Thursday, July 16, 2015

Summer of Star Wars: The Star Wars Holiday Special




Directed by Steve Binder and David Acomba and written by Bruce Vilanch, Pat Proft, Leonard Ripps, Rod Warren, and Mitzie Welch, The Star Wars Holiday Special is 1978 variety show program in which Han Solo is trying to take Chewbacca to his home planet for the Christmas holidays while other things happened. Featuring people from the Star Wars film in Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, and the voice of James Earl Jones as Darth Vader. The special also features appearances from Diahann Carroll, Bea Arthur, Harvey Korman, Art Carney, and a performance from Jefferson Starship. The result is essentially one of the most horrific things to ever exist in the history of entertainment.

In the 1970s, variety shows were the thing as it had people do singing and dancing on television and do all sorts of things. Due to the popularity of George Lucas’ 1977 film Star Wars, a variety show was made where it’s main storyline involves Han Solo and Chewbacca trying to return to Chewbacca’s home planet to spend the holidays with Chewbacca’s family in this day known as Life Day. Along the way, there’s performances and all sorts of things that happen in the story where Harvey Korman plays three characters and a lot of things occur. It is clear that those involved in the creation of this abomination were probably under the influence of some nose candy and what they created is one of the worst things ever.

Through its writers, it is clear that they wanted to include everything that is indicative of the variety shows in the U.S. during those times but also include elements that made Star Wars interesting. Unfortunately, the story that involves Chewbacca’s family where they talk in a language that no one understands isn’t just boring but some of the things they do is pretty stupid. The stuff involving the characters like Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo is a total waste as they are put into awfully comical situations where Leia would sing a song at the end of the special about Life Day.

The special under the direction of Steve Binder is typical of these programs yet it involves a lot of cheesy and very dated special effects involving acrobats, dancers, and some special performances from Diahann Carroll and the Jefferson Starship which are just a pain to watch. Notably as they’re in ridiculous costumes and surrounded by cheesy special effects that tries to make it weird but comes across as horrifying. The songs that are used that are written by its score composers Ian Fraser, Ken Welch, and Mitzie Welch that Carroll and Leia would sing are terrible. Even their electronic-based score that is based on John Williams’ score from the film is pretty bad.

Some of the comedy that involves Art Carney and Bea Arthur not only has the two feel like they don’t belong but it never works. The scenes with Harvey Korman as a cook, an Imperial officer, and a robot are not only unfunny but it has Korman look ridiculous to the point that it feels forced. Then there’s the animated sequence that would introduce a major character to the series in the bounty hunter Boba Fett. It has some interesting animation and it is actually sort of the highlight of the special but it doesn’t really much of an interesting story which only serves as a major plot-point for the main story. Then there’s the people in the special where Harrison Ford as Han Solo looks very uncomfortable while Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker looks like a fucking Ken doll with all of the makeup he is given. Then there’s Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia where it is clear she was on cocaine from the look of her face where she tries to look professional but is also high under the influence.

The Star Wars Holiday Special is a fucking travesty. If there’s any reason into why George Lucas and those involved with the franchise deny the existence of this special. This special is a big reason where it’s only for Star Wars completists to see this though it really should have no part with the main series. In the end, The Star Wars Holiday Special is a TV special that lives up to its infamy as one of the worst things ever presented in the history of television.

Star Wars Films: Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back - Return of the Jedi - The Phantom Menace - Attack of the Clones - Revenge of the Sith - The Force Awakens - (Episode VIII) - (Episode IX)

Related: Caravan of Courage - The Battle for Endor - The Clone Wars - Fanboys - The People vs. George Lucas

Star Wars Anthology Films: Rogue One - (Untitled Han Solo Film) - (Untitled Star Wars Anthology Film)


George Lucas Films: (THX 1138) - (American Graffiti)

© thevoid99 2015

4 comments:

Wendell Ottley said...

OMG, this sounds like a trainwreck on every possible level. I MUST see this!

thevoid99 said...

OK.... here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4CtXcjib4o

I'll pray for your soul.

Chris said...

The holiday special is something to be endured rather than enjoyed. Agree the wookie scenes are boring.

thevoid99 said...

@Chris-Yeah. I still have a version with a commentary track that I heard is hilarious. Maybe it will help ease the pain.