Features

The Star Wars Holiday Special!
by: -RoG-

...CONTINUED

After the music video concludes, the search of their apartment continues and little Lumpy is extremely upset that they're going to search his room. They finally calm him down and get him to play with a video screen. Somehow they don't notice he's watching a cartoon about his father engaging in rebel activity, but that's the Empire for ya. Their troops were never made out to be bright... even when compared to a child Wookiee.

So the cartoon itself isn't very entertaining, but many consider it to be the most important part of the Star Wars Holiday Special because it's the first time people were introduced to the Boba Fett character. If you ask me, though, that's a sad way for a character to be born. Especially one as cool as Boba Fett. Well anyway, the story is pretty simple, he's trying to get in with the Rebels so they will lead him to their hideout. Then he can report back to Darth Vader and collect his fee. C3-PO and R2-D2 overhear him talking with Darth, however, and inform the others. So Boba Fett makes an escape, but promises that they'll meet again as he flies off into the sky.

There's a few things that bother me about the cartoon which I'd like to discuss...


R2-D2.
Last time I checked, he was a metal droid, not a fucking Jell-O Jiggler.


Luke Skywalker.
Before they even get him the medicine he needs in this cartoon,
Luke's eyes indicate that he's already on some kind of medication if you ask me.


The Millennium Falcon.
If memory serves correctly, the bottom of the Millennium Falcon is not pink.


Boba Fett.
It's already bad enough to introduce a cool character like his in this abysmal holiday special,
but if they had to do it, couldn't they of had him riding something a little more
badass than a cute creature that swims in what looks like a sea of bubble gum?


Han Solo.
I'm not sure how it happened, but somehow they made Harrison Ford's face look
like worn-out moccasin that had been accidentally used in an elephant's colonoscopy.

After the cartoon ends, we cut back to Lumpy's room where the troops are tearing it apart in search of anything related to the Rebels. They even tear off the head of a big stuffed animal and then tell Lumpy to go to clean up his room. It's like they're making a point to pick on little Lumpy. As Lumpy cries out in woe upon discovering the severed head of his favorite stuffed animal, the Imperial Officer chuckles, "That will keep him busy for a while." Call me cruel, but I think this is hands-down one of the most entertaining moments of the entire holiday special.

After putting a blanket on the mangled stuffed animal, Lumpy sits on the floor and starts to assemble the mini-transmitter that Saundan brought him as a gift earlier on. It comes with a video in which an Amorphian citizen instructs him on how to assemble it. The problem is, the motor abilities of Amorphian citizens are frequently impaired by malfunctions which result in a temporarily loss of power. So basically, the instructor (again played by Harvey Korman) keeps jittering around and/or falling asleep during the video. It's basically a sight gags segment that runs on for too long. Still, little Lumpy is brighter than he looks and he manages to put the thing together without the help of the instructor.

Back downstairs, a broadcast is sent to the Imperial forces instructing them to watch this video so that they can feel better about themselves due to the lack of moral value that the characters in the video have. But trashing the room of a Wookiee kid is full of good wholesome values! The video takes place on Tatooine in the same Cantina we all remember from the movies. Han shot first.

Ackmena (played by Bea "Golden Girls" Arthur) is the lady that serves the drinks in the Cantina. Harvey Korman returns again for his third character in this show as Krelman, a patron who's in love with Ackmena. Her infamous caustic attitude stands out in what is an otherwise extremely dull and pointless skit. Of course, what would a holiday special be without Bea Arthur singing a song and dancing with none other than Greedo himself?

Well it's not much, but at least you can check off "Witness Bea Arthur and Greedo gettin' down to boogie" from your "things to see before you die" list.

Lumpy, being the tricky little Wookiee that he is, uses his mini-transmitter to send a fake message to the Imperial troops in their home. The message tells them to report back to base, but they leave one stormtrooper behind to question Chewbacca when he arrives about rebel activity. The stormtrooper then goes upstairs and discovers that it was Lumpy playing a trick on them and he chases him outside the treehouse where Chewbacca is just arriving. While the stormtrooper prepares to arrest Chewbacca, Han Solo sneaks up behind him and kicks the gun out of his hand.

Remember how I said they never make them out to be all that bright? Well here's a perfect example. The stormtrooper dives after his gun, trips on a log and falls through the guard rail all the way to his doom. And that's the big battle of the entire special, a quick fight between Han Solo and one measly stormtrooper.

Now that the threat is gone, they all exchange hugs because they can finally celebrate Life Day. In an overemotional moment, Han takes a deep breath and tells the Wookiees, "You're like family to me." Awwwwww! Then Chewie and Malla are reunited and they hug and cry and moan and hug. Awwwwww! Saundan even saves their asses one last time by telling the Imperial Officer a lie about how the stormtrooper, who really fell to his death, robbed him and then headed for the hills. Awwwwww!

After all the hugs and other pleasantries are done with, the Wookiee family each grabs a glowing ball and then are somehow teleported into space while wearing red robes. I'm not really sure just what in the hell is going on here, but it probably has to do with Life Day. Maybe the balls teleport them to a magical Life Day land? Maybe the balls actually release a hallucinogen that makes the Wookies THINK they've been teleported to a magical life day land? Who knows? And more importantly... who cares?

We then see tons of Wookiees walking into a light source. SO EXCITING!

All of a sudden, our favorite Star Wars characters are standing together in some mystical mountainous area with lots of smog. Princess Leia then addresses the crowd: "This holiday is yours, but we all share with you the hope that this day brings us closer to freedom and to harmony and to peace. No matter how different we appear, we're all the same in our struggle against the powers of evil and darkness. I hope that this day will always be a day of joy in which we can reconfirm our dedication and our courage, and more than anything else, our love for one another. This is the promise of the tree of life."

From there, she goes on to sing the Life Day song, which is nothing more than a slowed down version of the Star Wars theme song with bad vocals on top of it. Really bad vocals. One look at the faces of Han, Luke 'n Chewie and you know they're not really enjoying the song either. Then again, if you had to pretend to enjoy a tune performed by a coked-out actress (just one look at Carrie Fisher in this special will confirm this), you'd have the holiday blues too. Yes my friends, THIS is what life day is all about. After her song concludes, it cuts to various clips from the Star Wars movie. Once that's done, we're back at the Wookiee's home... probably because they didn't want to stick around for Princess Leia's encore performance.

The Wookiee's all join hands, say a Wookiee prayer and then prepare to eat that delicious Bantha Surprise which Malla worked so hard on. Hopefully it'll leave a better taste in their mouths than this godforsaken holiday special left in mine.

I don't care how many public claims he's made about wanting this holiday special wiped off the face of the planet, I still have a hunch that George Lucas watches it every night, masturbating furiously as he cackles like a madman. Oh you knew what you were doing Georgie boy... and just because you made sure your name didn't appear in the credits doesn't mean you're not still responsible for it. Come on George! It's time for you to let the world see that twisted stepson known as "The Star Wars Holiday Special" whom you've had locked in the attic all these years. After all, if you can show the world "The Phantom Menace" with no shame, I see no reason why you can't give this special the same treatment.

the end.

Have any questions or comments about this piece?
Email -RoG-

 

If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out:

Christmas In The Stars: The Star Wars Christmas Album!
"Christmas In The Stars": The Star Wars Christmas Album!

Reader Comments

Pickled Patriarch
Dec 7th, 2009, 12:43 PM
As part of our ongoing holiday season, I went ahead and updated my old article about the Star Wars Holiday Special from years ago and put it into the new site template so you guys can finally comment it on here! After all, who wouldn't want to talk about things like "Life Day" and that insanely creepy grandpa Wookie?
Forum Virgin
Dec 7th, 2009, 01:34 PM
I saw the Rifftrax version of this pile. It didn't help.
Is a RoboCop.
Dec 7th, 2009, 01:43 PM
I loved that Hasbro released a Holiday Special version of Boba Fett a couple years ago. It wasn't just a straight up repaint either, they gave him the blaster pistol and vibro rod thing that he had in the cartoon. Sometimes when I'm alone I like to tape him to my back and pretend I'm a happy flipper monster that eats spaceships.
The face of trapped wind.
Dec 7th, 2009, 02:00 PM
I always liked how the list of guest stars was more or less a who's who of who's availiable.
Clap if you love Dynamo
Dec 7th, 2009, 02:31 PM
This special was so bad it became an experience. I made a friend watch it with me when I got my copy, because for something this bad, one must not experience it alone.

And yes, Bea Arthur was probably the only real entertaining part of this special (no disrespect to Harvey Korman, but after Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety, History of the World: Part 1, and The Carol Burnett Show, I expect better from him, and you could tell he had little to work with and did even less with it)

EDIT: Side note, every copy of this I have ever seen has all these cool commercials from the 70s, and it doesn't take long till you look forward to these old commercials :P
Forum Virgin
Dec 7th, 2009, 06:45 PM
I'm trying to picture the Wookie Sears or Home Depot that sells ovens and appliances to Chewbacca's family. Was there a Wookie Ikea to buy the bookshelves?
Deadly Towers Survivor
Dec 7th, 2009, 06:50 PM
To quote River City Ransom: BARF!
Fanboy
Dec 7th, 2009, 11:24 PM
Just gets more unwatchable every year.
As u wish...
Dec 8th, 2009, 01:52 AM
i remember this when it first ran....as a child, this was the best thing ever...there were no vhs tapes, so the only way you could watch Star Wars id if it was re-released in theaters! and this was before Empire Strikes back. so for all the cheese it is NOW, back then it was great! sure its horrid and painful now, but jeeesuhs, what WASNT in the late 70's??
Psychobabble Debate Champ
Dec 8th, 2009, 04:47 AM
Horrible, but it just goes to show you how young television still was at that point. Could you possibly imagine, say, an episode of "Dexter" thrown together with test scenes, totally random clips inserted, a digital still of Michael Hall spouting a catchphrase, then 15 minutes of looping murder scenes??

Lucas tossed this abortion on primetime TV, and they just went "Uh, what?" and moved along. WOW.

And old commercials were just awesome, especially from the 70's. Very strange, but appealing.
Giant guns fix all!!
Dec 8th, 2009, 04:55 AM
Ah the Star Wars Holiday Special was one of the first articles that my husband and I read on I-Mockery. Not long after reading this we went and hunted down a copy of this travesty to see for ourselves. How bad could it be we thought, what could go wrong, its just a movie. By the time we got to grandpa Itchy and his space porn my eyes hurt, as if they wished to rip themselves out of my head and slap me for making them watch something so vile. I couldn't go on after that, my husband tried but he didn't get much farther. We haven't spoken of it since and I'm glad. I'll read about how bad it is all day, but I just can't watch it again. I...I just can't.

Also, am I the only one who hoped that Darth Vader would come in and choke Lumpy or throw him out of the tree house? I hope I'm not.
Magic squirrel
Dec 8th, 2009, 06:31 AM
Actuly Lucas really had nothing to do with this, he was only 1 of 6(!) writers. He also didn't really see anything until the end result and he was disappointed as I quote:

"George Lucas himself has rarely commented on or even acknowledged its existence, except to friends and co-workers. He is thought to hold a low opinion of it. For instance, Tom Burman, one of the costume designers for the holiday special, has said that Lucas once told him that he was very disappointed with the final product."

However this made me laugh:

"At one Australian fan convention he reportedly said "If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it." In an online chat with fans, he reportedly said: "The holiday special does not represent my vision for Star Wars." In an interview with Maxim magazine in May 2002, Maxim asked the question, "Any plans for a Special Edition of the Holiday Special?" Lucas responded with "Right. That's one of those things that happened, and I just have to live with it."

I hear you George (*cough* Re-release of the origonal trilogy with added content anyone)
I am Johnny Luchador
Dec 8th, 2009, 12:12 PM
I think I comment on this every year you post it. I just remember my brother like spending a ton of damn money for this "novelty" star wars item that is really hard to get a copy of on vhs. Then he pretty much forced me to watch this crap. I just remember at the end of it saying to him, " this is the dumbest film I think I've seen since the movie Tale of a Vampire with Julian Sands..." It either really hurt his feelings, or he realized that being a star wars nerd is pretty dumb to constantly obsess a movie that is like 20+ years old. After that my brother decided Star Wars was no longer cool. Glad I stopped his obsession. Anyone else need a star wars bitch slap, just hit up ol Johnny Luchador.
Last of the Time Lords
Dec 8th, 2009, 12:31 PM
I don't get why they couldn't do a real scene with Darth Vader. I mean, no offense to David Prowse, but all you really need to film such a scene is a Vader costume and James Earl Jones to provide the voice.

They had Jones, and that should have been the expensive part, right? I mean, didn't they have any Vader costumes lying around? They had access to the C-3PO and Chewbacca outfits, and even made a few new costumes. It wouldn't be the "proper" Vader without Prowse, but do you really think they would care for a special like this?
Turrican't. :(
Dec 8th, 2009, 01:13 PM
The video quality is bad because TSWHS has been bootlegged to hell and back spanning an entire generation of recordable media. Copies of copies and such. It also doesn't help that the source material is a 70's TV show, probably even Criterion couldn't fix something like that.
'
Battlechess was actually a Commodore Amiga game that was ported to the 3DO, this 3DO version was then ported to PC.


Other than that, you're right on the money, this special is shit.
pickled
Dec 9th, 2009, 06:22 AM
om nom nom nom nom
Riot Control
Dec 9th, 2009, 10:03 PM
Saundan himself looks like a mad toymaker.
Forum Virgin
Nov 12th, 2011, 08:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pentegarn View Post
This special was so bad it became an experience. I made a friend watch it with me when I got my copy, because for something this bad, one must not experience it alone.
This has become a tradition with a friend of mine. I introduced him to it, and we now celebrate christmas with a viewing of the Star Wars Holiday Special.

This year I am creating wookie subtitles as a .srt file, which I will distribute when it's finished.
Forum Virgin
Nov 12th, 2011, 08:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pentegarn View Post
This special was so bad it became an experience. I made a friend watch it with me when I got my copy, because for something this bad, one must not experience it alone.
I introduced a star wars fan of mine to this, and a viewing of it has since become a traditional part of christmas for us.

This year I am creating wookie subtitles as a .srt file, which I will distribute to everyone when they are finished.
505, Inferno505
Nov 24th, 2011, 11:47 PM

Pain

I watched just someone reviewing this with my dad, and he still doesn't believe it exists.
Forum Virgin
Dec 19th, 2013, 09:59 PM
I saw it, and I couldn't stop laughing. It also turns out that my dad once had the record before selling it. I can't imagine just who would want to buy the record for this atrocity, though.
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