Dir: Steve Binder, 1978
I’ve never been enamoured by the cult of Star Wars. It’s popularity has always stymied me. The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi were enjoyable enough, as was the prequels. But, the original 1977 film, just never appealed.
However, I fully understand that I’m in a minority and it wouldn’t be fair to be too critical of the film, when the problem lies, solely, with me.
But, the Star Wars Holiday Special is an entirely different kettle of fish.
Lacking any canonicity to the film, this TV special is a dreadfully embarrassing cash in, that makes a mockery of Star Wars, insults it’s fans and belittles the cast.
Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), travel in the Millennium Falcon to Chewbacca’s home planet of Kashyyyk so he can celebrate the tradition of Life Day with his family.
But, of course, the Galactic Empire are chasing them, looking for members of the Rebel Alliance. Or, something or other, I don’t know.
This “special” is the absolute pits. Every single scene is cringeworthy. Every line grates on you harder than a cheesegrater.
Part musical, the numbers are an abomination of taste, appearing tacky and subpar. Princess Leia sings a song to the iconic John Williams theme tune. That’s how bad things are.
Incredibly cheesy, with more corn than Amish country, the direction is hideously overdone and the cast contrite, appearing as little more than cameos. Mark Hamill pops up in his signature role as Luke Skywalker. Caked in so much make up, he makes a Ken doll look more realistic.
Letting the viewers and producers know that they have no desire to be there, and can see it for the travesty that it is, the actors don’t even bother with a half hearted attempt to deliver their lines. It’s a case of say it what you have to, and get the he’ll out of there!
It’s a mystery as to what they were aiming for. Chewbacca’s home/tree house thing, is replete with a washing machine and an oven! Not bad for a planet that is entirely a forest. The walking hair ball’s home life, is represented as a typical modern nuclear family. His wife, Mallatobuck (Malla), his son Lumpawarrump (Lumpy) and his father Attichitcuk (Itchy), grandfather to Lumpy. Malla wears an apron, like all good housewives. Itchy sits in his chair and scolds Lumpy, while that annoying little turd, runs around on a sugar rush.
At this point, you’re probably thinking that I’m taking the piss. But, I promise you, I’m not. The writers actually thought that this was a good idea, and the names were great.
Unbelievably, it gets even worse.
The depiction of Chewie’s home life in Kashyyyk, is TEN MINUTES OR MORE of the Wookie’s conversing in their Wookie language. And there are no subtitles! What you’ve got, is a trio of hairy minges groaning at each other. And the audience is supposed to follow this.
Clearly written by people who have never seen Star Wars, the entire ninety minute debacle languishes in the bowels of humiliation.
Never repeated or released on any home media, the special was destined to be consigned to the bin of history, it’s awfulness existing only as urban legend.
Circulated only as dodgy bootlegs, taped from the only airing, the internet has opened the floodgates and allowed everyone and anyone to gorge on the travesty, with the special unofficially available as streaming video and torrent sites.
Words cannot describe how terrible it really is. I urge you to see it, purely to marvel at how much it resembles a festering, pus filled carbuncle.
Awful, awful, awful!