Happy Belated Life Day folks!
I may have forgotten but Disney didn’t this year which I’m thankful for because Lucasfilm and Lego have teamed up and brought us a 47 minute bundle of Star Wars joy to take our minds off of 2020.
The story, set after ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ centres on Rey as she goes on a journey to learn how to be a better teacher to Finn who has begun Jedi Training. Rey goes to a list Jedi Temple and finds a key that allows her to travel through time and space.
At first she observes different Masters with their Apprentices, Obi-Wan and Anakin, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, Luke and Yoda and then Palpatine and Vader.
But the shenanigans go awry when Palpatine sends Vader to take the key which leads to a lightsaber duel between Vader and Rey and they fall through various time periods, collecting characters from all the films a long the way (even the top half of Darth Maul).
Palpatine eventually gets his hands on the key and they find Kylo Ren (post The Last Jedi) who tells Palpatine how he dies (thrown down a reactor shaft, no one comes back from that) which leads to Palpatine becoming angry with Vader and he takes Ren on as his new Apprentice.
Force Ghost Yoda visits Rey who has brought Luke from ‘A New Hope’ through a portal by accident before losing the key. Yoda teaches her about being a teacher. Rey figures out how to unlock a portal thanks to Yoda’s words of wisdom and arrives in The Throne Room on Death Star 2, as Vader arrives with Luke (ROTJ) and it becomes a free-for-all of fights. Kylo is just angsty as he tells past-Luke’s that he has to pay for what they did to him (they are completely unaware) but eventually the numbers start to thin out as Rey sends people back to their own times.
Vader throws Palpatine down the reactor shaft, Rey takes ‘A New Hope’ Luke home, fixes the timelines by sending everyone back to when they should be, before returning to Kashyyk where Poe, Rose, Finn and Chewie have been setting up and throwing a Life Day party with numerous guests including Chewie’s family, Lando, Jannah, Maz and even Max Rebo.
The story is told with the kind of Lego humour we have come to expect, and of course they have to have toys to tie-in, which will be coming in the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar.
There are so many great nods to the Star Wars franchise, and even on my second viewing I was noticing more, and it’s all great fun. Watching Attichitcuk chase and try to eat Porgs doesn’t get old, as well as the great banter between Rose and Finn as Poe tries to organise the Life Day preparations.
One of the highlights for me was Palpatine, he’s a great mix of Galaxar from ‘Monsters Vs. Aliens’, Michael Scott from ‘The Office’ and 10 year old petulant child which is not at all what you expect from the ruler of the Galaxy. But that’s what Lego is good at, messing with the characters we know and love, whilst also respecting the stories.
The level of detail on the ships is phenomenal, not a brick out of place on Rey’s X-Wing and the Falcon looks great.
A great number of Star Wars Alumni lend their voices to this Holiday Special, of course, Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams return as C-3PO and Lando respectively. Kelly Marie Tran comes back to voice Rose who deservedly gets more screen time than in ‘The Rise of Skywalker’, some of her bather with Finn is great fun (and I want a TROS Rose mini-fig). James Arnold Taylor reprises his role of Obi-Wan, this time voicing the character at four different points in time, and a three-way “Hello There!” will surely become the go-to meme in days/weeks to come. Matt Lanter, Dee Bradley Baker and Tom Kane round out the actors from ‘The Clone Wars’, giving me a whole swath of nostalgia for the series, so I’m possibly seeing a rewatch in my future.
It’s decidedly not Canon, but it’s a great, fun adventure that feels like ‘Star Wars’, it doesn’t take itself seriously at all and it keeps you entertained throughout, and the whole family will enjoy it. I hope we’re seeing the beginning of a tradition here, the franchise could lend itself to a Lego Holiday Special each year, or every couple. Just imagine, next it could be all about how Mando gives The Child his first proper Life Day celebration and the usual shenanigans ensue (Disney/Lucasfilm/Lego I want some form of Credit for this if you use it).
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