You know how when you experience something that wasn’t good, you oftentimes declare it the worst? This happens a lot, oftentimes in a poor impersonation of Comic Book Guy, referencing a no longer funny Simpsons joke, the “worst (insert subject here) ever”. Fully aware of this tendency for people to easily call something the worst, I am establishing my line in the sand: The Star Wars Holiday Special is one of the worst things I have ever seen, and is likely one of the worst things that has ever existed.
I say “one of the worst” because while it is likely that it is actually the worst, I will leave room for future contenders. However, it is by far (and by “by far” I mean the amount of distance necessary to find a belt to hang myself with in order to no longer have to watch it) one of the worst things my eyes, ears, and occasionally mind have had to endure.
I had such high expectations going into seeing this. Normally when I hear something described as “awful”, “a train wreck”, or, ideally, “cringe-inducing”, I am the first one there to enjoy it. It took about two minutes of watching this for it to sink in that I would not be enjoying it.
Seemingly, the biggest plus for this special is that it got most of the stars to participate. As we will soon see, this doesn’t make this special better for the reasons you would think.
It starts off by showing the Millennium Falcon escaping Imperial Troops. Han Solo is trying to take Chewbacca home for his celebration of “Life Day”. I feel bad for Harrison Ford, seeing him in this. At least he got a pay check.
The introductory narrative begins listing the cast, then after listing the usual suspects such as Mark Hammel, Ford, Carrie Fisher, etc, it takes a sharp turn. The narrator then goes on to introduce Chewbacca’s wife, BEA ARTHUR, Jefferson Starship, among other super stars.
For the next ten minutes, we are treated to Chewbacca’s family screaming at each other in Wookie. That is correct; there is no English dialogue or plot for ten minutes. At the START of a program.
What we see next is one of the absolute highlights of the special. Drag Queen Luke Skywalker. Apparently, Mark Hammil had gotten into a car accident shortly before filming began. To work around his facial injuries, they had him wear about three pounds of makeup and a wig. And, as you can see, it is hardly noticeable.
Some stuff happens.
Then Chewbacca’s mom watches a cooking show featuring Harvey Korman as a cross dressing, four armed chef. Which, of course, they show in nearly its entirety. Then there is a Diane Carroll music video. Of course. Imperial troops then raid Chewbacca’s house, and proceed to watch a Jefferson Starship video.
I’m ready to stop, how about you?
Actually, what follows next is probably the only legitimately enjoyable part. It’s an animated short, which includes the first ever appearance of Boba Fett. That alone redeems the entire Holiday Special, but just barely.
Some more stuff happens. Bea Arthur is a space bartender. The bar sings and dances.
In case you were wondering, Chewbacca makes it home for Life Day. YAY!
The special ends with the whole cast on stage telling everyone “Happy Life Day”. Then, a TOTALLY COKED UP Carrie Fisher sings a song.
So there you have it.
I quite like the idea of Life Day being a major holiday. It paves the way for more unnecessary holidays based on positive generalities. I am declaring January 16th to be Cool Day. I hope everyone can make it home to be with their families so we can celebrate together.