Announced during the Summer of LEGO Star Wars panel during Star Wars Celebration 2022, teased during LEGO Con 2022, and to be streamed on Disney+ on August 5th, the latest LEGO Star Wars special is getting The Holo-Brick Archives’ scrutiny in this pre-release review.
Like the two previous LEGO Star Wars specials – Holiday Special (2020) and Terrifying Tales (2021) – the upcoming Summer Vacation is full of goofy humor as well as non-canon action. And a couple of songs – but we won’t go into those.
Set on the luxurious Halcyon starcruiser, which is also the location of the immersive hotel experience in the Galaxy Edge zone at Walt Disney World, Finn has booked a well-earned getaway for his friends before they all go their seperate ways now the New/Final Order has been vanquished. After a clash in expectations the vacation goes awry and Poe, Rey, the droids and Rose all head off in different directions as they seek out their own forms of fun.
Left to himself, Finn heads to the nearest bar (not sure what the message is there) where he meets the first of three Force ghosts of vacations past, each having their own shockers – as well as lessons – to share.
In the first tale, the spirit of Obi-Wan recounts a time during his exile on Tatooine when a young Lieutenant Valeria – who is trying to sneak into Jabba’s palace to steal some coaxium for the Rebel Alliance – persuades him to help her maintain cover as a hapless tourist. The uptight Ben eventually agrees and – after getting carried away in the revelries – learns that having fun in the moment is important.
Armed with this revelation, Finn goes in search of his frends to share his new-found knowledge – but before he can make amends he finds himself on a shuttle bound for the “newly restored” resort world of Scariff.
While sukily building sand castles on the beach, he experiences a 10-like moment when the Force ghost of Anakin Skywalker emerges from the surf and recounts the time when he (as Darth Vader) tried to cheer up Emperor Palpatine with a surprise vacation. Despite his best efforts, Vader isn’t able to force his master to find fun in the conventional sense, and eventually realises that finding your own bliss comes in many forms.
After reflecting on his discoveries, Finn comes to the realization that not everyone has the same idea of what fun is, and being relaxed about relaxation is the best approach. Back on board the Halcyon, a more upbeat Finn tries to put his new knowledge into practice but it’s the third yarn, delivered by Leia Organa’s supernatural projection, that fills the final piece of the puzzle.
Taking place on Endor where Han and Leia and their young son, Ben, are on a journey down memory lane before he starts his Jedi training, the family trip goes sour when Ben tries to impress his new friends. Finding himself in a fix, Ben reaches out to his parents and Han realizes he needs to let go and give his son control of his own destiny.
The third lesson helps Finn to finally resolve his inner conflict, because – after reflecting on the turmoil that he felt when his friends found their own ways to entertain themselves – he recognizes the anxiety he is feeling about their impending separation as they each take on new missions and goals which will send them to different corners of the galaxy.
The special ends on the thought that saying goodbye is always hard, but enjoying the moments – good or bad – for as long as they last means that no one is truly gone. Parents whose kids are moving out at the end of this summer after one final family vacation are sure to get misty-eyed over this sentiment.
Knowing that the established comedy format is not to be taken seriously, Summer Vacation continues to poke fun at the LEGO Star Wars universe in the same style that Robot Chicken set up 15 years ago – except this special is definitely aimed at children, so don’t expect any [adult swim] humor in this outing.
With its pacing just right to hold a child’s attention, and with enough in-universe hat-tips that interweave emerging canon with fan favorites without being overly fan pandering, grown-up viewers will get a kick out of the Summer Vacation special too. Whether or not the messages contained within the special will resonate with everyone remains to be seen.
Even if the whimisical, slap-stick comedy of these LEGO Star Wars specials isn’t to your taste, give Summer Vacation a go anyway – if only to see all the inventive minifigure costums that the show’s creators have come up with. There’s all kinds of inspiration for customizers in this special – and don’t forget that this year’s 75340 LEGO Star Wars Advent calendar will have at least three Summer Vacation-inspired minifigures – including an exclusive Summer tanktop-wearing Darth Vader minifigure – in it!
With the launch of the Summer wave of sets less than 24 hours away, and the August 5th debut of the new LEGO Star Wars: Summer Vacation special on Disney+ only six days from now, it’s getting hot, hot, hot!
With three specials covering Thanksgiving, Halloween and the summer break, we have to wonder what’s next. What season would you like to see covered in the next LEGO Star Wars special?
Fervent documentarian, effusive AFOL and founding partner, Jeremy manages the daily news content and set reviews.
Having enjoyed playing with LEGO from his earliest years, Jeremy started collecting LEGO Star Wars in 1999 when the theme was first released. He has shared his thoughts and opinions on LEGO via a number of websites – including starwars.com, rebelscum.com and brickset.com – contributed to the LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary series and served the LEGO Ambassador Network as a Recognised LEGO Fan Media representative.