Premiered November 17, 2020
"In the temple on Kordoku, only on Life Day, but once a year, with a key to the galaxy's past, a Jedi's future becomes clear."
-from the ancient Jedi texts.
The First Order has been defeated and it's time for the heroes of the Resistance to celebrate Life Day, a holiday of friendship, family and connection. Rey (Helen Sadler), Finn (Omar Benson Miller), Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) and Poe Dameron (Jake Green) visit the planet Kashyyk for a Life Day party with Chewbacca and his family. They're accopanied by their droids C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), BB-8 and D-O (Matthew Wood). Everyone is looking forward to engaging in the traditional Life Day customs, which include playing party games, exchanging gifts and feasting on roasted tip-yip, which Rey has agreed to prepare.
When Rey arrives at the temple, she finds a crystal and guesses it's the "key to the galaxy's past." The crystal creates a "force gateway" that enables Rey to travel through time and space and it takes her to interactions between great Jedi masters and their apprentices throughout history.
Unfortunately, the crystal also takes Rey to the second Death Star, where she encounters Darth Vader (Ben Prendergast) and his master Emperor Palpatine (Trevor Devall)! When Rey escapes, Vader follows her through the gateway and steals the crystal! Rey chases him and their adventures take them to various points in time all over the galaxy.
Back on Kashyyk, the Life Day party is NOT going well. Rose and Finn send a "distress signal" to that is answered by their friends Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), Jannah and Mas Canata (Grey Griffin), hoping they can save the party.
Will Rey survive the experience and become a better teacher? Will the heroes' organize a successful Life Day celebration? Or will Chewbacca and the other wookies go looking for arms to rip off?
J.A. Morris says:
Both of us have been big fans of Star Wars forever, so we were excited to watch this special. It's both a love letter and a parody of the Star Wars movies and it also references classic Christmas specials...and the not-so-classic Star Wars Holiday Special, which introduced the wookie holiday Life Day.
It's full of lightsaber duels, explosions and, yes, holiday sentiment. There's also some physical comedy relating to wookies and tip-yip preparation. Poe, Finn, Rose and Chewie are genuinely upset when Rey chooses to leave the Life Day celebration to seek the force gateway. Poe's enthusiasm for celebrating the holiday is almost palpable. Having Poe wear a Christmas-I mean, a Life Day sweater is also a nice touch!
I don't want to spoil the ending, but since this is a holiday special aimed at children, a happy holiday is had by all, Rey gains new insights about being a Jedi Master and everyone learns (dare I say it?) the "true meaning" of Life Day.
Most of the Rankin-Bass holiday specials were narrated by a famous celebrity with a recognizable voice. This special is narrated by Yoda (Tom Kane), who would've been considered a "famous celebrity" in the Star Wars universe.
It's worth noting that this is the first officially released TV or film content that takes place after The Rise Of Skywalker, the final chapter in the Skywalker Saga.
If I have any problem with the special, it's due to my general uneasiness about watching anything Lego-related. I just can't stop wondering why the characters have short, square legs and u-shaped hands. Other than that, I enjoyed it.
The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is action-packed, funny and endearing. It will be enjoyed by Star Wars fans of all ages and is recommended. But my feelings about the anatomy of the LEGO versions of the characters prevents me from giving it my highest rating.
J.A. Morris' rating:
3 and a half lightsabers.
The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is fast paced and funny in the manner of other animated Lego shows.
I quite enjoyed the assorted references to other aspects of the Star Wars saga -- blue milk! binary sunset! nefarious villains! Luke Skywalker! Rey! Poe! Finn! Chewbacca! Droids! Max Rebo! Baby Yoda! Regular Yoda! This Life Day tale has lots of appeal and I definitely appreciated call-backs to holiday specials of yore in the Rankin-Bass vein.
Plus we get "Jingle Bells" sung in Huttese!
I also like how the Emperor is played rather like a sleazy, snarky businessman and how Vader comes off as befuddled and a bit lost in his own story, since this is a far cry from how these two come off in the live action movies.
My only real complaint is that the action becomes a little bit *too* madcap and frenetic. Then again, this isn't intended to be a first foray into the Star Wars universe. That being said, it could be hard for those not familiar with all aspects of Star Wars -- up to and including the disastrous 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special -- to get a handle on all of the twists and turns.
|While traveling through time, Rey meets not one, but two Han Solos (both voiced by A.J. LoCascio)|
All in all, The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is an affectionate and fun return to "a long time a go in a galaxy far, far away ..." and will be enjoyed by Star Wars fans young and old.