I will never complain about the Star Wars prequel trilogy again, not after witnessing the atrocity that is the Star Wars Holiday Special. It is incredibly bad, from its constant wookie barking to its completely pointless instruction video for fictional communications technology. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s start from the beginning.
(This is what qualifies for comedy in this "special,"
a man dressed like a middle-aged woman on a cooking show)
The holiday special was aired on TV in 1978, the year after the first Star Wars movie graced cinemas across the world and changed the way we looked at movies. It features the main cast from the movie as well as appearances from Bea Arthur, Art Carney and Diahann Carroll. The real stars of the movie are wookies though: Chewie’s wife, son and father. George Lucas himself has barely acknowledged this specials existence and his most notable quote is,
“If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.” And this is coming from the guy who created the prequel trilogy and directed the Howard the Duck movie. It has never re-aired and has never been officially released on video. The only way to witness this special is to watch it online or track down a bootleg recording. Finding it takes too much effort for what it’s worth, two hours of watching wookies bark at each other mixed with annoying interludes and bad songs. Its less painful to listen to a winey 12-year-old cry for a full week because he received a PS3 instead of an Xbox 360.
(Today's bad haircut is brought to you by...smiling wookies)
The plot is simple enough, Han Solo and Chewbacca are heading home to celebrate “Life Day,” because…I have no idea why they call it life day. Other alternate universe stories have had Christmas episodes/issues. Heck, Donkey Kong Country 3 has a cheat that gives the bonus levels Christmas music and presents instead of bananas. Why wimp out and call it life day? Meh, it’s not worth thinking about. Han and Chewie are delayed by stock footage from A New Hope, and we even see re-dubbed footage of Darth Vader because that’s not cheap or anything.
(Meet Chewbacca's son, Lumpy. That's a terrible name, even for a walking carpet.)
Meanwhile at Chewie’s place, his son is being an unlikeable brat, constantly wining in wookie speak – your ears will bleed if you don’t take breaks, I guarantee it. Meanwhile, Chewie’s horny father is watching videos of women dressed in costumes that make them look like sperm, because every Star Wars fan wants to see an old wookie’s cum face. Question, why is the old wookie’s fantasy a human? I never thought Star Wars would go the bestiality route. There’s a bunch of weird videos of people dressed in ridiculous costumes playing silly music that wouldn’t even entertain a 3-year-old. While the acrobatics and jugglers are kind of entertaining, it’s nothing you couldn’t see performed on the street.
(This is easily the most disturbing scene in anything Star Wars)
After a while, an imperial officer and three storm troopers invade, looking for the man of the house. They act like total jerks just to show us that the empire is evil because subtlety is for losers. They even rip apart the kid’s stuffed bantha while searching his room. Eventually Han and Chewie show up and save the day by making the storm troopers trip over their own gun. I know they weren’t that skilled in episode four, but it’s sad when trained soldiers can’t even keep their balance when nobody touches them.
(I guess the animated Clone Wars TV series isn't that bad after all)
There are two sort-of redeeming moments in this special though. First, there’s an animated section which introduces Boba Fett. It has the only real action in this special, which is sad considering “Wars” is one of the words in the title. The segment is marred by the really bad animation and the fact that it’s interrupted by more wookie family time and commercial breaks. The other moment is Bea Arthur’s segment. Here, she runs a bar on Tatooine that is shut down by the empire. What follows is a touching and kind of sad song. The only problem here is that one of the chorus reps has all the tone deaf bar patrons join in, but I’m willing to forgive that considering how bad the rest of the special is.
(The only part of the special that's remotely worth watching)
The special ends with hundreds of wookies joining together and bark singing, and it’s as painful as it sounds. They finally quiet down to listen to Carrie Fisher singing about, um…family? Forcing her to sing solo is probably what started her drug problems.
So how was the special overall? You really have to ask? Jar Jar Binks is hilarious compared to this piece of trash. George Lucas is right to want to obliterate every copy of this, and if he ever does chase them down with a sludge hammer, I’d join him with a flamethrower if he lets me.
Two word review – incredibly bad