42 years ago the CBS network broadcasted the now infamous The Star Wars Holiday Special. The show was meant to fall between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. It features all the favorite characters celebrating Life Day (Star Wars' version of Christmas). It introduced Chewbacca's family to fans. The special was so poorly received that it never hit home video and bootlegs of it have been circulating for years. When The Mandalorian made Life Day canon in its first season, a new Holiday Special was bound to be in production. Now here it is, in Lego form, and it is doing its best to be better remembered than the original.
The real question for The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special is will it be remembered at all. Debuting on Disney+ on November 17th, the new special focuses on the newest generation of heroes, specifically Rey and Finn. Master Yoda narrates and explains that Rey is training Finn to be a Jedi. Finn is struggling and Rey is not sure how to train him properly. The rest of the crew are all preparing for a Life Day celebration but Rey is more concerned about Finn's training or rather her shortcomings and goes looking for answers. When Rey opens a pathway to the spirits of Life Days past, the special becomes a time-traveling adventure to revisit every key point in the Star Wars saga.
Being this is Lego, there is some fun to be had in seeing these scenes recreated. True to other Lego animations, the tone is silly and self-referential. There are some fun cameos, cool fight scenes, and a generally quick pace that comes from this Back To The Future-esque plot. However, it also renders the special more as a highlight reel than a new entry into the Star Wars universe. This makes me think that this special won't be remembered as an epic failure like the original but also will easily be forgotten and not revisited each holiday season.
The best moments of The Star Wars Lego Holiday Special come when writer David Shayne and director Ken Cunningham get to play around with their imaginations. As they begin to change major storylines and play with characters, the special comes to life and is bursting with fan service. Warm, funny and boasting a good message, the special is a fine additon to the Star Wars universe but I would be lying if I wish it weren't a bit weirder or more singular; if only to be rememered.