By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is perfect to give fans a chance to sort of forget a certain lamented television program about this galaxy, far, far away. Love that past live-action special or hate it, the only thing fans need to know is that Life Day is canon. It’s celebrated throughout the galaxy as a time for all families to get together. It was originally a Wookie holiday where they pay respect to the Tree of Life.
This animated take pokes fun at this franchise in the way many a LEGO toon does. Poe is all gung ho (willing to toss his uniform to the washer) while donning a gaudy sweater, Finn is training to be a Jedi and Ray is frustrated that she can’t train this former Stormtrooper. The nice part of this tale is that it can work as an official continuation after The Rise of Skywalker. However, because of a certain level of craziness that goes on, it’s unlikely Disney & Lucasfilm will say that it is.
The tale takes on an uncanny A Christmas Carol vibe. There’s no Scrooge in this tale. Instead. Ray can’t find anything in the sacred books of Jedi knowledge to inform her about what can make her wiser beyond her years.
She goes on a pilgrimage to figure it out, and what she finds instead is a kyber crystal with the ability to create wormholes. All of time and space can fall apart if this object falls into the wrong hands. The comedy styling is very Bill and Ted like too. It’s no surprise the Emperor (who’s far more juvenile than Joker level evil) and Darth Vader from the past want it. The events get hairier when they chase after her to get this magic stone. Not only does she revisit pivotal moments of the entire nine-part Star Wars saga, but also she can wreck things up to a level not even Thanos can rectify!
The moments Ray witnesses from the past is a nod to what Scrooge has to learn if he’s to become a better person. And the family reunion takes on a different tone than that expected from Charles Dickens original version. Even Kylo Ren gets into the act and takes on the role of the ghost of the future past. Although the Emperor doesn’t take all his warnings to heart, perhaps even he knows time can course-correct itself somehow.
The only oddity this special doesn’t examine its relationship to other LEGO Star Wars animated programming that’s out there. There’s no reference to The Freemakers. You’d think there’d be room for this beloved show; this family is technically part of the LEGO Star Wars universe, and they deserve a return to celebrate Life Day rather than to be discarded.