The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special (2020)

lego star wars holiday special poster 2020 review
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Few fun jokes, family entertainment

Still prefer The Lego Movie style of animation, wish it had more ties to the original 1978 special

Special Info

Special Name: The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special

Studio:  Atomic Cartoons/LucasFilm/The LEGO Group

Genre(s): Animated/Seasonal/Comedy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s): November 17, 2020

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

lego star wars holiday special 2020 life day darth vader emperor

Even Vader and the Emperor enjoy Life Day!

Life Day is rapidly approaching, and Rey and her friends plan on celebrating with Chewbacca’s family.  Rey discovers her attempts to train Finn have hit a wall and seeks to find a way to jumpstart her teaching.  When Rey discovers a means to transport through time to observe famous moments in Jedi history, she finds herself jumping through time…but her actions might forever ruin the timeline.  Life Day isn’t going as planned.

Directed by Ken Cunningham, The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special is an animated family comedy adventure seasonal special.  The special was released on Disney+ on November 17, 2020.

The Star Wars Holiday Special was a notorious special.  With weird guest stars, some questionable music, and the premiere of Boba Fett in a cartoon, the series gained a cult audience though Lucas and those attached tried to bury it.  With references in The Mandalorian and the new Lego special, Life Day lives again!

lego star wars holiday special mandalorian baby yoda

Mandatory “Baby Yoda” cameo: Check!

The story is largely about friendship and family.  As Rey jumps around through time and space, she sees people of her past and family of her past.  As she travels through time and space, Poe and the others try to celebrate Life Day with their friends.  The humor is very post-modern with lots of references to other Star Wars products with a Lego based humor (like in other Lego straight-to-video movies more so than the big screen Lego movies).  Rey of course learns her lesson, and Life Day is saved from the Emperor (with a reference to Scrooge’s redemption and a tie to a classic holiday animated special).

Largely the cast is new for the special, but a few original actors voice their characters.  Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, and Kelly Marie Tran stop by for the fun, but some of the voice actors feel a bit odd in comparison to their film actors (though it does tie up some loose ends from Star Wars:  The Rise of Skywalker and some of new sequels).

lego star wars holiday special 2020 yoda rudolph the red nosed reindeer

Yoda gets his “Rudolph” on!

I love The Lego Movie look, and it is always a bit of a disappointment to watch the regular Lego specials in comparison.  The stop-motion style isn’t used here and instead there is smooth computer animation.  I do like a lot of the character designs but that largely is credited to Lego and their sets upon sets of Star Wars Legos.

If you like Lego cartoons, you’d definitely like The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, and if you like Star Wars, you’ll probably like The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special.  The special has reverence for the series and reflexive jokes, but it feels like it missed an opportunity.  It would have been fun for a completely Lego animated version of the original Holiday Special with the original audio track…then loaded with visual jokes.  While the story is a nice message and will be enjoyed by families, I kind of wanted the goofy nature of the original Holiday Special…but I’ll take Life Day any way I can.

Related Links:

The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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