In 1977, “Star Wars” became a groundbreaking national phenomenon forever changing cinema for its special effects, epic storytelling, memorable characters and labeled as one of the most quotable movies of all time. Star Wars spawned a multi billion dollar franchise we’re familiar with merchandise, television shows, follow ups, action figures among many other subjects interconnected. One thing that’s never been brought up by George Lucas is none other than “The Star Wars Holiday Special” which aired on CBS a year after Star Wars came out.
The Star Wars Holiday Special aired in 1978. (same year Superman came out) It overwhelmingly earned negative reception. As a result of negative reactions, the special no longer aired since 1978. However, copies still exist online on YouTube, bootleg versions on custom DVD and peer-to-peer file sharing. George Lucas regrets producing The Star Wars Holiday Special, he stated he’ll destroy every copy, pretending it never existed.
Jon Favreau has announced he’s working on a holiday special related to Star Wars. “The Mandalorian” is currently streaming on Disney Plus and I want to share my fellow Star Wars what happens if you take a beloved franchise too far showcasing random filler, horribly written scenes, special guest appearances in bad roles among many other negative things listed.
SPOILERS don’t matter. Feel free to check this article out. If you remember watching The Star Wars Holiday Special In 1978, you’ve come a long way, I pity you enduring your spare time watching that god awful special. I’ll do my best not steal Doug Walker/Nostalgia Critic, Brad Jones/The Cinema Snob & Chris Stuckmann’s material from their respective reviews of The Star Wars Holiday Special.
Positive & Negative Elements
Positive: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker & James Earl Jones reprise their roles. They did a good job for their respective performances. It’s not their fault they hand to work on this god awful Christmas Special, because their contracts obligated them to make televised appearances in the worst possible way.
Two Years before The Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett actually makes his debut in an animated segment.
According to George Lucas & Disney, The Star Wars Holiday Special is not canon. Thank god.
Negative: Chewbacca’s family weren’t interesting. They steal the main characters’ spotlight. Am I watching a cheap knock-off of “The Brady Bunch” or a Star Wars related television special? Before Jar Jar Binks & Rose Tico, Chewbacca’s family are the worst characters to exist. Gonna have to Double Down Points for each member.
Many scenes minus the animated segment contains a tremendous amount of filler.
Set Pieces are conspicuously cheap.
Bruce Vilanch (stand-up comedian known for writing jokes at The Oscars) wrote a teleplay specifically for The Star Wars Holiday Special. Although he’s funny with his comedic material and writing witty jokes at The Oscars, his work on Star Wars however, failed as in a flatline displayed on a heart monitor. Bruce later admitted he was on coke (not the kind you drink) while writing the script. In the words of Dave Chappelle, “Cocaine’s a hell of a drug!”
Chewbacca’s father wears a virtual reality headset. I’m shocked to see he’s watching some lady talking like she works for a sex phone company. Instead of a fat woman impersonating a Playboy model, it’s actually a slender woman on display saying something related to porno movies. It was The 70’s back when seedy porn theaters were in business.
The special begins with stock footage from “A New Hope” with Star Destroyers chasing the Millennium Falcon. What I witnessed made me realize this is gonna suck big time.
A circus-esque performance appears on a hologram. I’d rather attend a Britney Spears concert. At least she ain’t crazy back in 2007.
Luke, Han, Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2 & Vader lack dignified screen time. It’s supposed to be about them back when Star Wars became a national phenomenon back in 1977.
No interesting Action Sequences were never used to keep anybody invested. There’s no emotional stakes.
Subtitles were never displayed to help us viewers understand what Chewbacca’s family are talking about. All they did was growl and yell.
Luke’s haircut is silly. He looks like Gigi Gorgeous before her sex change operation. Gigi if you’re reading this I mean no disrespect. Congratulations for raising transgender awareness.
Bea Arthur’s singing at a cantina (probably Mos Eisley) is horrendously bad.
Jefferson Starship appear in a five minute “music video” in order for Chewbacca’s family to distract imperial troopers. Nobody watches a music video while going on patrol. Were the producers at CBS taking acid after attending The Grateful Dead” concert?
Harvey Korman (Great Gazoo) is dressed like a four armed Julia Child. I can’t believe Hedley LaMaar (from Blazing Saddles) participated in this so called “holiday special.” Besides playing a four armed chef, he also plays a do-it-yourself instructor. His latter role takes forever when Chewbacca’s son has to build a transmitter.
Art Carney wastes his talent participating as a trader who gives Chewbacca’s dad a disc for his virtual reality headset.
I’m totally not making this up, Princess Leia sings a song about “Life Day.” A holiday Wookiees celebrate.
I can’t believe I’m saying this as a Star Wars fan, I was extremely bored. I had to take a break from watching this abomination for a whole day. A few hours later, I resume the special to finish where I left off.
The Final Verdict: F, FOR FAKER!
The Star Wars Holiday Special is arguably one of the worst Christmas Specials of a time. It lacks sophistication, joy, spontaneous action sequences, impressive visual effects, world building, plot, character development etc. Not a single one had any redeeming qualities. If you want to show your kids The Star Wars Holiday Special, so be it. To this day, it’s George Lucas’ biggest regret. Jon Favreau better not replicate this epic pile of doo doo. One Jar Jar/Rose Tico is enough to nearly destroy a beloved franchise.