In less than a month, "Star Wars" and LEGO fans alike can nestle all snug in their beds, with visions of Disney+'s LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special dancing in their heads. Set for Tuesday, November 17, the special stars (so far) Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), and Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), as well as Star Wars: The Clone Wars vets Matt Lanter (Anakin Skywalker), Tom Kane (Yoda, Qui-Gon Jinn), James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi), and Dee Bradley Baker (clone troopers).
Now, we're learning a little more of what we can expect from executive producer James Waugh– and if you like the sound of some "timey wimey" stuff creating three time-displaced Obi-Wan Kenobis, two Han Solos, and Rey interacting with famous faces from across the franchise's timeline (young Luke, young Kylo Ren, etc.) before a one-on-one with Darth Vader? Then Waugh doesn't think you'll be disappointed. "The Holiday Special has something you will never see in 'Star Wars' otherwise which is all the characters from across all timelines crashing together," Waugh explained. "Normally story groups are so concerned about maintaining this amazing galaxy so that it feels cohesive, it was liberating to do this in a way that's charming and fun."
If the project sounds like Waugh and the team are having fun playing in the "Star Wars" creative sandbox, it would be appropriate considering how the animated pairings came to be. "We started realizing that the way they play with them isn't with canonical separation, it's not, 'Let's put all the classic trilogy sets here, the prequel sets here, new sequel sets here,'" he said. "My son literally just dumps his bucket out. We realized that was a play pattern that could actually inform the fun of this show." And while the special will borrow an element or two from the original (and infamous) 1978 special, Waugh makes it clear that the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special stands on its own.
"This is not like a Lego Star Wars remake of the Holiday Special in any way… but what it does is lean into the conceits that were created in that holiday special," Waugh revealed. "We have Life Day as a fictional thread because of the Holiday Special. You've seen that [referenced] in The Mandalorian, we've used it in publishing and fans have embraced it – last year fans celebrated Life Day at Galaxy's Edge in the park. So it's really those elements and going to Kashyyyk for family celebrations with the Wookies, but we're not doing Lego Bea Arthur singing in a cantina."
The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special reunites Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewie, Rose and the droids for a joyous feast on Life Day. Rey 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?
Disney+'s LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is a production of Atomic Cartoons, the LEGO Group, and Lucasfilm. The special is directed by Ken Cunningham and written by David Shayne, who is also a co-executive producer. Waugh, Josh Rimes, Jason Cosler, Jacqui Lopez, Jill Wilfert, and Keith Malone serve as executive producers.