Some Christmas specials are timeless, like “Rudolph The Rednosed Reindeer” or “Frosty the Snowman.” Some are dated but dated in a charming way like the last special I blogged about “Rich Little’s Christmas Carol.” And some have aged as well as a Spiro Agnew joke.
“The Star Wars Holiday Special”in in the last category. It premiered the same year as “Rich Little’s Christmas Special”. The loose plot concerns Han and Chewie wanting to get back to the home of the Wookies, Kashyyyk. Chewie wants to celebrate the holiday Life Day with his father Itchy, mother Malla, and son Lumpy. On the way they get in trouble with Imperial agents looking for “rebel scum.”
Itchy, Malla, and Lumpy look like something out of a nightmare. Harvey Korman plays the intergalactic version of Julia Child, a four armed Chef Gormaanda. This was not needed and was not remotely funny.
Cheesy musical segments by Diahann Caroll, Jefferson Starship, and Bea Arthur are forced into the production. There was also a love story that no fan would ask for between Arthur’s Mos Eisley Cantina owner Ackmena and Harvey Korman in another terrible role as the alien with a literal hole in his head, Krelman.
I really don’t want to think anymore about the plot. This was the worst of any of the Star Wars franchise, including “Attack of the Clones”. It is also up there with the movies that almost broke one of my best friends, Lucy’s heart, the double gut punch of “The Last Jedi” and “Rise of Skywalker”. Two movies that spat on the happy memories of any original trilogy fan. At least “The Star Wars Holiday Special” has some camp value and a cool cartoon that introduced the baddest bad ass bounty Hunter pre-Mandalorian, Bobba Fett.
This “special” was such a critical and ratings dud that George Lucas who marketed EVERYTHING Star Wars never released this on VHS or DVD. Before YouTube, the only way you could see it was to get a third generation videotape.
I first saw this monstrosity with my friends Dok and Lucy. I belonged to a Star Trek club, The USS Andromeda, where I first met the two people who would become most important in my life in December 1994. The following year at the club’s Christmas party at Rocky’s Pizzaria Theater on the west side of Madison, Lucy brought the movie as “entertainment”. It was so horrid that Dok, myself and another member of the Andromeda Club started to give it “The Mystery Science Theater” treatment. Lucy gave us a look that could kill. She did not appreciate our playful mocking.
Flash forward 25 years later to today and we three plan to to watch the “Rifftrax” version of this “special”, basically “Mystery Science Theater” without Joel or Mike and the bots.
I watched the “special” on YouTube a couple years ago with my mother after Christmas Eve service and she gave me a look that said, “Right now I’m regretting having had you.”
Dok started a roleplaying group over 20 years ago. Now I know if any fundamentalist Christians are reading this they might attack me for my creative hobby. I already covered this ground. https://2timothytrump.blog/2016/08/28/dd-wod-god-and-me/
I love interactive storytelling and that is what roleplaying is. Our club is like a repertory theater where we play dozens of different roles in fantasy, science fiction, cyberpunk, and horror settings. I have a bit of a tradition. I try to run a Christmas special of my own each year.
I am looking forward to what I am going to do this year. I love Christmas. I love the creativity. I love the Spirit. I also love the fellowship.
This has been a tough couple of years and I know I couldn’t have survived it without Dok, Lucy, and the rest of the gaming group. We all need friends who will accept us whoever we may be. A love unconditional. We are not meant to be solitary creatures. If you are a creative soul find friends like the ones I have. Find a group like mine who you can share of yourself and your creativity.
Just remember if they suggest that you watch “The Star Wars Holiday Special”, you are in for a world of mental agony the likes you have never seen.