'LEGO Star Wars: Terrifying Tales' Review - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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'LEGO Star Wars: Terrifying Tales' Review

Alexander Wallace spends Halloween on Mustafa.
Up until now, Star Wars has only had Christmas specials, one of them sorely regrettable. Being a space opera series set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, you would think that relevance to real-world holidays would be at best minimal. But, as we can see, this is no longer the case, with the release of the Disney+ exclusive LEGO Star Wars: Terrifying Tales.

I’ll be frank with you: I’m something of a LEGO Star Wars purist. I grew up playing the telltale games about the prequel trilogy and the original trilogy in the mid-2000s, with all the dialogue being delivered by grunting. As such, I’ve never been wholly adjusted to Star Wars minifigures who speak in actual English (or Basic, as the case may be).

The plot begins with an X-Wing malfunction forcing Poe Dameron and BB-8 to make an emergency landing on a fiery planet that we have seen before: Mustafar, the world where Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader, and later had his own rather ominous-looking castle. It is that castle to which the narrative travels.

That keep overlooking lava has been subjected to a strange fate: it has been seized by Graballa the Hut and transformed into a grisly Sith-themed hotel and resort (who would want to stay at such a place is beyond me, but our own world is filled with plenty of atrocity tourism). Poe and BB-8 ask Graballa for help with the X-Wing problem. From there, they find that this castle is home to more than just a hotel made in poor taste.
You then are shafted from spooky story to spooky story, all playing on familiar elements of the Star Wars universe. In doing so, you meet another character in Graballa’s service that aids your heroes in clever and amusing ways. In this regard, it’s a fairly well-told story, but ultimately by-the-books for the franchise.

That’s where, I feel, Terrifying Tales is limited. It is far too conventional in regards to its source material to do anything truly novel. There’s no exploitation of common tropes for anything truly terrifying. It doesn’t help that, in the right places, Star Wars can be plenty scary; who wasn’t horrified when we saw Anakin burning on Mustafar? But this is, ultimately, a short film for children. The twelve-year-old boys that George Lucas made Star Wars for will be very happy, as the humor is still quite good (and, in this century, many girls will enjoy it too). But for those of us who are older, we will be left with vague satisfaction and not much else.

Alexander Wallace is an alternate historian, reader, and writer who moderates the Alternate History Online group on Facebook and the Alternate Timelines Forum on Proboards. He writes regularly for the Sea Lion Press blog and for NeverWas magazine, and also appears regularly on the Alternate History Show with Ben Kearns. He is a member of several alternate history fora under the name 'SpanishSpy.'

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