of the film, particularly with a shirtless Kylo Ren from The Last Jedi, along with ridiculing The Emperor and Darth Vader’s dynamic. The Emperor is afforded the best laughs in the short; framing him as a petulant child is a stroke of genius, along with the brilliant delivery of the lines “ooh crackly cross guards” and “zippidy-zappedy-zap.”
It’s great to see so many familiar faces again, as Rey explores the past and present of the Skywalker saga and the expanded universe, even The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda get in on the action! The amount of cameos and planets explored from the prequels, original trilogy and more recent films should keep most Star Wars fans happy. It’s just a shame that only Kelly Marie Tran, Billy Dee Williams, and Anthony Daniels return to voice their respective characters.
Filled with affectionate cameos and easter eggs LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is a whole heap of festive fun for the family. Bantha fodder, this is not.
LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special debuts on Disney+ on November 17