If I asked, what you thought of the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special, you would say: “What special?”
Either because you have never seen or heard of it, or you refuse to acknowledge its existence, something George Lucas himself attempts to do. In truth, he had nothing to do with it, but other members of his crew did. Having seen it a number of years later, I believe it was around 1986, thanks to my parents recording it on VHS. The basic plot, Han Solo and Chewbacca were on their way to Chewie’s home planet of Kashyyyk for their holiday called “Life Day.”
This was an obvious metaphor of celebrating the holidays of all religions. A number of Imperials attempted to capture the duo, and of course one commander had to have an evil looking mustache. As the wookie family attempts to help Solo and Chewie make it home in time, they have to stop Stormtroopers with help from cameo appearances by Luke Skywalker and his droids C-3PO and R2-D2. A complete departure from the serious nature of the original film, this was a more kid-friendly special aimed at an audience who would giggle for the silly child-wookie and get excited when one of their rebel heroes would show up on screen.
Most notable, this was the real first appearance of fan-favorite character, the bounty hunter Boba Fett, in a short animated cartoon in the middle of the film. We are first led to believe he is a good guy, but we learn his true nature of attempting to capture and deliver the heroes to the Empire.
I can only question my youthful sanity as I watched stars of that era, such as Diahann Carroll and Jefferson Starship (yes, “Starship”) perform their acts with a seizure-inducing background, because that was cool back then. Comedy in the form of Harvey Korman, and solo melodies by Bea Arthur in the Mos Eisley Cantina and at the end Carrie Fisher sings a song in honor of the Wookie’s Life Day. It was for kids, I get that, but the production was so below standards, even for back then. A lot of footage was recycled from the first Star Wars films, and over half of the adventure featured the wookies grunting and howling at each other. At the end of it, this Holiday Special was a Star Wars-themed variety show.
Perhaps as a child I enjoyed it, but there is no way I will ever let my kids see this.
Michael Dworkis is a man of vast talent and industry. A former writer and corporate assistant of World Wrestling Entertainment, “MSD” is the Wrestling Columnist for Pop-Break, as well as contributing columns related to comics, movies, pop-culture, and of course, anything Transformers. He recently completed and obtained his Masters degree in Mental Health in Counseling, and recently became licensed to practice as an LAC by the National Board of Certified Counselors. If you need either a therapist or your wrestling fix, come to this man. Michael also is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Media, and previously managed an internet retail company. He blames Bill for having so much wrestling on the site and pleads with his superiors to create a feature on his very own Transformer Collection and to subdue Michael Bay for a serious talk. Michael is still searching for a Japanese Grand Maximus or any Japanese Generation 1 exclusives. See more of Michael at MichaelDworkis.com and follow on Twitter @Omegax80.