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)