The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

Oh, I’m sorry, did you think that just because Christmas was over I’d stop reviewing holiday movies? Well fuck that! There’s still two updates left for December, and I’m queuing up things early! Today we take a detour from Christmas movies to “vaguely Christmas-related holidays,” such as the very important Life Day! It’s a day where you… dress in red robes and… grab your light up snow globe and… travel to some weird void… where you scream? Whatever, it’s The Star Wars Holiday Special. It doesn’t matter, not like it’s canon or anything.

“Plot” is a strong word to use in relation to this movie, but I’ll do my best to summarize. Han Solo and Chewbacca are running from the Empire in order to get Chewie back home to his family before Life Day festivities start. His family is wife Malla, son Lumpy, and grandfather Itchy. Yes, those are there names (okay, they’re nicknames, but are you really going to Wookieepedia to find out their real names?). While the family waits we’re “treated” to a series of cameos and a variety of shorts, ranging from a cooking show to a performance by Jefferson Starship to a shitty circus act. Just about every base is covered, but the noteworthy ones are Mrs. Beatrice Arthur as Ackmena the singing bartender, and the animated short The Story of the Faithful Wookie which was the first appearance of Boba Fett (outside the 1978 San Anselmo Country Fair parade). Anyway, Imperial soldiers show up and harass the family but Lumpy fakes a call for them to leave, and the remaining stormtrooper falls to his death. Chewie and family are reunited, Life Day kicks off, and Princess Leia sings what I can only assume are the official lyrics to the Star Wars main theme.

If you’ve ever seen this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that writer Bruce Vilanch admitted to using a fuckton of cocaine while writing it. It’s a special, fever dream kind of bad; so bad that George Lucas did his best to destroy every copy he could (but considering he basically did the same thing with the original cuts of the original trilogy, maybe that’s a mark of praise). Focusing on Chewie’s family isn’t necessarily a bad idea but they all speak Shyriiwook with no subtitles, and only occasionally is someone around to translate what they’re saying. Mark Hamill was still recovering from a car accident that messed up his face, it’s probable that Carrie Fisher was abusing a variety of substances during this period, and Harrison Ford claims to not remember anything about filming this. The whole thing is a spectacular mess.

Some people have called this the worst movie they’ve ever seen. People I know personally, in fact! That’s a bold claim, but an interesting one. Maybe I should explore more films people have considered “the worst ever”…

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2 thoughts on “The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

  1. Pingback: Saving Christmas (2014) | Chwineka Watches

  2. Pingback: Slender Man (2018) | Chwineka Watches

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