If you’d just defeated The First Order and a suddenly-back-on-the-scene Emperor Palpatine, you’d need a vacation, too. And that’s where Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation on Disney+ kicks off, with Lego versions of Finn, Rey, Poe, Rose, Chewy and the droids kicking back for a little R&R after the events of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Wait, there are vacations in a galaxy far, far away? Just go with it…
Opening Shot: A transporter is pushing out of a planet’s atmosphere. Inside are a lego-ized Finn (Omar Miller), Poe (Jake Green), Rey (Helen Sadler), Rose (Kelly Marie Tran), C-3P0 (Anthony Daniels), R2-D2, and BB-8.
The Gist: The group has barely landed on the Halcyon, the luxurious star cruiser managed by a hologram, er, lego-gram version of Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) when they scatter to the ends of the ship. “Just look at all these activities!” Poe says, while another wonders “Do heroes even take vacations?” Finn’s big plan to gift his friends with some much-needed downtime isn’t off to a very memorable start. He repairs to the lounge where BV-RJ offers him some human-cyborg libations, and that’s where he’s visited by a Jedi spirit version of Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor). Finn does a double-take and stares at his cocktail. “Whoa! What’s in this?”
Obi-Wan proceeds to tell Finn about a vacation of his own that took him to Tatooine, where that planet’s familiar cast of goons and criminals – Jabba the Hutt, Bib Fortuna, Boba Fett, Gamorrean foot soldiers – were all gathered in the Cantina as the band played. There, he met Colvett Valeria (Yvette Nicole Brown) of the Rebel Alliance, who enlisted his aid in her mission. Obi-Wan, Hawaiian shirt and all, then played DJ for the group (“Let me hear the Outer Rim screeeeeeam!“), even getting Jabba to raise the roof, while Valeria used his diversion to get the intel she needed. The whole thing worked like a charm, and Obi-Wan and Valeria even managed to elude Boba Fett. The bounty hunter is seen telling Jabba that they got away, and he’s returning to Tatooine. “Yes, fine, I’ll pick up more ice.”
Back on the Chandrilla Starling, Finn runs into the droids, who are clad in spa towels. (R2 has cucumbers over its optics), and Rose and Chewie are fed up with Poe’s penchant for activities. Finn travels alone to the Scarif Beach resort area, where he is visited by a Jedi again. It’s Anakin “Sky Guy” Skywalker (Matt Lanter), who recalls the time he visited Scarif with Emperor Palpatine and how the whole thing became something out of the Grumpy Old Men movies. Picture Vader applying suntan lotion into Palp’s back (“Get rubbing. Rubbity rubbity! And don’t forget my shoulders!), and the two getting involved in a competition on the beach, which Palp is surprised to find he really enjoys. “You gotta find your bliss,” Anakin says to a frustrated Finn.
When Finn is visited a third time, it’s by General Leia Organa (Shelby Young), and the Princess remembers a vacation she took to Endor with her husband Han Solo (Ross Marquand) and their young son Ben (Matthew Wood). Well, more like what’s left of it. Endor is covered in junk leftover from the Alliance’s big showdown with the Empire at the end of Return of the Jedi, and a would-be tourism empresario named Wick Cooper (Thomas Lennon) is there to try and co-opt all of it from the Ewoks. Don’t worry, Leia and Han set him straight.
What Shows Will It Remind You Of? As keeper of both the Star Wars and Lego brands, it was natural for Disney to blend the two, and as such, Disney+ includes a wealth of content like Summer Vacation. There’s Star Wars: All-Stars, The New Yoda Chronicles series, and even Lego-fied holiday specials beamed from the Star Wars universe.
Our Take: The blatant marketing optics of these Lego Star Wars outings would be mildly offensive if the writing wasn’t so happily oddball. The funny details begin with Lando acting as a sort of master of ceremonies, who appears in hologram form wearing his cape and robin’s egg blue finery from the Cloud City days. “Welcome aboard the Halcyon, the most luxurious star cruiser in the galaxy,” he says. The bit about Jabba the Hutt and Boba Fett grooving to a DJ set by a fish-out-of-water party starter named Obi-Wan Kenobi is pretty funny, too. While it’s significant that in real life, Star Wars fans can drop thousands of dollars to book a state room at Disney World’s Galactic Starcruiser tourism experience, it’s easy enough to keep the bitter taste of cross-promotion out of your mouth while you let the Lego characters do their thing, even if it’s true that Finn slaps “Magic Band”-style wristbands onto his and his pals’ wrists once they arrive on the Halcyon. Focus on the laughs, and there’s fun to be had with Summer Vacation. But if you visit the Galactic Starcruiser in Orlando, don’t be surprised if your waiter is dressed up as a full-size Lego character.
Sex and Skin: Are you kidding?
Parting Shot: After realizing why he planned the vacation in the first place with insights from the Jedi spirits who visited, Finn recalls how each of his friends – Rey, Rose, and the rest – have taught him something about himself throughout their journey together. Which means it’s time for a big group hug.
Sleeper Star: There’s a bunch of solid voice acting going on Summer Vacationbut for our money, Ross Marquand (The Walking Dead) steals it as Han Solo, incorporating Harrison Ford’s cantankerous swagger but still making Lego Han his own.
Pilot-y Line bridge: “Finn, we gotta put those emotions in carbonite and chill, man.” Summer Vacation is all about blending Star Wars quotables with goofy takes on vacation life.
Our Call: STREAM IT, especially if you’re a fan of the other Lego/Star Wars combo content. The vibe in Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation is very familiar to the voice it’s already established, with a heavy dose of Disney lifestyle marketing added.
Johnny Loftus is an independent writer and editor living at large in Chicagoland. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, All Music Guide, Pitchfork Media, and Nicki Swift. Follow him on Twitter: @glennganges