'The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special' Coming to Disney+ November 17

A scene from The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special

If you ever want to make Star Wars fans cringe, all you need to do is mention the Star Wars Holiday Special. Released on November 17, 1978, it featured the cast of the films and involved Chewbacca's family celebrating Life Day on Kashyyyk. The special is infamous for its awkward moments, including a cooking segment with the words, “Stir, whip, stir, whip, whip, whip, stir.” It includes such nonsensical things as a video by Jefferson Starship. George Lucas himself despises the special, having said that he wishes that he could destroy every copy in existence. On Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, he reconfirmed to Jon Favreau (who has said that he would like to take a stab at a new holiday special) that this special is not canon.

One could argue that a saving grace of the special is the animated segment that introduced fan favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett. While some aspects of it are questionable, such as Han Solo being drawn like a caricature and Boba Fett’s exit without accomplishing his mission, it was referenced in the first episode of The Mandalorian, in which Din Djarin uses an Amban phase-pulse blaster on a ravinak. His bounty even mentions Life Day.

Now, it seems that animation is where we will get another holiday special. Thursday morning, it was announced on StarWars.com that Atomic Cartoons, the LEGO Group, and Lucasfilm will be releasing The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special on Disney+ November 17, the 42nd anniversary of the original special. It is directed by Ken Cunningham and written by David Shayne. While it may be difficult to imagine the original Star Wars Holiday Special actually taking place within the Star Wars universe, the LEGO side of the franchise has the luxury of having wiggle room when it comes to silliness, meaning that this new special could have potentially better reception. It is pretty much guaranteed, given the low bar set by the original.

What is interesting about this new special is that it is set after the events of The Rise of Skywalker. So far, there has not really been anything in canon depicting what the new generation of characters introduced in the sequel trilogy are up to after that film. Of course, this special is not set within the canon, with Lucasfilm viewing LEGO shows and shorts of the past as “canon-adjacent,” meaning that they are at least trying to make the eras feel authentic in terms of which characters they can use and what stage of their lives the characters are in. It appears that fans may get somewhat of an update on such characters as Rey, Finn, Poe, and Rose, at least as far as the LEGO Star Wars universe is concerned.

In The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, however, it seems that we will be seeing multiple eras. According to the premise that was released, Rey goes on an adventure with BB-8 to acquire a deeper understanding of the Force, but she hopes to be back in time for the Life Day feast with her friends. Naturally, her destination is an ancient Jedi temple, where she “finds herself hurled into a cross-timeline adventure through beloved moments in Star Wars cinematic history, coming into contact with Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi and other iconic heroes and villains from all nine Skywalker saga films.” So it appears that there will be time travel involved. Star Wars Rebels fans may now be wondering whether the World Between Worlds may come into play here.

Speaking to USA Today, executive producer Josh Rimes explained that the 45-minute special would pay homage to the original. Other influences include Burl Ives music, Christmas VacationIt's a Wonderful Life, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

On September 1, fans can get a little tease of what is to come in the form of the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar, which is currently priced at $39.99 on the LEGO website. Plus, on October 20, DK will release the LEGO Star Wars Sticker Book, which is currently priced at $6.99.

While the Star Wars Holiday Special has been the subject of ridicule in Star Wars fandom, perhaps The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special may alleviate some of the stigma surrounding the words “holiday special” when it comes to the Star Wars franchise. Personally, I think this new one will be fun, as much of the LEGO stuff from the franchise has been, and I am looking forward to seeing it.
Source(s): StarWars.com, USA Today