The Star Wars Holiday Special is back! Except this time it looks a little different. Starring all your favourite Lego Star Wars characters, this original story sends Rey on a journey through time and space as she goes searching for answers and must make it back to Kashyyyk in time for the Life Day celebrations.
If there was one Star Wars property that I thought would be near impossible to bring back, it would have been the 1978 Holiday Special. However… somehow, Disney and Lucasfilm have managed to revive the special in spectacular fashion. Not only did they take an animated approach – they went for a Lego approach – which is even more genius! It allows for much more creativity than any live action film would have been able to pull off, and makes this feel entirely unique. The moment this thing starts, it’s clear it’s just going to be a tonne of fun. The tone from the get-go is in line with the other Lego films, such as Lego Batman and The Lego Movie, prioritising witty one-liners and silly kid-friendly humour while still weaving in a compelling story.
When it comes to the story, this is 40 minutes of pure Star Wars fun. As Rey goes on her journey through time, you see where the minds at the helm really got to flex their creative muscles. It’s a fun adventure that is equal parts funny and engaging, it moves along at a rapid pace – never stopping for even a second – and it has more Star Wars cameos and references than you can count. It goes in some interesting directions that make for a few nice, lighthearted moments and bring plenty of little laughs here and there. Contrary to almost every other Star Wars property, this is not one to take seriously. Just sit back and enjoy the ride because it’s a damn pleasant one. One gripe I have is that it is quite short. I’d have loved to see it get to at least an hour long and delve a bit deeper into the whole time-travel element, but I get that it’s designed to be an almost “episodic” adventure.
Beyond the story, the comedy is smart, silly and just straight up joyful. It’s a blend of Star Wars humour, Lego-based visual humour and some general humour weaved in there. Due to the rapid pace of the special, there are jokes thrown out almost every minute. This is good in that it keeps you on your toes and keeps up the entertainment factor, but the constant run of little jokes means nothing really stands out. Whether the jokes hit or not, they don’t affect how fun the special is as the trip through Star Wars lore is great on its own. When it comes to the animation, it’s near flawless – as expected. The way the real-world properties of Lego are represented in the animation is a great detail as always.
In the end, there’s nothing much more to say about this Holiday Special besides the fact that it’s a lot of fun. It’s non-stop Star Wars action for a solid 40 minutes and there’s nothing to complain about that. Aside from the presence of Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams, none of the film team reprise their voice roles, but that doesn’t take away from the experience at all. The focus really is on just having a good time and that’s exactly what this special is… a good time.