It’s a bold statement but I’m ready for the backlash, so let’s just roll with it.
I didn’t grow up watching Star Wars. I’m not sure my parents have ever even seen the movies, my older brother didn’t get into them and pass along that interest so it was always kind of a blind spot for me. On top of that, for some reason science fiction films, action films and sagas in general didn’t appeal to me at an early age either (Harry Potter broke that mold, but that’s a story for another day). I found myself more interested in sports movies back then – Space Jam, The Sandlot, The Little Giants, etc. And by the time I had grown out of that genre, animated movies took their place, and then vulgar R Rated comedic adventures were soon to follow because I was a dumb boy and thought curse words were cool.
American Pie ruined a lot of things for me and I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive that movie for the damage it caused.
Or maybe I should thank it. I don’t know.
Either way, there was still one constant in my life from the time I was a young todd (toddler) to me now, as a grown ass man, and that’s my love for the holidays – the music, the films, the lights, the treats, you name it. I watch A Christmas Story every year for basically 24 hours straight, Elf is a straight up masterpiece no matter how you spin in and Bad Santa is a C L A S S I C – not the sequel though, that shit does not hold up even a little bit. My wife and I literally watched it last night and man, it’s pretty terrible.
But back to Star Wars – I became a fan of the series pretty late – sometime around the time that the box set with the tan-ish slip cover was released with the original trilogy and prequels.
*looks up when that was*
2011. I remember Ellen was giving it away during her 12 Days of Giveaways (what’s good, Ellen? Still a shitty boss?) and I was like “you know what? Enough is enough, I want to like Star Wars”. The timing was perfect because my brother was asking me what I wanted for Christmas at almost the exact moment that episode of Ellen was airing so I told him I wanted that $99 box set.
But I didn’t immediately start watching them.
However, over the next couple years we would get the announcement of Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars, the announcement of the sequel trilogy and suddenly, Star Wars wasn’t this relic of the past, but a force (see what I did there?) full of hype and anticipation like it was back in the day. And as someone that thrives on hype and having things to look forward to, I was finally ready to dive into this franchise headfirst.
So I watched those movies. Many, many times. I kept up with Reddit pages discussing the forthcoming films – the casting, set photos, etc. And during this time there was always a specific time of the year that Star Wars was in the forefront the most – Christmas.
Obviously this is mostly a marketing thing – you toss Vader’s face on a pair of socks in shades of red and green and they’re going to sell, that’s simply a fact. But it wasn’t just that – each one of the sequel films released during December as well - they even TRIED to release The Last Jedi in May but ultimately postponed it until December BECAUSE IT’S WRITTEN IN THE STARS.
Force Friday always fell sometime in September/October with all the new toys and merchandise hitting the store shelves, the first theatrical trailers dropped shortly afterward during Monday Night Football games and Star Wars: Battlefront, Star Wars: Battlefront II and Jedi Fallen Order all released on their respective platforms during the holiday season of their respective years as well. Without fail, each year, for as long as I can remember, as the days got colder and shorter, there was always something Star Wars in the atmosphere (rhymes?!) (Bring It On?!)
Star Wars and the Christmas season simply go hand in hand and they have for the better part of a decade now - which is the entirety of the time that I have been immersed in it. My Christmas tree is filled with Star Wars ornaments, The Mandalorian has been released in November the last two years - there’s no question about this very obvious and warm-welcomed fact.
For that reason, the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special makes perfect sense.
The original Star Wars Holiday special is obviously trash, everybody knows that. But it has become this sort of running joke that we can bring up in conversation every year as there is always somebody that’s never heard of it. So for the people over at LEGO, who have grown accustomed to being extremely tongue-in-cheek within their parodies, to take on this idea of mashing together their brand alongside Star Wars and Christmas (or in this case, Life Day) is a brilliant threesome.
As far as the special itself goes – it’s not even THAT Christmas-y. Sure, Poe’s wearing a Christmas sweater, there’s lights, presents and the preparation of a meal but the majority of the special happens as we follow Rey through multiple classic Star Wars scenes, all heavy on the meta and exuberant with nostalgia. And as I’ve stated throughout all of this, even despite there being nothing “Christmas” about the Star Wars universe in general, because these recent films, video games and other media always release during this time, seeing those classic scenes relived in this fashion taps into a certain part of my brain that says “watch this every year forever”. It’s filled to the brim with fan service, guaranteed to make you smile unless you’re boring and weird and is the perfect segue into the Holiday season.
So I’m not saying you have to watch it this year, but you probably should. And I’m not saying you should continue that tradition you just created and watch it again next year, but you probably should.
With the way 2020 played out, a little bit of light-hearted fun is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Anything but COVID, right? You don’t want the doctors ordering that.
So put on your Baby Yoda pajama bottoms, homebrew yourself some sort of blue milk cocktail and have yourself a very merry Life Day.