LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special: On Brand For 2020

Finn, Rey Skywalker, Poe Dameron, Rose Tico, and Chewbacca appear in the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special. Courtesy of Lucasfilm/Disney+.

The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is one of the perfect ways to help close out 2020 and the year would not have it in any other way.

When it comes to the LEGO Star Wars universe, they have a fun way of mixing in humor with the seriousness of the saga.  This special is no different.  While it does take place following The Rise of Skywalker, it has some fun with the timeline.  Call it the LEGO brand if you will but this special–all 46ish minutes–is especially on brand.

There are some nice callbacks to events of the films and in some instances, they really have some fun with it.  If you’ve seen the trailer already, you already know about original and sequel trilogy versions of Han Solo making an appearance.  Suffice it to say, nobody is off the table.  Some have a major part in the storyline.  Others, sadly, are left with a brief cameo.  I would have loved to have seen some of them with more screen time.  You have most of the sequel trilogy folks here.  The bulk of appearances belong to Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Kylo Ren, and a few versions of Luke Skywalker.  And Rey and BB-8 but this goes without saying.

LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special
A multitude of Star Wars characters appear in the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special. Courtesy of Lucasfilm/Disney+.

Listen, I don’t want to say Rose is underused here but at the same time, the main female parts are Rey and Rose.  There is a perfect opportunity to have a woman play a major role when Rey goes back in time.  Alas, Princess Leia is tantamount to a blink-and-miss it cameo.  Were Sabine or Hera not available?  Could you not have found a way to introduce Mara Jade?  Similarly, the lack of Mara Jade Skywalker will be one of the biggest faults of the sequel trilogy.  A scene from The Mandalorian plays for a nice smile but with 46ish minutes to use, you can only pay so much fan service.  Don’t get me wrong–I did chuckle at the appearance of three Obi-Wan Kenobis and a few Anakin Skywalkers.  I also did laugh more than a bit–this is the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special!

The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special isn’t the disaster that the original holiday special was but there are areas in which it could be improved.

DIRECTOR:  Ken Cunningham
CAST:  Kelly Marie Tran, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Matt Lanter, Tom Kane, James Arnold Taylor, Dee Bradley Baker

Disney+ launches the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special on November 17, 2020. Grade: 4/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.