Life Day came early this year. Disney and Lucasfilm have just announced that The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special will exclusively debut on Disney+ on Tuesday, November 17. And what’s more – this will actually acknowledge and celebrate the infamous 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special. Huzzah!
This new Star Wars special takes place directly after the events of (groan) The Rise of Skywalker. According to the official synopsis: “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?” Well that sounds fun, with a Star Wars spin on A Christmas Carol.
The official press release explicitly references “Chewbacca’s homeworld of Kashyyyk for a Wookiee-sized celebration of the galaxy’s most cheerful and magical holiday, Life Day,” which was the chief concern of that original holiday special, an artifact so bizarre and problematic that George Lucas publicly disowned it and has never officially released it on home video. Instead, it has existed in the years since thanks largely to bootleg copies and online uploads – and in the fevered imaginations of those who watched it unfold in 1978. (Could we see it move to the Disney+ streaming service at the same time? Well that would be a Life Day miracle!)
In recent years Life Day and the Christmas Special have been getting a bit of an image rehab; there was a reference to the holiday on The Mandalorian and the recent book Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: A Traveler’s Guide to Batuu acknowledged that, yes, Life Day is celebrated on the planet immortalized in Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Could we actually be able to celebrate Life Day in a Disney theme park soon? One can only dream.
While the official press release states that the special “reunites Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewie, Rose and the droids,” a USA Today interview with executive producer Josh Rimes gives more detail on who we will see in the special, specifically Darth Vader, the Emperor and Kylo Ren all interacting thanks to the twisty time-travel logic of the special. “It’s really hilarious with what’s going to happen with those guys,” Rimes told the outlet. He also teased a reversed relationship between “a seasoned Rey and a young Luke” and promised that some of the original actors will be returning to the special to voice their roles. Rimes even teased a potential return for the character Bea Arthur infamously played in the original.
This being Disney, The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special comes complete with its own consumer products program, including a LEGO Star Wars advent calendar (D-0 with a Santa hat hello!) and sticker book and will debut a few weeks after a new LEGO Star Wars videogame launches. Truly, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.