A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Suggests that learning flourishes through personal connection between teacher and student.
We can learn from failure; it helps teach humility. Personal connections enhance our ability to learn and grow.
Positive Role Models
Rey is an admirable lead character; she's a smart, strong, determined Jedi. Most of the Star Wars heroes are positive role models, and newer characters break stereotypical gender roles and offer positive representation.
Violence & Scariness
Explosions, blaster fire, lightsaber battles. But Star Wars fantasy violence in Lego form doesn't create any violent moments with real consequences. Villains who are menacing in live-action films are made to be silly here. One is thrown off a platform into an abyss; as he falls, he calmly sees the error of his ways. No indication he hits anything or dies. The party is populated by Wookies, and there's mention that they tear arms off -- of course, in the Lego world, arms pop on and off, so it's not that worrisome.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A male character is gobsmacked by the muscular chest and abs of a shirtless Kylo Ren (in Lego figure form). Two characters, one who's wearing a helmet, share a peck-type kiss.
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Some threats, but they're all said in light, silly tone of voice.
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Products & Purchases
The entire special is a commercial for Lego Star Wars sets and figures. Some new sets are seen, but specific attention isn't brought to them.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special is a family-friendly, non-holiday-specific show in which key characters from most of the Star Wars movies mix and mingle. The events pick up after Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. Characters including Rey (voiced by Helen Sadler), Poe (Jake Green), Chewbacca, and the droids are celebrating Life Day, a holiday introduced in the original 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special. A time-jumping portal allows them to interact with characters from other films at different points in their life, including some of the franchise's most treasured scenes. There are explosions, threats, battles, lasers, and menace, but since it's all involving or said by Lego characters, the villains don't feel very scary, and the pew-pew-pew of blasters seems more like how children play. One scene parodies the awkward tension between General Hux (Ben Prendergast) and a shirtless Kylo Ren (Matthew Wood), with Hux distracted by Ren's muscular (drawn-on) chest. Viewers -- including kids -- who haven't seen all the films won't necessarily be completely lost, but they certainly won't experience the same enjoyment. On the other hand, kids who have Lego at the top of their wish list may spot several appealing Star Wars Lego sets amidst the action.
Is It Any Good?
Star Wars can be dark and brooding, but Lego productions are merry and bright -- together, they create a winky holiday funtacular that's guaranteed to appeal to fans of all ages. The special's celebratory gathering is a self-deprecatory nod to the franchise's infamous 1978 holiday special, and it's really only there to help fit the story into a holiday theme. The setup drags a bit, but things shoot into light speed once the actual plot kicks in as Rey and BB-8 explore the Jedi temple. The time portal they open allows them to jump into moments from the entire Star Wars cinematic universe. While the idea is that Rey is learning from the masters, 30 years of heroes and villains jump through the portal with her. The culmination is a realization of the ultimate Star Wars fantasy: All the characters are able to meet up, interact, and battle. And as anyone who collects Lego sets knows, that means different versions of the same characters can interact with each other!
If that sounds like a lot of fun, it is, and it's extremely rewarding to fans of the franchise. That said, it's also a tad derivative. Ever since Captain America battled Captain America in Avengers: Endgame, most of the superhero franchises have used similar devices. Still, that doesn't make it any less satisfying. It's as cute as an Ewok carrying Baby Yoda and as sassy as Han Solo debating Princess Leia. The most fulfilling part? We see a story that feels exactly like how kids play with their own Lego sets -- which is what Lego productions always do best. The quality of the writing is more on par with Lego's amusing TV series than the hilariously clever Chris Miller-Phil Lord movies. But we can definitely still be thankful for a holiday special that the whole family can enjoy together. As Yoda would say, "Enjoyable, it is."
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.