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The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

A movie directed by David Acomba and Steve Binder

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Oh, it's special, alright

  • Jun 21, 2006
Among STAR WARS fans, nothing brings forth such a grimace as placing these five words in a single sentence: THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL. Still, it's a sort of legend amongst fans. It's become one of the most sought-after DVDs around, showing up only as bootlegs because George Lucas has famously stated, "If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every bootlegged copy of that program and smash it." Lucas also attempted to purchase every master copy of the program, to make sure it would never be broadcast again. This was not just the move of a filmmaker who feared the destruction of his work's reputation. It was the move of a concerned humanitarian, fearing for the health of all humankind. You see, I have seen many terrible films, but out of all of them, THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL takes the cake as the all-time worst.

The premise, or what little of it there is, involves Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) attempting to return to Chewie's home planet for "Life Day". Life Day appears to be the wookie form of Christmas, though it closer resembles Hanukkah, as - at the end of the movie - Chewbacca and his family don huge red robes, travel to some misty place in the stars, and hold up shining orbs.

Unfortunately for the viewer, Chewie and Han do not return home until about fifteen minutes before the end of the movie. For the rest of the film, we are subjected to numerous forms of torture. During the first thirty minutes of the film, we are left with Chewbacca's family (doting mother Malla, cantankerous old grandfather Itchy, and troublesome child Lumpy), the members of which proceed to growl and grumble in their native tongue. Diahann Carroll shows up as a hologram which flirts with Itchy, much to his apparent pleasure. Jefferson Starship appears to perform their song "Light The Sky On Fire" as a bewildered Imperial trooper watches. Art Carney makes some jokes which, I suppose, some three-year-olds may find humorous, had they the courage to sit through forty minutes of this. Beatrice Arthur plays a bartender at the Mos Eisley Cantina who decides to sing with the alien drunks. Harvey Korman also appears as a frighteningly eccentric four-armed chef, who teaches Malla - yes, the wookie - how to cook "Bantha Surprise". Of course, THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL also has its good moments.

Oh, wait - no it doesn't.

If the show did have a good moment, it would be a cartoon made by the animators who would later produce the 80's cartoons DROIDS and EWOKS. This short cartoon is worth nothing because it introduced one of the most popular characters of the STAR WARS universe - Boba Fett. It's a very interesting segment indeed, and the only thing which makes this pile of Bantha poodoo worth watching.

At times, THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL is laughably bad, but for the most part, it's just horrifying. How could anything this bad EVER be shown on television? How could anything this bad come from the STAR WARS universe? How could anything this bad EXIST? Friends, I have seen MANOS, THE HANDS OF FATE - often cited as the worst movie ever made - and THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL makes MANOS look like CASABLANCA. There is an absolutely absurb script, filled with terrible dialogue. The acting is atrocious. Carrie Fisher sings a song about the joys of "Life Day" to the tune of the STAR WARS theme.

Need I say more?

Having heard so much about this TV-movie atrocity over the years, I found it to be quite an ... INTERESTING experience to finally see it. I would recommend that every STAR WARS diehard give it a watch, as it is an important (and notorious) part of the series' history. Anyone else would be insane to come within a mile of it. I'm glad that Uncle George didn't destroy every copy of this - but I certainly sympathize with him.

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December 18, 2013
I think your review title alone nailed it.
More The Star Wars Holiday Special ... reviews
review by . December 18, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
"If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it."    That was what George Lucas thinks of The Star Wars Holiday Special. Now, go back and read that last sentence again, and take into consideration the fact that the very same person who said that is the very person who later greenlighted the Ewoks, the Howard the Duck movie, and Jar Jar Binks. It's no secret that Lucas hates it in a way which would qualify him for Sith Lord status. …
Quick Tip by . October 10, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!      Again, sorry for such an immature way to start this quick tip, but holy moly, this is one of the most atrocious things ever stamped on to celluloid.  This special does nothing but waste your time with painfully unfunny "humorous" scenes with Chewbacca's family and other horseshit that's a total embaressment to the Star Wars universe.       Between seeing the pointless cooking show …
About the reviewer
Tom Benton ()
Ranked #121
Aspiring high school English teacher with dreams of filmmaking and a strong taste for music.
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