There are times in life when the universe gives you an unexpected spring in your step, a nice little cosmic slap in the ass (the good type). I’m not talking about the, “OMG, there’s a Chic-fil-a in this building?” or the “They have $2 bud lights here tonight?” I’m talking about taking that level of excitement, and multiplying it by “Kids, we’re going to Disneyland.” I’m talking about ((this kind of happy)^googol) That is how excited I was when I was told today that there is an actual Star Wars Holiday Special that was released one time in 1978, but can be downloaded on the internet. I’ll preface this post with the fact that I have not yet seen it. However, upon hearing about the Star Wars Holiday Special I immediately made two decisions. 1) I will watch it the very first time I hang out with PO and we will play a Star Wars Holiday Special drinking game and live blog about its awesomeness and 2) No matter my opinion on it after the viewing, it will become a family tradition to watch it every Christmas; directly after watching “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The contrast will be spectacular.
Let’s start with this poster… Not only does it look like someone made it in their basement, but the caption talking about the Star Wars crew fighting the empire to help Chewie reach his family for Wookie Christmas is the least exciting headline you could possibly write. Clearly since this came out 1 year after A New Hope, everyone involved understood that Star Wars mania was so intense across the country, that they could write, “See Chewbacca pick his nose and Han Solo stand still for fifteen minutes without talking,” and people were going to turn the channel to watch this (If they aired 15 minutes of Han Solo standing still not talking I’d probably watch it right now). As we delve further into what this 2 hour special really was, it will become apparent that this would have probably been a better direction to go with the plot.
What I see as the most glaring issue here… Chewbacca. Now don’t get me wrong, I legit love Chewie. He’s my absolute boy. I always wanted a big dumb and hairy copilot who barely talks, can rip people’s arms out of their sockets, who can fix the hyper-drive (engineer), and who has a bitchin battle cry. I got pretty close with Rob who fits the vast majority of these qualities minus the ability to pull limbs from joints. Also, much like Rob, who’s best in relatively small doses and generally becomes less cool the more screen time he gets, Chewie just isn’t a leading man. Whoever thought doing a special around Chewie should be taken out back and shot.
This steamer was released in 1978, 1 year after a New Hope smashed box office records by bringing in an estimated $460,998,007. When adjusted for inflation this is an unreal $1,394,676,400. Bottom line is there was no reason to release such a piss poor quality Star Wars spin off. Lucas is famous for his relentless pursuit of making things look right, maintaining the Star Wars canon, and being a complete lunatic perfectionist. How this could have slipped through the cracks I don’t know. I would hypothesize that this Holiday Special perhaps turned him in to the controlling freak that he is, but after some research about his involvement in the creation of A New Hope “Lucas was accustomed to creating most of the elements of the film himself. His lighting suggestions were rejected by an offended Taylor (New Hope Director), who felt that Lucas was over-stepping his boundaries by giving specific instructions and sometimes even moving lights and cameras himself,” it seems like he had a penchant for micro-managing prior to this Holiday Special Debacle. Still, I’d imagine this disaster contributed to him forever being a control freak.
Leia, say it ain’t so!
Yes, I said it. There are musical numbers. Apparently three of them… Carrie Fischer, Bea Arthur, and Jefferson Starship!?! WHAAAT? My thing with the musical numbers is not that they are probably bad (I haven’t heard/ seen them but I can only imagine) it’s the fact that these are Star Wars characters singing. When you watch a musical, you pretty much know it’s a musical first, and then a movie. However, this is the Star Wars universe. This is about good vs. evil, Jedi masters, dirty politics, inter-stellar dog fighting, and Carrie Fischer in a legendary bikini. That is what Star Wars is about. NOT singing. By throwing musical numbers into the mix you totally destroy the veneer. It would be like seeing Han Solo having trouble picking up that hot green alien with the hair tentacles, Chewie being calm, Lando without a mustache, Luke being evil, Yoda using proper sentence structure, or Leia being fat. For this very reason I don’t know if I can watch this thing. I’ve already mentally blocked the existence of Ep 1,2,3 and Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, I don’t know if I have the mental fortitude or the money to purchase a sufficient amount of alcohol to unsee this.
Yes, the giant angry lady from the golden girls sings a song in the Cantina.
At least now we know where the idea for this
Somebody get on top of downloading this thing. You have till September. Star Wars Holiday Special Drinking rules to follow…