Monday, December 23, 2019

Star Wars Holiday Special

There are some things in this galaxy that are so bad, they’re good. The Room. 5-Minute Crafts on YouTube. Rebecca Black’s “Friday”. My dad’s puns.

And the Star Wars Holiday Special. (If you haven’t seen it, you're really missing out. Check this link.)

Oh my goodness, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a piece of trash so glorious as this 1978 gem! Designed purely as a way to remind fans that there are toys and merchandise to buy for the holidays, this awful treasure is a mess from beginning to the end. Let’s break it down:
  • The show starts with nine minutes (yes, NINE MINUTES!) of grunting and growling. Not joking. We meet three “characters” (I guess you can call them that) who are clearly Wookiees, but none of them are named Chewbacca. And they purr and gesticulate and make Wookiee noises the entire time. No subtitles. No Han Solo to translate for us. Just three strangers “speaking” an unintelligible language. Sigh.
  • What I think is supposed to be comedy relief is just … weird drag queen freneticism. (Is that a thing? I guess it is now.) Chewbacca’s wife watches a cooking show starring Chef Gormaanda (ugh, the names), which is really just the actor Harvey Korman dressed as a Julia Child parody with 4 arms and a wig that begins to fall apart as she gets excited. The chanting she does is … well, you just have to see it to experience it.
  • Wookiee Cookies. ‘Nuff said.
  • Chewbacca’s son (yup, he has a son!) is entranced by a computer-generated performance of holographic circus actors. It’s out of place and strangely hypnotic. 
  • One of the most uncomfortable segments I can only describe as softcore VR Wookiee porn. Chewbacca’s skeezy father gets hooked up to a virtual reality machine, and Diahann Carroll appears in a very slinky dress. She promises the grizzled Wookiee that “we can have a good time”/ Even though the old dude is as gross and shriveled as Gary Busey, the virtual seductress
    tells him he’s adorable, and asks him in a breathy voice to “experience me”. The old Wookiee (named Itchy, ugh) moans and groans and twitches and seems to get really excited. The woman continues, “I am your fantasy. Oh yes, I can feel my creation.” And she giggles in pleasure. It goes on forever. And it’s really as bad as it sounds. Maybe worse. (Who greenlit this project?)
  • Jefferson Starship sings a song. I guess they had the word “Starship” in their name so they made the cut? Maybe Ziggy Stardust wasn’t available?
  • There’s a cartoon that features a mini adventure. Okay, this part really was pretty cool. Not only because it introduces the world to Boba Fett, but because it’s just a pretty darn cool cartoon. Why couldn’t the whole two hours be like this? Although I could have done without the fluidly bendy arms of the droids. And C-3PO blinks -- with eyelids! VERTICAL EYELIDS! Okay, nevermind. It might be the best part of the two hours, but it’s still just so bad!
  • Look, I love Dorothy from Golden Girls, I really do. But I’m not sure I wanted to see her dance with Greedo or pour a drink into some guy’s skull, or sing while tending bar at the Mos Eisley Cantina. Oh my goodness, guys, it’s just so cringy!
  • So the entire show revolves around the celebration of “Life Day”, which is a stand-in for Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or Festivus, or whatever other holiday you want to substitute. But the only thing I could tell was that Life Day consists of a bunch of Wookiees
    (literally wearing Chewbacca masks because the production ran out of money -- I’m completely serious) dressing up in red robes, grabbing light bulbs, and then -- get this -- literally walking through space into an actual star. Let’s not point out how utterly insane the ceremony is. Or the fact that they should all be dead. I guess it’s a Life Day Miracle!
  • I love Carrie Fisher, may she rest in peace. But I think her computer generated “performance” in Rogue One had more life than this drivel. I get it -- Fisher was very vocal about her drug abuse. And never was it more clearly documented than during her final song. (She can sing?!) The lyrics are gold: “We celebrate a day of peace, a day of harmony / A day of joy we can all share joyously.” Eek.

May the force be with you all as you enjoy some joyous joy this Life Day!

Check out the awful jewel that is the Star Wars Holiday Special in its entirety at this link.

Also check out our reviews for Star Wars Episode IX (Dark Side and Light Side)

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