If you say “Star Wars Holiday Special” to a “Star Wars” aficionado, you’re likely to elicit a groan.
That’s because, in a galaxy more than 40 years away, the kitschy televised special aired.
But don’t get it confused with the wonderful “The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special” now streaming on Disney+. This is smart, clever, and gives nods not only to its predecessor but to darn near every “Star Wars” offering so far. And yes, that includes “The Mandalorian”…Disney+ wouldn’t miss this opportunity to reference its beloved franchise.
The new one, which is an all-too-brief 47 minutes in length, has in-jokes for every “Star Wars” fan in its story line that also incorporates a little “Back to the Future” and “A Christmas Carol” in its plot.
Yoda is the narrator. We see a group of characters including Finn, Rey, Poe Dameron and others getting ready for Life Day (this was a theme of the holiday special from 1978.)
Rey is frustrated that she hasn’t been able to teach Finn the ways of the Jedi. He continues to struggle, and she blames herself. Poe wants the party to be a success and wants everything perfect for Chewbacca’s family, who are about to visit.
Rey and BB-8 find a device that allows them to time-travel to various moments in the “Star Wars” canon to meet the likes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Darth Vader.
You’ll get to hear the familiar voices of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO and Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico. The stylized Lego characters are fun to watch.
One-liners, self-deprecating humor and Easter Eggs for longtime fans – myself included – abound.
My only quibble is its brief running time. I could have enjoyed this for the run of a feature-length film.
Maybe Santa will bring a sequel next year.
3 ½ out of 4 stars.
Running time: 44 minutes.
Streaming on Disney+