Thursday, 4 May 2017

Star Wars Holiday Special

So today is Star Wars Day for no good reason (May the Fourth be with you, groan) but happily I'm reminded of the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special, truly one of the most embarrassing moments in SW history. Lucasfilm has effectively banished this to a galaxy far far away but youtube as ever comes to the rescue. A word of caution - if you're allergic to Wookies, the Holiday Special might send you into anaphylactic shock. Perhaps a more appropriate title would have been The Star Wars Halloween Special what with the grotesque looking grandfather Wookie, and the scene where an Imperial troopers smashes up Chewbaca's kids' toys which might disturb sensitive younger viewers. And the constant braying from Chewbaca's family is genuinely distressing. Still it's not all bad - look out for a nice bit of intergalactic sleaze when the grandfather Wookie enjoys some virtual reality R&R - the intergalactic babe in the program offers: "I am your fantasy, your experience, so experience me". Fans of Star Trek: The Animated Series will enjoy a very 70's animated segment starring Boba Fett, there's a song from a fully stocked creature-factory Cantina, and a bizarre instructional video with lots of Max Headroom style video ef-ef-ef-effects. Odd. This is the sharp edge of exploitation and CBS who probably couldn't see past the advertisers lining up for airtime like audiences lined up around the block for the film, got what they deserved. I'd like to think that Lucas learned something valuable after whoring out his creative vision to people who didn't care or understand, but I remember being deeply disappointed when I saw The Ewok Adventure in the mid-80's, something I would consider another Star Wars mishap. And now that the Holiday Special is back in unofficial circulation, I must assume it is persona non grata among staff at Lucasfilm. Someday we will see the return of the original versions of Star Wars I've no doubt, but I'm positive this one will forever languish at the bottom of the Death Star's trash compactor.

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