Unlike the original 1978 Star Wars special, which was destined to have an audience of obsessed VHS collectors, the new Lego Star Wars Holiday Special is clearly designed for children. And, their childish parents who understand Star Wars humor. It’s hard to say the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special is good or bad per se, but it does fall very neatly into the cottage industry of Star Wars Silliness. Arguably, since the late ’90s, the preponderance of Star Wars products that are self-spoofing outnumbered even the absurd marketing strategy outlined by Yogurt (Mel Brooks) in Spaceballs. We don’t have “Star Wars the Toliet Paper” just yet, but, with all respect intended, the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special comes close.
In other words, it feels a lot like other hastily constructed kids’ products that serve a purpose — to pass the time. Would this have been a little better had it not been Lego-fied? Maybe. The idea of Rey having a pseudo-Dickensian time travel story that spans all of Star Wars isn’t without merit but had this been one of the more legit animated projects — like Resistance or The Clone Wars or Forces of Destiny — then the story wouldn’t have been allowed to be goofy. The point of the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special is to laugh at dumb Star Wars jokes with your kids. And, in fairness, that’s where it succeeded.
Here are the 10 best jokes in the new Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, streaming now on Disney+. Spoilers ahead.
10. A duo of Han Solos shooting joke
Already glimpsed in the trailer, the only time we see any version of Han in this special is when both of them unite to shoot Greedo. Is this a funny joke for kids? Probably not. But since this is a Disney-approved fuck-you to George Lucas, it’s funny in its audacity, and also, straight-up humbling for parents. Imagine being George Lucas: Is this how your children think of your decisions?
9. Vader versus Vader
When Rey accidentally sucks Vader into a time portal, they briefly end-up on Hoth, only to be greeted by…Darth Vader! The moment where two Lego Vaders fight each other is one of the best moments in the whole special. When they both say “impressive” at the same time and instantly become BFFs, you kind of wish the whole thing could just be about Vader-buddies.
8. “If there’s one thing Wookies love…well, it’s arm-ripping!”
It wouldn’t be Star Wars if there weren’t some overt references to gratuitous violence that is described, but not depicted. Right at the top of the special, Poe Dameron says: “If there’s one thing Wookies love —” and then struggles to say the word “parties.” But, he has to correct himself. Wookies love ripping people’s arms out of their sockets. In fairness, I’m not sure Wookies love to rip arms off people. Han only claimed that’s what Wookies did when they lost games. But, whatever! Right in the first few minutes, the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special is making jokes about limbs being torn apart. It’s Star Wars! It’s hilarious!
7. A Trio of Obi-Wans say “Hello there.”
In total, Obi-Wan Kenobi only says the phrase “Hello there” twice in actual live-action Star Wars films. Once in A New Hope, when Obi-Wan (Alec Guinness) meets R2-D2 in the desert, and then, in Revenge of the Sith when Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) confronts General Grevious and a bunch of droids. The second time, though chronologically “before” the first time, is clearly a reference to that first “hello there.” Either way, Star Wars fans have made this Obi-Wan’s “thing” and if Ewan McGregor doesn’t say it like 10 times in the new Obi-Wan show people are going to freak out. So, when three different Obi-Wans — beardless, mulleted, and elderly — all say it at the same time, yes, it’s very funny.
6. Vader and Rey Both Think Baby Yoda is Adorable
The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda only make a brief appearance in the Lego Holiday Special, and again, this scene was already in the trailer. If you were hoping for more Baby Yoda in this — tough! That’s it! Still, when Vader and Rey both say “aww” and Rey says “so cute!” it’s a pretty perfect way to use Baby Yoda as a punchline. Though, wouldn’t it have been great had Baby Yoda like crushed Vader’s lightsaber or something with the Force?
5. “And there’s no coming back from that!”
When the Emperor talks about being thrown down the reactor shaft on the Death Star, he looks at the camera and says “And there’s no coming back from that!” This references the absurd non-explanation for Palpatine’s return in The Rise of Skywalker when we’re just told, “somehow, Palpatine returned.”
4. Rey Takes Off Her Lego Hair and Cleans It
This isn’t really a Star Wars joke, but whenever anyone in the special takes off their Lego “hair” it’s pretty funny. When Rey crashes on Dagobah, she takes off her Lego hair to make sure it doesn’t have any swamp water in it. It’s a nice touch and gestures at the totally unreality of what you’re watching. This joke works because it’s honest! These are Lego people! Lighten-up!
3. “Isn’t trying a good thing?”
In the same scene, we see a lighter version of the famous moment in The Empire Strikes Back when Yoda claims “Do or do not, there is no try.” For children, this scene is likely very confusing. A point which Lego Luke makes when he says, “Isn’t trying a good thing?” Yoda’s retort is less than convincing, a reminder that Star Wars philosophy should be taken with a pinch of salt and, if you’re an adult, a shot of whiskey.
2. Galaxy’s Best Emperor Mug Has a Funny Origin
Darth Vader gives Emperor Palpatine a coffee mug that says “Galaxy’s Best Emperor” written on it in the Star Wars language known as Aurebesh. This gag is good, but the better part is that Vader says he went to “every gift shop on Batuu” to find it. This implies Vader bought this mug at Disneyland or Disney World resort Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
1. Luke Sipping a Carton of Blue Milk
In numerous scenes, we see Luke Skywalker, circa the very beginning of A New Hope, sipping some blue milk out of a milk carton. “Blue Milk” was first served at the Lars family dinner table in A New Hope just after Luke found the holographic recording of Princess Leia in R2-D2’s memory banks. Since then, Blue Milk is another long-running inside joke among Star Wars fans. But, arguably, Luke Skywalker’s blue milk mustache here is a reference to his green milk mustache in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Is a milk-mustache joke the pinnacle of the jokes for kids in the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special? Yes, but maybe milk-mustache jokes are the real way to balance the Force.