TL;DR – There was so much wasted potential here that you actually start to feel sorry for the film
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special Review –
Well, few things in pop culture have such infamy as the original Star Wars Holiday Special. Sure you may have been the first time we got a look at Boba Fett, but well you don’t get to be a gag in Weird Al’s seminal White & Nerdy for nothing. Well, today we look at Lucasarts giving a second crack at the idea, but this time Lego.
So to set the scene, at the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The New Order was defeated, so Rey (Helen Sadler) and Fynn (Omar Miller) decided to travel to visit Chewbacca and his family on Kashyyyk to celebrate Life Day. But for Rey, this is a big struggle because she is struggling to train Fynn in the ways of the Jedi and takes a trip to the past to get some inspiration.
I was wondering how this would go, but I had some hope because Lego might be the best thing that Batman has done in years. However, it is here where the first real disappointment of the film lays. At no point does the film use it Lego framework for anything but window dressing, and even then not so much. I think there was one point when a ship broke into Lego blocks. Frankly, this could have been any other art style, and nothing would have had to be changed. Given how successful the Lego/Star Wars video games have been and how they have used both mediums to their best, this feels like a real own goal.
If there has been one clear criticism of the Star Wars sequel trilogy is has been that abject need to cling onto and rehash the past. Well, the sequel series has nothing on this film as we jump to every pivotal moment in the franchise’s history, up to an including The Mandalorian. It could have been fun if there had been a couple of winks to the audience throughout the film, but this is one long wink from start to finish. Instead of building on itself with each new location, you sit there and go, oh this again. There were many through away lines to past star Wars criticisms like Star Killer Base being “kind of derivative”, but I think the only one that landed was when Hux (Ben Prendergast) got distracted by Kylo Ren’s (Matthew Wood) shirtlessness.
However, both of these issues could have been lessened or even removed, if the film was not done on the cheap, but here we are. It is instantly apparent that most of the cast was not hear to voice their roles, and that had an instant effect. The dialogue, on the most part, does not land and you feel it. Though it was nice to see Kelly Marie Tran back killing it as always as Rose. But you see that throughout the film, with them wanting to link to the past but then not putting in the right music or world building to make it work. I mean at some point there was a discussion, and a decision was made not to use the Battle of the Heroes which boggles the mind.
In the end, do we recommend The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special? Sadly, no, no we cannot. Nothing about this works, not the animation, not the story, nor the references to the past, frankly any of it. If you are looking for some good Lego content, I would recommend The Lego Batman Movie, if you are looking for some nostalgic Star Wars, just watch The Mandalorian.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Lego Star Wars Holiday Special
Directed by – Ken Cunningham
Written by – David Shayne
Based on – Star Wars by George Lucas
Music by – Michael Kramer
Edited by – Tony Zhou
Production/Distribution Companies – Atomic Cartoons, Lucasfilm, The LEGO Group & Disney+
Starring – Kelly Marie Tran, A.J. LoCascio, Omar Miller, Anthony Daniels, Ben Prendergast, Billy Dee Williams, Eric Bauza, Helen Sadler, Jake Green, James Arnold Taylor, Matt Lanter, Matt Sloan, Matthew Wood, Tom Kane, Trevor Devall & Dee Bradley Baker
Rating – Australia: G;