SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Friday, August 05, 2005

SMART JOURNAL, STUPID SHOW. The latest issue of The New Atlantis is out, complete with more interesting articles about science, technology, ethics, and--the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special? Yessir. It's mentioned in an article discussing Star Wars and Star Trek; "To Boldy Go: The End of Star Wars and Star Trek." Considered by many to be one of television's worst hours, the infamous SWHS manages to catch the attention of a sophisticated, intellectual publication like The New Atlantis.

The article aptly refers to the SWHS as:

...a truly atrocious two-hour holiday special. (It was so unbelievably wretched that it aired only once, and George Lucas is reported to have said that he wished he could “track down every copy of that program and smash it.” It was listed as the #1 item in last year’s book What Were They Thinking?: The 100 Dumbest Events in Television History.)

It had been long since I last thought about the SWHS, so the reference brought back the memories. Cringing memories. Embarrassing memories. Oh-the-humanity memories. As a freshman in college I purchased a bootlegged copy of SWHS through the internet. Being the Star Wars fanatico, I felt compelled to see the show for myself. It had a legendary, cult-following--a universally panned classic. And so I watched.

Truly, I say to one and all, the SWHS is horrible. As I recall, the movie opens up with a cockpit scene with Han Solo and Chewbacca. So far so good. It was remarkable that they actually got Harrison Ford to reprise his role for a network TV gig. Anyway, the space scenes were all grafted from the Star Wars film (now lamely titled Episode IV: A New Hope). So it was cheapo, but they still got the big shots in the show.

But not so fast. The scene then cuts to Chewie's home planet of Kashyyyk--which, incidentally, makes a long-awaited appearance in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. It is on this planet that audiences are introduced to Chewie's family: wife Mala, child Lumpy, and grandpa Itchy. No joke. It really is that bad. Only it gets worse. The next fifteen minutes is nothing but Wookie talk! That and the costumes are costume-store quality and far inferior compared to Chewie himself.

Anyway, from there follows a stupid, and incredibly dull and boring story about Lumpy. Some tacky songs and visual effects are thrown in the mix. Zoinks. Mark Hamill looks totally weird as Luke Skywalker. It might've been just after his big car crash where his face went through a windshield, so I'm inclined to cut him slack for that. Carrie Fisher/Princess Leia also makes an appearance, as do the droids. The Darth Vader scene is completely taken from Star Wars film outtakes. Lame-o. Interestingly, there was also a cartoon segment that provide the introduction of Boba Fett. It just might be the best part of the show.

Just Google "Star Wars Holiday Special" and you will find all sorts of great information and stills from the show. So if you are a truly mad Star Wars fan, or simply someone who has a self-hating complex, the SWHS is something worth seeing once. But have your remote control handy, since your sanity might require frequent recourse to the remote control. God bless fast forward.

(North Seattle--Green Lake, WA)


  • At 5:51 PM, Blogger Nathan said…

    I've heard all sorts of interesting things about this from friends. It's on my list of things to heckle the next time I'm feeling MST3Kish.

    Speaking of awful Science Fiction, though, have you ever read The Eye of Argon? I dare you to do it with a straight face.

  • At 9:20 PM, Blogger Coop said…

    I've read little in the way of sci-fi, so I'm not familiar with The Eye of Argon. But I'll have to check it out now. Thanks for the link!

  • At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Jayne said…

    Nathan, that link is disturbing on so many levels... :-) Seth - don't! No! Aaaah!
    Oh well. Hopefully that won't put you off trying Ender's Game sometime.

  • At 9:31 AM, Blogger Coop said…

    Are you serious about that Jane? I've not yet seen it, but I really don't have time for a traumatic experience right now--so I'd rather avoid one if I can.

    Right, right. Ender's Game. I should finally get to that. Lately, I've been so mired in non-fiction that I'm perhaps becoming boring. So I'll have to put that on the fast track and get to that by early fall.

  • At 10:47 AM, Blogger Nathan said…

    Lets just put it this way: The Eye of Argon is to short fiction what the Star Wars Holiday Special is to, well, holiday specials.

  • At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Jayne said…

    It's what Nathan said, so you can take it or leave it, of course. :-)

    I saw your non-fiction list - quite impressive! I haven't actually put up anything other than fiction stuff, but I've been wanting to read The Silicon Eye for a while now, so that might take precedence over the weird stuff I've found recently.

  • At 12:37 PM, Blogger Coop said…

    I now realize that as soon as someone tells you NOT to read something, you can't help but be intrigued. The Eye of Aragon is singing its siren song to me now.

    Anyway, the Silicon Eye is an interesting book. Gilder writes nicely and its a pithy read. Of course, it helps when you work at an institute with extra copies lying around that you can simply borrow.

  • At 3:38 PM, Blogger (Doxxiegirl) said…

    Hmm...ok...I didnt even know there WAS a Star Wars Holiday Special! I wasnt even alive in 1978....

    The eye of Argon?? is that the book with the dragon on the front of it?

    I will openly admit...that I have gotten addicted to Star Gate and Battlestar Galactica reruns...something about a bottle of tequila and 1 am sci fi just fits..

  • At 10:56 PM, Blogger Ibrahimblogs said…

    I would love to get hold of the latest issue!

    Thanks for telling us about it!

    Keep sharing!

    This is Ibrahim from Israeli Uncensored News


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