The Star Wars Holiday Special
I honestly haven’t seen this since it aired “back in the day.” So, when I tell you that this cinematic misadventure is less of a “viewing” and more of an “endurance trial,” you should trust me! This wasn’t a movie, it was a hostage situation! This was tough to sit through! I looked for something..anything familiar in this installment of the franchise, which I have loved since I was a boy. What I found both saddened and frightened me. I’ll never be the same again…
Of course, I remember this when it aired (Yes.. I’m THAT old)! I thought it was “da shit” but then again, I was a child and Kenner toys could have slapped “Star Wars” on a Bantha turd and I’d have begged my mother to buy it for me. Seriously, my humble review and reminiscence pales to the full experience one gets in actually sitting down and watching this flotsam and submitting yourself to its full, mind-numbing effect. You must see it to believe it. Hell.. I recommend getting together with friends, copious amounts of booze, and slog through it together! Believe me, you'll be glad for the support network! But... before you do...
Make sure you have the Star Wars Holiday Special survival kit:
*except for Alderanians!
Plenty of Red Bull...
Red Bull gives you X-Wings!
..or strong coffee!
Dark Side Roast!
...and ready access to the Suicide Prevention Hotline!
Luke... I..am your Operator!
Oh! Oh Well...
Some gal with WAY too much makeup
Whatever drugs she's on today
Half of Han Solo
The Hairclub for Men Spokesmodel
NOT Kenny Baker as R2D2
Gay robot guy
..and ARRGH! ...whatever the hell THESE are!!
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The Star Wars Holiday Special
Click on the Youtube link to watch The Star Wars Holiday Special..
..if you dare!!!
“Force”ing its way out of The Locker (Ha.. see what I did there?) is the much maligned 1978 offering from a galaxy far, far away..”The Star Wars Holiday Special,” starring all the usual suspects, for a few minutes at least, and introducing new characters comprised of Chewbacca’s immediate family. This epic showing of misery and pain entails the trials and tribulations of Chewy trying to get home to celebrate “Lifeday” or something like that. The story begins with Han and Chewbacca on the Millennium Falcon evading two Star Destroyers as they begin their journey to Kashyyk, the Wookie planet. It is evident that Han and company have PLENTY of time on their hands as they have completely redesigned the cockpit of the Falcon because it is totally different from the year before in “Star Wars: A New Hope.” Fortunately, after this, they re-renovate the cockpit because by the time “Empire Strikes Back” rolls around, its back to normal.
Fair warning, this flick is a complex and bizarre tapestry of non-subtitled, non-translated Wookie noise as they fritter their day away doing household chores..supplemented with “A New Hope” stock footage, and punctuated about every 10 minutes with some off-the-wall cutaway, performance, or sequence. It really is a very oddly constructed film. As stated, Chewy’s family is frittering away their day doing chores and passing the time. There’s Malla (Chewy’s wife) and then there’s Itchy (his son) and Lumpy (his father??). Itchy and Lumpy CLEARLY got the shit-end of the Wookie naming stick! Seriously Lucas..”Itchy” and “Lumpy” were the best you could do? That’s just completely..totally..utterly, utterly sad and embarrassing! The first interlude from the mundane toil of Wookie life is a 5 minute “holographic dance” Cirque de’Wookie show on the gaming table from the Falcon. After that painful intermission, the family then contacts Luke and R2D2 to inquire the whereabouts of Chewie and Han. Fortunately, Luke has taken the Rosetta Stone course for “Wookie” in his downtime with the Rebellion because he understands and converses with Chewie’s family. Somewhere in here, we are treated to a stock footage break-away with Darth Vader and a dead guy from the Death Star where Vader tells him to “search every household.” That’s gonna take some time! After Malla bugs Art Carney in his junk store, we are treated to more “a day in the life of a Wookie family.” Malla is preparing a meal while watching a cooking show starring Harvey Korman doing this really horrifying intergalactic alien Julia Child”esque” impression. When his character suddenly sprouts 2 more arms from somewhere, my first thought was “what else does s/he have multiple of?”
THIS is why Wookies need to abstain from Absinthe. They actually see green fairies!
Two words: Nightmare Fuel !!!
Gaaa! We're just adding fuel to the fire at this point !!
Wrong, you scruffy-lookin' Nerf-herder! You don't get out of this that easily!
When the Empire broadcasts that they are stopping all freighter and space traffic from “Kazook,” I was initially relieved..you know.. since they are on the planet Kashyyk. Makes one wonder if that is some sort of intentional mispronunciation just to piss off the Wookies? Anyway, Art Carny drops by to visit. I am guessing that he JUST slipped under the wire with that embargo and brings Lifeday presents for everyone. It’s here that Lumpy is treated to a 5 minute soft-core porn interlude via some holographic mind-projector.. right there in the living room. Imperial officers suddenly arrive to look for suspected rebels and they begin to “search” the house. There’s one officer, a Death Star console worker (out of work being that there is no Death Star), and two stormtroopers. They spend about 30 minutes meandering around this cramped 2-story house looking for a seven-and-a-half foot tall Wookie, while being distracted by a closed-circuit feed from a local bar (?) or the cantina from “A New Hope?” Hell if I know! This is like if the police came to your house with a search warrant, looking for escaped convicts, and plopped down on your sofa with you to watch a rerun of Modern Family! I’m so damned confused at this point…
Here you go, hon! Your 'do is going to be absolutely fabulous. You want a Cosmo while you wait??
WHERE..are..the..REBELS?? Ooooo, Law and Order SVU, don't mind if I do!
Worst animation EVER!!! Why does Han Solo only have three fingers on each hand? He have a tragic accident in Shop Class? And what's with Chewy's head? Did he get sucked up into Lumpy's mental-masturbation softcore porn machine?
If you squint...look reeeal hard..you might find what's left of our collective dignity. No? Oh well...
Continuing with the non sequitur interruptions to the story line, Itchy watches a cartoon sequence featuring Boba Fett right in the middle of this Imperial “inspection” that’s taking 4 Imperials way too much time to execute. Remember, stock footage Darth Vader told previously-dead Imperial Death Star guy to “search every household!” They better get a move-on! After ANOTHER weird closed-circuit cantina sequence (including a tortuous and wildly unnecessary musical number by Bea Arthur) we get back to Chewbacca’s family. Han and Chewy suddenly arrive (how’s that blockade working for ya, Empire?) and confront the remaining Stormtrooper, who promptly somehow accidentally hurls himself off the balcony with a glorious Wilhelm scream! Han leaves because the Falcon is double-parked or something (wasn’t there a blockade?) and after a family reunion with a creepy discomfort level dialed up to 10, everyone goes to celebrate Lifeday. We are then treated to Luke, Leah, Han, Chewie, R2D2 and C3PO…6 very famous and high-ranking rebel fugitives…highly sought after war criminals..with prices on their heads, lining up in a really nice row to very publicly celebrate Lifeday. Again.. BOLCKADE?? Wasn’t the Empire JUST looking for them, going household to household? Leah sings a really, really, horrid song to the “Star Wars” melody and the credits roll. Fin!
"Imperial Tip Line, How may I help you?"
"You know those extremely dangerous, wanted fugitive rebels? The ones that blowed up your very expensive Laser Death- Moon thingy? Well, they are all just standing right in front of me. Is there still a reward offered for information leading to their capture?"
What the hell? They all line up and march into a supernova? George, buddy, just because you CAN do a special effect doesn't mean you HAVE to!
You know.....I ended up saying "What the HELL?!?!?" quite a lot while watching this. WHEW! The odds of you making it through this drek in one sitting is 3720 to 1! Yes… this flick is EXACTLY as confusing..bizarre..demoralizing as it sounds. Initially, I’m looking at the subtitles setting thinking I’ve accidentally turned something off but, NOPE! We are treated to about 45 minutes of Wookie grunting, growling, and gesticulating punctuated by odd “holographic” sequences (1978 TV special effects-worthy), sprinkled with live-action sequences that confuse and boggle the mind. For example, the first time we see Art Carney’s little shop of horrors, Malla is making a video-call and we are treated to a 5 minute sequence of the camera panning around, focusing in on things in the shop, cutting back and forth..until he says, “Oh.. I have a video call.” That’s a very odd thing for a video call to do. This also happens with the “cantina” sequences. So, is it a video call or a live feed? Where does one subscribe to the “All Cantina” network? And, is this THE cantina from Tatooine or is this a local watering hole? If it’s THE cantina, it begs the question as to why? Is THE cantina THAT interesting that it has its own channel? If it’s THE cantina, nobody has left the place in the last year because all the creatures, INCLUDING the band, are STILL there! If it’s a different place..all the creatures (and the band) have migrated like locusts to it, which, is also weird. Perhaps the band relocated and all the creatures don’t belong to that class of “scum and villainy” as Obi Wan suggested. They’re just Cantina band groupies!
Ok, I’m done with the cantina, the groupies, and the odd "sexual assault" perpetrated by one of Korman’s characters on the cantina bartender, Bea Arthur. Hey Korman.. no MEANS "NO!" She looks less than pleased about it. It is pervy! It is rapey! It deserves to be mentioned! Between that and Lumpy’s softcore porn sequence in the living room, how did this make it onto the air?
Harvey..NO! Bad touch!! Don't make me get the water bottle!
Hey, Bea... #MeR2D2
I mean, there is SO MUCH wrong with this installment in the Star Wars universe that I honestly am at a loss as to where to begin. This review could go on for pages! So, I’ll stop here and press you to go to Youtube and watch it yourself. Reacquaint yourself with it. Enjoy the pain and confusion coupled with the sorrow and disappointment that there was a group of people, Lucas included, that thought this was a great idea. Revel in the totally irrelevant cutaway sequences and the really bad special effects. Soak in the sub-par acting and the terror that is inspired by Itchy and Lumpy (again…SHAME on you Lucas)! Relive fond memories brought to you, just a year prior, via the medium of stock footage! Embrace that Wookies actually, finally put on clothes..sometimes. Suffer and enjoy!
AAAGH! He have a stroke or something???