Just in time for our holidays, the Star Wars Holiday Special is making a comeback later this month.  It will be forty-two years to the day that kids like myself first saw Bea Arthur serenade a cantina full of familiar aliens as Ackmena, met Chewbacca’s extended family, and saw Boba Fett on the screen for the first time (after his preview as an action figure offer).  The Special aired on television for the first time in 1978, and now Disney+ is bringing the holiday special to a new generation of Star Wars fans.  The twist is your next celebration of Life Day is also the next LEGO movie, so expect loads of laughs and throwbacks in the animated LEGO Star Wars Holiday SpecialEven better, it comes with time travel and mash-ups across the movie spectrum.

Typically when you have the original actors play their characters in a tie-in that isn’t an episode of The Muppet Show or parody, you’re in the canon realm.  The Star Wars Holiday Special has been knocked by fun-haters, but for kids, especially seven-year-olds, any of the goofy bits are easily ignored.  If you missed it the first time around, check out this videotaped version on YouTube here.  The show featured many of the original cantina aliens, plus all the main Star Wars actors as their characters.  It was on television so the creators pulled in 1970s favorite actors including Art Carney, Diahann Carroll, Harvey Korman, and Bea Arthur.  And Jefferson Starship.

Scene from the original Star Wars Holiday Special.

For the new LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, listen for the voices of Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, and Kelly Marie Tran.  And it wouldn’t be a holiday special without Life Day.  Star Wars: The Clone Wars and video game fans have had ample doses of Life Day over the years–the holiday celebrated in the movie–and carefully listening fans caught the incorporation of at least part of the Star Wars Holiday Special made canon in the first episode of The Mandalorian.

The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special reunites Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewie, Rose and the droids, with Rey encountering a path back to the past in a play on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, where she meets up with a young Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Darth Vader, Yoda, Obi-Wan and heroes and villains from all nine Skywalker saga films, the two Star Wars Story films, and The Mandalorian. 

Enjoy this trailer for the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special:

The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special arrives on Disney+ November 17, 2020.

C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg