Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation

STREAMING REVIEW:

Disney+;
Animated;
Not rated.
Voices of “Weird Al” Yankovic, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, Dee Bradley Baker, James Arnold Taylor, Kelly Marie Tran, Helen Sadler, Matt Lannter, Matt Sloan, Omar Benson Miller, Ross Marquand, Shelby Young, Thomas Lennon, Trevor Devall.

The “Lego Star Wars” animated specials have the uncanny ability to both parody the brand while telling interesting tales set within it, and Summer Vacation is no exception.

The core story finds the sequel-era characters getting together for a trip to the starship Halcyon — a bit of brand synergy that ties into Walt Disney World’s new immersive “Star Wars” hotel role-play experience. Set following the events of Rise of Skywalker, the special focuses on Finn’s worries that the group won’t be together much longer as they have separate destinies to fulfill — a premise that makes good use of the “family” theme introduced by John Williams in the last film.

Despite his efforts to organize group activities on the ship, they get split up, prompting Finn to sulk at the bar where he is encountered by the ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi, who tells him of a time he helped a Rebel spy infiltrate Jabba’s palace by singing Karaoke at one of the Hutt lord’s parties.

Next, the ghost of Anakin Skywalker recalls a trip to the tropical beaches of Scarif (the planet from the end of Rogue One), where the Emperor insisted on winning several contests for the beachgoers due to his obsession with ruling everything.

Finally, the ghost of Leia tells of a family vacation to Endor where young Ben Solo tried to impress a girl by letting her friends steal the Millennium Falcon.

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The sight gags mostly work, but the strength of the show is in staying true to the essence of the characters, which results in some unexpected moments of sentimentality. The portrayal of the Emperor-Vader relationship is the most over-the-top, straying closer to “Robot Chicken” territory as Palpatine acts like Cobra Commander in his obnoxious quest to dominate everything.

Another highlight is the voice cameo of “Weird Al” Yankovic as the beach party MC singing “Scarif Beach Party.” This lets Al add on to his oeuvre of “Star Wars” songs that previously included “Yoda” and “The Saga Begins.”

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Fox Bringing ‘Dog Days’ Home in November

The comedy Dog Days will be released through digital retailers Nov. 6 and on DVD Nov. 20 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The film follows a group of strangers whose lives intertwine as a result of their dogs. The cast includes Vanessa Hudgens, Jon Bass, Nina Dobrev, Adam Pally, Eva Longoria, Rob Corddry, Finn Wolfhard, Ron Cephas Jones and Thomas Lennon.

Dog Days earned $6.8 million at the domestic box office.

Eastwood’s ’15:17 to Paris’ Coming Home in May

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release director Clint Eastwood’s The 15:17 to Paris digitally May 1, and on Blu-ray and DVD May 22.

The docu-drama recounts the story of three Americans — Anthony Sadler, Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos and U.S. Air Force Airman First Class Spencer Stone — who stopped a terrorist attack on a train in Europe in 2015.

Sadler, Skarlatos and Stone play themselves in the film, joined by a cast that includes Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer, Ray Corasani, P.J. Byrne, Tony Hale and Thomas Lennon. Paul-Mikél Williams plays the younger Anthony, Bryce Gheisar plays the younger Alek and William Jennings plays the younger Spencer.

The Blu-ray and DVD will include the featurette “Portrait of Courage,” in which Eastwood and his creative team discuss how the story inspired them and why they moved to have the three Americans to play themselves.

The Blu-ray will include the additional featurette “Making Every Second Count,” in which Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler take viewers moment-by-moment through the real-life drama, just as they lived it.