Review: The Star Wars Holiday Special

Picture 4The Star Wars Holiday Special

‘Holiday’ special? Well, I guess now we know that the ‘star wars’ were really just a war against Christmas.


The Star Wars Holiday Special, which aired only once on CBS, in the year between the first and second Star Wars films, has become something of a holy grail to fans (despite the fact that it’s readily available in bootleg form from thousands of sources).  This is because George Lucas has vowed never to let it see the light of day again, owing to its dubious quality.  After all, he didn’t want it tarnishing the reputation of the brand before he could release the prequel trilogy.

So, is it worth all the hype?  Is it truly as bad as Lucas fears?  No, and sort of.

While the films’ main cast, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill all make brief appearance, star wars xmasthe true stars of the special are Chewbacca’s family.  Yes, his family, which consists of a father (who seems to be a connoisseur of pornography) an ugly wife, and an even uglier child.  Their Wookiee costumes aren’t quite the same quality as Chewy’s so they come off looking like bad, homemade puppets.

Chewy’s family is anxiously awaiting their patriarch’s return for Life Day (the far, far away galaxy’s equivalent of Christmas), while trying to keep the Empire troopers from sniffing around too closely lest they capture their rebel friends.  Despite taking place on the Wookiee planet, almost everyone we see is a human.  I think the Wookiees live under some kind of apartheid system, where they are subjugated by the politically dominant humans (the Wookiees are clearly patronized by their human ‘friends’).

Anyway, all of that is just a framing device for a series of performance shorts.  These include a mediocre acrobat act, a song by Jefferson Starship, and Bea Arthur (whom we learn is the bar tender at the Cantina) singing to her customers.  The oddest one is from Diahann Carroll, who is presented as a virtual reality ‘fantasy’ to Chewbacca’s father in a very suggestive scene (hence the porn reference earlier).

Star Wars Holiday Boba FettThe only thing of value to Star Wars fans is an animated short which features the first appearance of Boba Fett.  It’s tolerable, in the way that the Ewok movies are, but it’s childish, and just seems a little off-key from the standard Star Wars mythology.

It took me a few days to get through the Holiday Special because it just didn’t hold my attention.  It’s like someone broke into Skywalker ranch, stole a bunch of Star Wars props, and then put on a community theater variety show.  It’s barely related to Star Wars, nor does it feel in any way connected to the holidays.  Is it so horrible that it needs to be removed from society, as Lucas wishes?  No, it’s just boring.  I think, ironically, the only reason it’s spoken of at all is because he makes such a big deal about it.  If it were actually to air on television again, I doubt many people would even be able to finish watching.

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