Lego Star Wars: The Holiday Special, a summary
Spoilers ahead for the Star Wars: Holiday Special
The first Star Wars Christmas Special aired on the 17th of November 1978 and received... mixed reviews to say the least. It is often referred to as a Star Wars flop and is more of a joke in today's fandom. 42 Years later, Disney has taken a shot at rebooting the classic with the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special. This forty minutes short film was released on Disney+ and is available to watch through the streaming platform
The story of this rather peculiar special takes place sometime after The Rise of Skywalker, we learn from our narrator Master Yoda himself that the First Order has been wiped out and there is peace across the galaxy. Our story begins on Kashyyyk where Rey, Finn, Poe, Rose and Chewie are preparing for Life Day which they will be celebrating with Chewie's family. Whilst these preparations are beginning to take place, we are introduced to the factor driving this story. Rey is training Finn, and I love it. We watch as Rey attempts to teach Finn in the ways of the force but struggling to do so. Rey proceeds to turn to the Jedi texts to try and figure out what she needs to do to help Finn. From here she discovers information about an ancient Jedi Crystal that will guide her and give her the knowledge she needs to train Finn.
With the help of BB8, Rey sets out on her mission and finds the crystal for herself. She uses this crystal to open a portal that has the power to send her to another time and place. Using the crystal, Rey visits some of the most famous scenes in Star Wars, from The Phantom Menace to the Empire Strikes Back. She visits Masters & their Apprentices, trying to discover what she needed to do to help Finn.
Whilst jumping through space and time, Rey comes head to head with Vader and Palpatine and after battling Vader himself across the galaxy, she loses possession of the crystal as it falls into the Sith Lord's hands. Vader and Palpatine proceed to use the crystal to travel into the future where they come face to face with a post- the Last Jedi, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren.
Our characters all end up on the Death Star during the Return of the Jedi and it is here where a battle between Return of the Jedi Luke, Rey, Vader, Palpatine and Kylo Ren. Following the tone of the rest of the special, this battle is naturally quite playful and silly up until we have Kylo Ren once again asking Rey to join him. A mournful Rey is unable to take his hand and says a sad goodbye as she uses the crystal to send him back to his timeline. The battle ensues and ends with everything being set to it's rightful place with Rey sending everyone back to their timelines before returning home herself where she celebrates life day with her family.
Overall I found the special to be rather entertaining. If was fun and festive, serving it's purpose as a little mini movie for kids. It had the classic nostalgia that older viewers can relate to and understand as well as the silly humour aimed towards children. I personally really liked some of the plot points that were brought in, like Finn being a Jedi for example. I also thought Rey's character was written very well (although I certainly questioned her admiration for Luke). The animation was excellent and pleasing to view, the cinematography as a whole was very well done. I won't go as far as saying that this short Lego film addressed all of my concerns for the Rise of Skywaker (because it certainly didn't) however I did appreciate them showing some of Rey's grief and her upset when she had to face Ben. (I really did tear up a little).
I did find that the frantic plotline wasn't really to my taste but I don't think it was necessarily a flaw, I think the story was executed in the best way it could within the timeframe. This holiday special wasn't created to extend the story after the Rise of Skywalker for super fans, it is a fun Lego film for kids to enjoy at Christmas time. It served it's purpose, it certainly brought a smile to my face at certain points and made me laugh too.
This year's holiday special is certainly better than the holiday special and I wouldn't be surprised if Disney opted to create more Star Wars Lego Shorts because of how successful I believe this one has been.