Star Wars and Lucasfilm have been the pride of Disney+ since the streamer's premiere. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker may have left audiences divided in the theaters, but at home, pretty much everyone could agree The Mandalorian was one of the best shows of 2019. With Marvel shows delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and Disney looking for more content this holiday season, the streamer is going back to the Lucasfilm well for another show — and this one will have fans feeling both cheery and nostalgic. Rejoice, everyone, because The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special is coming to Disney+.
The original Star Wars Holiday Special is famous for all the wrong reasons. It's hard to get across how utterly massive Star Wars was in terms of the entertainment landscape back in its original heyday. Moreover, there were only three broadcast channels in 1978, each fighting to one-up the other two. So, when 20th Century Fox was approached by CBS to make Star Wars for the holidays, it saw dollar signs and said yes.
Nowadays, creators would insist on control over all their projects. But Star Wars' head honcho George Lucas stepped back from this one, figuring it couldn't be that bad.
It was that bad.
In it, Han and Chewie go home to Chewie's home planet, Kashyyyk, for a faux Thanksgiving/Christmas hybrid called "Life Day." Viewers meet Chewie's dad, Itchy, his wife, Malla, and his son, Lumpy. There's a MacGuffin, a stormtrooper who nearly ruins the party, and in a random casting, Bea Arthur runs the Mos Eisley cantina. (CBS' Maude was a major draw during the 1970s.)
It never aired again. Lucas all but refused to acknowledge it existed. In a time before YouTube, bootlegged VHS copies were passed around, making it the most infamous piece of Star Wars history.
Since Disney took over the franchise in 2012, Star Wars fans have wondered whether the special would be resurrected. It's not on Disney+, but there had been signs of hope, especially since The Mandalorian premiere namechecked Life Day.
Now, a Star Wars Holiday Special is coming. It's not Disney+ releasing the original, nor is it a LEGO remake of the 1978 classic either. Instead, this is a whole new special starring LEGO versions of the current character line up.
Directly following the events of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Rey leaves her friends to prepare for Life Day as she sets off on a new adventure with BB-8 to gain a deeper knowledge of the Force. At a mysterious Jedi Temple, she is 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 and other iconic heroes and villains from all nine Skywalker saga films. But will she make it back in time for the Life Day feast and learn the true meaning of holiday spirit?
No actors are mentioned, so chances are, this will not have the voices of Daisy Ridley or John Boyega leading it. But fans will tune in anyway.
The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special premieres on Disney+ on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020.