Lego Star Wars Terrifying Tales TV Review

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1h74kdjUGE&ab_channel=JoBloAnimatedVideos

Plot: Dean, Poe and BB-8 must face their fears, stop an ancient evil from rising, and escape to make it back to their friends.

Review: At the end of last year, Disney+ premiered the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special. A risky move, considering the original Star Wars Holiday Special is regarded as a stain on the Lucasfilm legacy and one of the worst marketing tie-ins of all time. The LEGO special, also centered on the fictional holiday of Life Day, was a time travel extravaganza that found Rey traveling through the prequels and Original Trilogy. It was harmless and kid-centric fun despite being fluffy and inconsequential. The new Halloween-themed LEGO Star Wars Terrifying Tales is just as light and not scary in the least while providing some fun looks at some moments from the Skywalker saga from a slightly demented perspective.

Terrifying Tales mimics anthology horror movies like Tales From The Crypt and features a wraparound story bookending three short stories meant to chill viewers. This being Disney+ and LEGO, these stories are unlikely to frighten anyone over the age of five. But, going in, no one was expecting this to actually be anything but a cursory entry in the horror genre. While there are some moments paying homage to films like The Shining and The Lost Boys, this half-hour special feels more like a way to market some holiday-themed merchandise the marquee brands in the title.

Surprisingly, I enjoyed Terrifying Tales much more than I did the Christmas special. As an unabashed Halloween aficionado, I love anything related to the holiday. As much as I love Christmas as well, the LEGO Star Wars special was overly cheesy and a little painful to watch. That was in part due to the kitchen sink approach of shoving as many Star Wars references into the short running time as possible which made it almost impossible to follow. Here, the story is far more direct and uses the anthology frame to tell three very quick tales that do not overstay their welcome. Inspired by classic scary stories and going back into three specific eras of Star Wars canon, I was very intrigued by this jaunt down Lucasfilm lane.

Set after the events of The Rise of Skywalker, Terrifying Tales finds Poe Dameron and BB-8 crash landing on Mustafar, the volcanic planet where Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader. Poe runs into Graballa the Hutt who is beginning renovations to turn Vader’s monolithic fortress into a theme hotel. Complete with various stormtrooper uniforms and an animatronic Darth Vader, Graballa’s entrepreneurial idea doesn’t sit well with Poe. They then run into the mysterious Vanee (Tony Hale), a cloaked minion of Emperor Palpatine and Vader who regales his guests with the titular terrifying tales. Of course, Vanee has ulterior motives which are made clear by the end of the special, but first we get to revisit three significant eras.

The first tale, “The Lost Boy”, focuses on Ben Kenobi as he trained with Luke Skywalker. Bored with lifting rocks, Ben is entranced by the arrival of Ren (Christian Slater), a mysterious warrior with Force powers. This story echoes Marvel Comics’ recent backstory that showcases how Ben became Kylo Ren. While this is much quicker-paced, the story is very close to that comic book. I never knew how much I wanted Christian Slater in Star Wars until I saw this. The second story looks at Darth Maul after his bisection in The Phantom Menace. Similar to the first tale, this one mimics events seen in The Clone Wars animated series but incorporates General Grievous and some fun action. The third and final tale is a twist on the classic short story “The Monkey’s Paw” which becomes “The Wookie’s Paw.” This tale gives us a fun alternate story of what could have happened if Luke turned to the Dark Side before the events of A New Hope.

After all three quick stories, the wraparound brings it all together with a showdown that was better than I expected. Still, despite the inclusion of Christian Slater and Tony Hale, as well as the focus on only a handful of Star Wars characters we are familiar with, this is an entry in the Disney-era of Star Wars that is easily forgettable. As much fun as the LEGO Star Wars video games are, these specials have yet to offer anything all that worth tuning in for. Still, if you have little burgeoning Star Wars fans in your house, this will certainly keep them entertained and will not drive you nearly as crazy as some other kids’ programming. For what you get, LEGO Star Wars Terrifying Tales shows that there is room for anthology specials set in a galaxy far, far away, but they deserve to be better than this.

LEGO Star Wars Terrifying Tales premieres on October 1st on Disney+.

Lego Star Wars

AVERAGE

6

About the Author

5885 Articles Published

Alex Maidy has been a JoBlo.com editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been JoBlo.com's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.