The 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special is one of the most notoriously bad things to ever exist. It’s so terrible George Lucas attempted to wipe it off the face of the earth, but copies remained in the wild, circulating through garage sales (which is where I first found it), resale shops, comic cons, and mom-and-pop video stores. I’ve seen some real garbage movies in my time, but the Star Wars Holiday Special is some real SPECIAL garbage. It’s a totally insane blatant cash grab made after Star Wars was the surprise hit of 1977. The newly minted stars of Star Wars didn’t have any bargaining power, so they’re all in it, and in it you can see the EXACT moment Harrison Ford stopped caring about acting forever. There’s also a bit where Chewbacca’s dad watches soft-core space porn with Diahann Carroll. This is not a knock on Diahann Carroll, it’s just proof of how terrible the holiday special is—not even Diahann Carroll crooning sexily (to a Wookie) can save it. I don’t recommend the Star Wars Holiday Special, not even as a fun-bad watch. It is just dreadful on every level.
But that has not stopped Disney from reviving the tradition with the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, which will be streaming on Disney+ on November 17. The trailer dropped yesterday, and I might be permanently scarred from the original Star Wars Holiday Special, but…it doesn’t look good? I mean, it’s for kids, clearly, but “it’s for kids” is something adults say when a movie looks terrible. Doing it with LEGO—obviously computer-animated LEGO—is a smart move, because clearly none of the cast would actually APPEAR in this. In fact, of the credited cast so far, Kelly Marie Tran is the only sequel trilogy live-action actor whose voice I recognize in this trailer. You can clearly tell LEGO Rey is not Daisy Ridley, nor is that Oscar Isaac or Adam Driver. (Finn is relegated to the background, which is not a great look after John Boyega pointed out Lucasfilm’s shortcomings regarding people of color in Star Wars.) They do have Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels back as Lando and C-3PO, respectively, and they’ve got actors from the animated series The Clone Wars voicing their characters, including Matt Lanter as Anakin Skywalker, but this is comprehensively NOT the Star Wars we’re used to hearing.
That’s not really the problem, though. The problem is 1) lots of bad jokes, and 2) a dumb time-travel plot. Miraculously, The Rise of Skywalker was NOT a dumb time-travel plot, but this whole “Rey finds a key and jumps through space-time” is exactly what I expected Rise to be for a bit, and I wouldn’t be shocked to find out this holiday special was carved from a discarded draft of Episode IX. Also, I have already seen toxic fanboys complaining that Rey better not “beat” Darth Vader in a lightsaber duel IN THE ANIMATED FOR KIDS HOLIDAY SPECIAL, that’s how noxious the Star Wars fandom is now. We literally can’t have a dumb animated show with lightsabers for kids without fanbros rearing their heads and screeching about how the girl one can’t be better than the boy one. Who even has the energy for this in 2020. This is why my holiday special is going to be Bridgerton.