TFN Review: The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special
Title: “LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special”
Category: Animated Special
U.S. Premiere: Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico)
Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian)
Anthony Daniels (C-3PO)
Matt Lanter (Anakin Skywalker)
Tom Kane (Yoda, Qui-Gon Jinn)
James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi)
Dee Bradley Baker (clone troopers)
The LEGO Group
(SPOILERS BELOW - IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED YET)
Star Wars and LEGO have a long-standing history whether we're talking about actual LEGO sets, video games, television series & specials or other random merchandise based on the popular tie in. When Disney announced back in August that a new Holiday Special was coming, it felt like the perfect fit. I had the opportunity to watch this new special last week, so I've put together my thoughts and detailed the characters, places and instances that you can expect to see.
Matt Lanter returns to voice Anakin Skywalker, Kelly Marie Tran returns to voice Rose Tico, Dee Bradley Baker returns to voice Clone Troopers & Max Rebo, Billy Dee Williams returns to voice Lando Calrissian, James Arnold Taylor returns to voice Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anthony Daniels returns to voice C-3PO, Matthew Wood returns to voice Kylo Ren & D-0, and Tom Kane returns to voice Yoda & Qui-Gon Jinn!
The special takes place after the events of The Rise of Skywalker where the First Order & the Sith have been defeated. Life Day, a holiday of friendship, family, and connection can be celebrated once more. Our crew, consisting of Poe Dameron, Rey, Finn, Rose, C-3PO, R2-D2, BB-8, D-0, Chewbacca and some porgs are parked on the planet of Kashyyyk onboard the Millennium Falcon to celebrate with Chewie's family like the original Star Wars Holiday Special did. There, we find Rey attempting to train Finn in the ways of the Force based on the teachings in the sacred Jedi texts and things aren't going so well.
Poe's excitement level is at a 10 as he starts divvying up tasks for everyone to prepare for the celebration. Meanwhile, Rey discovers a passage in one of the books that mentions a Jedi's future becoming clear on Life Day and decides she must go in search of a secret Jedi Temple as the text instructs. Much to the disappoint of everyone else, she and BB-8 depart leaving the rest of the crew to get things ready.
Rey finds the temple and in it, a key to the galaxy's past! Things get pretty fast-paced from this moment on. The key opens a portal and in she and BB-8 go dropping them back in time on Dagobah at the very moment that Yoda is having Luke attempt to remove his X-Wing from the swampy water and where he teaches him to Do or do not. There is no try.
The next stop is onboard the Trade Federation Battleship where Qui-Gon Jinn is teaching Obi-Wan Kenobi patience as they wait to negotiate peace. Then, it's on to Coruscant where Obi-Wan is teaching Anakin to be mindful of his surroundings and to focus on the task at hand. After that, Rey drops right into the lap of Luke Skywalker while he's flying his X-Wing as Obi-Wan attempts to help him destroy the first Death Star!
Back at the Temple, Rey convinces BB-8 that she should use the key just once more to help her with teaching Finn how to become a Jedi. Reluctantly, the droid follows her through the portal which leads to the second Death Star as Emperor Palpatine & Darth Vader argue over what to call it. She quickly leaves, but not before they notice the portal which Palpatine shoves Vader into! A battle for the key to the galaxy's past ensues which finds both Rey & Vader inside the Rebel base on Hoth. Vader actually comes face to face with himself which is rather amusing. A new portal opens that drops Rey, Vader and some Snowtroopers onto the floating platforms on Mustafar where Obi-Wan & Anakin are dueling. Another portal sends everyone through the air and to Nevarro where The Mandalorian, The Child & IG-11 are fighting the Empire in the city streets. Before anyone can react, another portal opens sending the same group to Tatooine right during the Boonta Eve Classic! Anakin is neck and neck with Subulba when yet another portal opens dropping them onto Saleucami where they are chased by two BARC Troopers. The podracers, BARC speeders, troopers and the rest of the characters are now falling through the sky on Exegol. After several more jumps through time collecting a large cast of characters from across the entire Saga, they land on Tataooine where Luke Skywalker is watching the twin suns set. A battle between good and evil begins! Rey & Vader are still dueling when Luke picks up the key. A portal back to the Temple opens and the three of them are transported there. Vader secures the key and manages to open his own portal and escape leaving Rey, Luke & BB-8 alone.
Vader presents the key to the Emperor who then uses it to travel 30 years into the future where we find Supreme Leader Kylo Ren explaining how Vader threw Palpatine down a reactor shaft. The Emperor takes Kylo under his wing as his new apprentice leaving Vader to trail along behind them.
Meanwhile, back on Kashyyyk, the party isn't going so great. Finn & Rose hire Max Rebo to liven things up with some music. Lando Calrissian, Zorii Bliss, Greedo, Maz Kanata, and several others arrive too.
Back at the Temple, Rey is visited by Spirit Yoda who teaches her that we learn from our failures which helps us be a better student or teacher. He then takes her around like the Ghosts of Christmas spirit take Ebenezer Scrooge around in A Christmas Carol to prove his point. He leaves her with the notion that she already has the power needed to set things right. With the help of Luke, she comes to realize this and creates her own portal. They travel back to the second Death Star where Rey and Luke fight Kylo Ren & Darth Vader. The Emperor asks Rey to be his new new apprentice which she obviously declines stating that he has failed before, he would fail again and that good will always triumph over evil. With that, Vader throws Palpatine down the reactor shaft, Rey gets everyone back in their respective timelines and places the key back where she found it inside the Temple.
Rey and BB-8 make their way back to Kashyyyk for the celebration where Finn asks if she found what she was looking for. She realizes that what she was looking for was right there all along. It starts snowing, so everyone rushes out of the Millennium Falcon to play providing a happy end to our story. A time of joy, of friendship, of family. All of this...Life Day is.
As expected, there are a lot of hilarious moments throughout that will make you laugh out loud. Poe and Zorii finally get together, Maz and Chewie hug it out, Babu Frik shows off his dance moves, Han (and Han) shoot first, Poe gets emotional and we find out that no Life Day celebration is complete without Tip-yip! The music is quite enjoyable as we get to hear some classic John Williams tracks mixed in throughout and even some of Ludwig Göransson's score from The Mandalorian. In a year full of challenges, this is 47-minutes of much needed fun for the whole family that I'm certain you'll enjoy.
Happy Life Day, everyone!
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