With the Holiday Special, Rey went on a time-traveling adventure that taught her about the importance of human connection, while Poe learned what it meant to be a hero as he discovered Terrifying Tales. In Summer Vacation, Finn gets brought to the forefront of the story as three Force Ghosts offer him guidance about what it means to live in the moment because you don’t know how many you’ll have with your chosen family. While that notion might make one misty-eyed, rest assured that this 45-minute adventure is filled to the brim with corny jokes, music, and mayhem.
Despite being a LEGO-fied version of Star Wars that dumps every corner of the timeline together into a giant pile of LEGO brick characters, screenwriter David Shayne has a keen understanding of what makes Star Wars so special. These films may not be intended to be canon glimpses into the continuing adventures of Rey, Finn, Poe, Rose, and even Ben Solo—but they deliver the stories that fans are desperate for in the years following the end of the Skywalker Saga.
The film starts as the crew heads aboard the Halcyon—yes, the very same one that Star Wars fans can take a pricey trip aboard in the sweltering heat of Orlando, Florida—for a well-deserved vacation. Finn (Omar Miller) finds himself abandoned by his friends as Poe (Jake Green) drags Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) and Chewie off to partake in a long list of activities, and Rey (Helen Sadler) snoozes by the pool with the sacred texts. Feeling dejected, he winds up all alone in the lounge where he encounters the first of the three Force Ghosts that teach him the meaning of fun. Naturally, the first Force Ghost is Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) who is not exactly a character known for having “fun”—which is a bit throughout the film.
A long time ago, Obi-Wan Kenobi was just trying to enjoy a drink at the local Tatoonie watering hole when Colvett Valeria (Yvette Nicole Brown, reprising her LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures role) crashed into his life, in need of a fake husband to trick a couple of Stormtroopers into believing they were vacationers on Tattooine. Fake dating? In my Star Wars? More likely than you think. Together, Obi-Wan and Colvett embark on a heist for the Rebellion to steal some coaxium from Jabba the Hutt (Kevin Michael Richardson). Of course, their adventure veers straight into hilarity as they don colorful Hawaiian shirts and sing a little karaoke in a very Baz Luhrmann-inspired musical interlude. Of course, their adventure is cut relatively short, but still, it taught Obi-Wan how to have fun and live in the moment; something he would later share with Finn in his hour of need.
Even with Obi-Wan’s sage advice rattling around in his head, Finn needs a little extra push to learn the moral of the story and that push comes from a very unexpected jaunt to the beautiful sandy beaches of Scarif—yes that Scarif—where he encounters the Force Ghost of Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter) scuba diving along the shore. After a few jokes about sand and disbelief that Obi-Wan Kenobi told Finn to have fun, Anakin imparts a story about the time evil took a vacation. Continuing the shtick that Darth Vader (Matt Sloan) is a hopeless fool vying for Palpatine (Trevor Devall) to genuinely care about him and his attempts at flattery, Vader proposes they take a vacation to Scarif after a lackluster Empire Day.
Palpatine’s sour attitude continues even after they stumble upon a beach party being serenaded by Vic Vankoh (“Weird Al” Yankovic) and his band. However, once Palpatine realizes there is a prized title to be won, he’s willing to slather on some sunblock and play volleyball like he’s gunning for Top Gun notoriety. Unfortunately, Palpatine is a very evil guy and the concept of participation awards sends him spiraling into murder and mayhem. What lesson does this teach Finn, you might be asking? Well, you should do what you love! Even if that means being an evil, evil dude. This is Anakin he’s getting advice from after all.
After he returns to the Halcyon, Finn sulks a little more about his no-good vacation before he meets his third and final Force Ghost: General Leia (Shelby Young). Like Anakin, Leia just can’t believe that Obi-Wan told Finn about having fun, and she’s more than ready to teach him another lesson while she reminisces about the last family vacation she took with Han Solo (Ross Marquand) and their son Ben Solo (Matthew Wood) before they took him to his uncle’s. The previous LEGO Star Wars films were the gift that keeps on giving for fans of Ben Solo, and Summer Vacation continues the trend by delivering a delightful look at his childhood and a long-overdue happy adventure for him.
Han Solo thinks the best way to bond with his son is by dragging him down nostalgia lane with a quick stop on Mimban to show him where he first met Chewie in the mud pits. Leia seems more aware of the fact that her son is growing up, and that nostalgia may not be the best way to connect with him. All Ben wants to do is fly the Millennium Falcon and be a pilot like his father, but Han doesn’t think he’s ready to pilot anything.
The next leg of their vacation takes them to the Lake Villages of Endor, which is the tourist trap side of the Ewok-inhabited planet. There they meet Mr. Wick Cooper (Thomas Lennon) and his daughter Sidero (Kyliegh Curran) and that’s when everything starts looking up for Ben. What’s a summer vacation without a summer fling? In a valiant attempt to impress Sidero while some of the other local kids are taunting him about being Han Solo’s son, Ben declares that he can, in fact, fly the Millennium Falcon, and the kids take off on a dangerous joyride that puts them right into a debris field that nearly gets them killed.
Unlike live-action (and animated) Star Wars, the stakes are low in LEGO Star Wars, so everyone makes it back in one piece. In the heat of the moment, after surviving a harrowing situation, Sidero kisses Ben—which just so happens to be his first kiss! Ben’s homecoming is a bittersweet one, filled with paternal love and kind, compassionate words that I wish we could have seen delivered to the real Ben Solo. Seeing his connection to his parents makes his eventual death even more depressing. And don’t get me started about Han echoing the “I love you.”/“I know.” moment with his son.
Leia’s flashback teaches Finn that nothing lasts forever and that he should seize the now and make the most of it while he can. Additionally, it makes him realize that the real reason why everyone is having a tough time with the vacation is because no one wants to say goodbye to each other. Once the trip is over, Rey will be heading to the Unknown Regions, Rose will be working in relief aid, Poe will be training pilots, and Finn will be looking for Force users like him. This is the last time the group of friends will be together. With all of this newfound wisdom under his belt, Finn reunites with his friends and shares what he learned. This prompts a little reflection on Finn’s part which gives us a fun look back at a LEGO version of his first introductions to Poe, Rey, and Rose. It’s a tender note to end on, but the real waterworks—for me—came from the brief glimpse we got of Ben Solo’s Force Ghosts.
As the final moments of LEGO Star Wars Summer Vacation play out, we see Ben’s Force Ghost standing alongside his mother’s Force Ghost, which is an unexpected balm that soothes the Ben Solo-sized hole in my heart. This was the reunion the Sequel Trilogy robbed us of, and it was beautiful to see, even if it was in LEGO form. If the only place we get new stories about Ben Solo is in the LEGO Star Wars films, then I know that his fate is in capable hands.
LEGO Star Wars Summer Vacation is the perfect bookend to what I believe to be one of the most fun Star Wars trilogies to date. Not only do you get hijinks and hilarity, but you also get heartwarming stories that play upon the very foundations of Star Wars. These are pain-free ventures into a galaxy far, far away that are fun for the whole family and easily added to the go-to rotation of rewatch fodder. Meta-filled mayhem that plays on some of the corniest and most familiar Star Wars tropes is the perfect piece of cinema for long summer nights.
LEGO Star Wars Summer Vacation is streaming now on Disney+.
- “I am BV-RJ, human-cyborg libations.”
- Vacation? In Mos Eisley?
- “She’d forget her head if it wasn’t already snapped on.”
- “Gamorrean girls dance all night.”
- “So many Porgs looking at me with their big porgy eyes.”
- “That’s why SkyGuy is here!”
- “We’ve gotta put those emotions on carbonate and chill.”
- “It’s time to Force your way onto the dance floor!”
- “Did you just give me a life lesson from the Emperor?”
- “Solo? More like so low. Get it?”
- “Never tell my son the odds.”
- Try not to lose your hand. It’s kind of a thing in our family.”