Monday, October 18, 2021

Lego Star Wars Terrifying Tales

In the Star Wars universe, Life Day is a stand in for Christmas, but there is no stand in for Halloween. So the new Lego Star Wars Terrifying Tales (which can be found on Disney Plus) uses the Dark Side as the basis to tell some "scary stories". Let me clarify what I mean by "scary": these three stories claim to be terrifying, but they are really very tongue-in-cheek. As they should be. In true Lego fashion, they make fun of their own jump scares, they put lightning inside the buildings to broadcast how "scary" the scenes are, and they go over the top in breaking the fourth wall. This show is geared toward kids, with a few jokes sprinkled in for adults. Any given Treehouse of Terror is scarier, and even Sesame Street has more humor geared towards adults. 

But Lego Star Wars Terrifying Tales is still an enjoyable show, if you can enjoy the fact that it’s for kids. There are some good references to The Twilight Zone, Carrie, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Lost Boys, The Shining, and The Fly. The battle droids become zombies saying “Roger! Roger!” instead of “Brainz!” Fun, silly stuff.

There are some simple lessons to learn about the balance of fear and courage, about being careful what you wish for, about tenacity, and about the dangers of greed. There are good references to the existing Star Wars canon, especially in "The Wookie's Paw" which is really just a clever adaptation of A New Hope. But as with any Lego property, the best parts are the background gags and the self aware humor. Darth Vader saying "Feel the power of the dark side … at the Empire Emporium!" Stopping to do wordplay in the middle of a battle. Using the name "Mr. The Hutt". 

The humor in this special, just like the most recent Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, is a little juvenile and over-the-top when compared to the much better jokes of Lego video games. But that’s to be expected. This is a Halloween special aimed at kids. But even still, there really are a few great moments of self-awareness and humor mocking the original Star Wars franchise itself, which older fans will definitely appreciate.

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