The new Lego Star Wars Holiday Special doesn’t have all that much in common with the original Star Wars holiday special from 1978, except that in both, the characters are helping Chewbacca celebrate Life Day, the Star Wars equivalent of Christmas. In the case of the new special, though, the festivities quickly take a back seat to a time-travel adventure starring ultimate Star Wars fan Rey, who uses a magic portal to pop in on—and geek out about—iconic moments from older movies, from the destruction of the first Death Star to Yoda training Luke on Dagobah to Obi-Wan and Anakin, uh, bickering in an elevator. Slim pickings from the prequel trilogy, I guess.
Since the Lego Star Wars series and movies are not considered part of the official Star Wars canon, nothing that happens in them counts toward the broader narrative of the saga. This latest holiday special is really just an excuse for characters from various eras to mingle, intermixed with some incredibly mild jokes at the movies’ expense. (We’re talking stopping-midfight-to-ooh-and-aww-at-how-cute-Baby-Yoda-is and extreme-close-ups-of-Kylo-Ren’s-drawn-on-abs mild.) This includes a couple of shots at The Rise of Skywalker, like when Emperor Palpatine visits the future and is dismayed to find he is dead and no longer ruling the galaxy. When asked how he got there, he replies, “Uh, Life Day miracle,” which, hey, is as good an explanation for Palpatine’s presence as the one offered in The Rise of Skywalker.
While the holiday special may not affect the official continuity of Star Wars (the three main stars of the new trilogy didn’t even show up to voice their characters, although Helen Sadler is such a close soundalike for Daisy Ridley that you might not even be able to tell the difference), there is one scene that bodes well for other future installments in this era of the franchise. At the very beginning of the special, we see Rey trying—and struggling—to train Finn to become a Jedi.
Finn spent The Rise of Skywalker attempting to tell Rey … something … but was cut off before he got the chance, and strangely, the movie ended without the filmmakers ever resolving what exactly the message was. Given the characters’ history and using a basic understanding of cinematic shorthands, many assumed that he was trying to tell Rey he loved her. Nope! J.J. Abrams told a fan that Finn was instead trying to tell Rey what the movie had already telegraphed elsewhere, that he’s Force sensitive like her. Rae Carson’s novelization of the movie is more ambiguous, with Rey cutting Finn off once again before he can make his confession:
“Rey,” Finn whispered. “I’ve been meaning to tell you—”
“I know,” she said, thinking of the way his presence had become so bright in her mind.
“We all know,” Poe said.
A warmth flowed through them, a connection separate from the Force and in its own way just as powerful. Rey didn’t care to put a name to it. She only wanted to live in the moment and let it flow over her like water in the desert.
While Carson’s description still leaves Finn’s confession open to the reader’s interpretation, the Lego Holiday Special leaves no doubt about Finn’s Force sensitivity as he wields Rey’s yellow lightsaber. Canon or not, that scene suggests that the creatives at Lucasfilm are already thinking about how to plug the plot holes and tie up the loose ends of the new trilogy. The last time that happened was Revenge of the Sith, another movie that was crowd-pleasing to a fault and raised more questions than it answered—creating an opportunity for others to fill in the gaps, which led to some of the most satisfying storytelling in the franchise. The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special may just be a goof, but it hints at the possibility of exploring other underdeveloped aspects of The Rise of Skywalker, and hopefully that means we can expect other writers to step in and bridge more of the gaps the movie left behind.