Star Wars: Holiday Special
Star Wars: Holiday Special
Directors: Steve Binder, David Acomba
Writers: Pat Proft, Leonard Ripps, Bruce Vilanch, Rod Warren, Mitzie Welch
Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, James Earl Jones (voice), Bea Arthur, Art Carney, Diahann Carroll, Harvey Korman, Mickey Morton, Paul Gale, Patty Maloney, Peter Mayhew
Synopsis: It is Lifeday, a holiday that is celebrated on Chewbacca's home planet Kashyyyk. Chewie and Han Solo are trying to get to the planet where Chewie's family is waiting for him, but the empire is out searching for the rebels, giving everyone a hard time. While we are waiting we get a look at the everyday life of a Wookiee family. We meet all the familiar characters from Star Wars and we are introduced to Boba Fett during a small cartoon. We also pay a visit to the Cantina and meet all the monsters again.
MPAA Rating: N/A
This movie is so bad that it makes all the prequels seem just as good as "Empire Strikes Back" by comparison
Okay, I take back what I said about George Lucas' prequels being the worst of the "Star Wars" series. No, there is another. One that's so horrible that even George Lucas himself admits that he's ashamed of this movie, and he wasn't even involved in the production process either. Yet, George Lucas to this day has gone out of his way to publicly deny this film ever existed in the first place. And so far, he's done a fairly good job of it, as even most die hard fans of the series are unaware of this made for TV film. However, there are a few unfortunate souls that know of it's existence like myself. Upon looking through random youtube videos, a movie critic slandered the movie in it's entirety, and it made me curious. After researching it online a bit more, I came to find out that even the most avid George Lucas supporter have openly condemned this movie, or refused to acknowledge the film's existence as well. Therefore, I knew I wanted to see this movie out of pure curiosity to see why even die hard fans would hate this film. Needless to say, I probably should have left well enough alone. Not only was the film abysmally bad, but it gave a whole new meaning to the word.
In fact, I failed to find even one good thing about this movie; which is shocking because I can always find at least one good thing about any film no matter how bad it is. Hell, as bad as films like "Mario Bros.", "Street Fighter (live action film with Van Damme)", "Batman & Robin" and both "Mortal Kombat" films were, I could still find SOMETHING that was good about those films. Yet with this movie, I couldn't think of anything, or find anything that's worth mentioning. Seriously, this has got to be the worst film ever made, and that's saying a lot considering that I've seen a lot of bad movies in my time too. In fact, I still can't see why people still went out to see "Empire Strikes Back" after this garbage came out on TV. Granted, the first "Star Wars" film was great, along with the sequel, but this made for TV movie, "Star Wars: Holiday Special", is nothing more than a giant piece of crap. One that I'm sure should make Lucas thank his lucky stars that it didn't destroy any and all of "Star Wars" credibility back then.
The film essentially takes place between "Star Wars: A New Hope" and "Empire Strikes Back"; it was aired on CBS back in 1978 to be a holiday special. The story revolves around Chewbacca's family, as they wait for his return back to their home world, Kashyyyk. Although the rebellion against the evil empire is still in full effect by this point, Chewie still wishes to take his chances to see his family again, as he doesn't want to miss out on celebrating "Life Day" with them. What's "Life Day" you ask? I don't know, as it's never explained in the movie at all. It might have something to do with the origin of the infamous force, or it could have something to do with the creation of the universe. Or, it could be a marketing gimmick, where Lucas' staff made up a generalized holiday that symbolically is supposed to represent any random holiday that the viewer celebrates. Who's really to say? Although, one would think if this holiday was such a big deal for us to see Han Solo and Chewie risk their lives to see Chewbacca's family over this, then wouldn't a brief explanation be in order? Hell, they could have easily explained it in the opening text of the film, but they don't even bother. Oh well, what can you do?
To get back to the rest of the story, the first twenty minutes of the film basically shows Chewie's family interacting with each other while waiting for his return. Unfortunately, like Chewie, his entire family can only growl, moan, howl and grunt, so you have really no idea what they're saying. Sure, you can read into their body languages if you like, but there's no other way you can tell unless you plan on learning how to speak Wookie.
From here, the movie features various cameo appearances from Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford; with each actor returning to play their respected roles from the first movie. Unfortunately, these actors aren't in the film for too long, but "Star Wars" fans should know that Princess Leia does sing in this movie. Yes, to add insult to injury, this special is also a musical. However, unlike most musicals where the songs make sense in what the characters are feeling or going through, the songs in this movie often feel forced, and downright weird in context of it trying to be a holiday family friendly film.
In one particular scene, Chewie's father, Itchy, watches a virtual reality video that shows a questionable singing moment, as the girl, inside the virtual machine, claims to be Itchy's fantasy come to life. From there, Itchy bangs his paws on the arm of the chair hard while watching the video, and making loud moaning noises. A couple of minutes later into the video, the camera never shifts back to show what the rest of his body is doing outside his mouth. Yeah....and this is supposed to be a holiday special designed to appeal to kids? Well, I probably shouldn't say what my exact thoughts are on this scene, as I wouldn't want to get into any trouble. However, lets just say that Itchy is a pervert, and George Lucas' staff must have been on drugs for them to honestly think suggestive scenes like this should be deemed appropriate for kids. Seriously, what were you people thinking!?!
To be fair though, the film does feature the very first appearance of Boba Fett in a tastefully done animated sequence. Unfortunately, in context to the film as a whole, the scene doesn't really add anything to the main plot of the film, and it ends too abruptly for us to ever get fully vested into it; which is rather sad considering it's the best part of the film. Of course, let's not forget Bea Arthur, who plays the bartender on Tattoine. For some unknown reason, the Empire injects a curfew on the inhabitants of Tattoine, as it forces Bea to close down her bar early. Needless to say, her customers don't like it, so she sings a song, and they inevitably agree to leave. Gee, maybe all bartenders should take a note of this from Bea Arthur.
Then there's the rather bland performance by Harvey Korman, who some might remember for his antics in the classic Mel Brooks' film, "Blazing Saddles." Well in this movie, he plays three different parts; all of them uninteresting. One part, he plays a four armed chef that runs an intergalactic cooking show. Chewie's wife watches her show to learn how to make...(insert random food recipe here)..and Harvey ends up going over board once they get to the "stir, whip" part of the recipe. Don't ask, as it's a very weird scene. I guess this scene was supposed to be funny, as we're supposed to laugh at how much of a fool Korman makes of himself. Yet, he's not funny at all in that part, as that scene just comes off as...well downright strange and weird.
Then there's his equally less interesting character where plays an Amorphian instructor, who teaches Chewie's son, Lumpy, how to build his own communicator, so he can get a hold of his father to make sure he's okay. Unfortunately, this Amorphian instructor tends to break down a lot during the scene, which forces it to drag out longer than it needs to be. Again, I know this scene probably designed to be funny, but it's actually one of the most boring scenes in this movie. Of course, Harvey's last part is where he plays some weird alien that's hopelessly in love with Bea Arthur. Again, it's never explained why, nor is there ever any connection between the events of the Bea's character and Chewie's family. No, everything in this movie is really nothing more than a series of random sketches involving the "Star Wars" universe; mixed in with musical numbers, an animated short, and cameos from the original cast of the first film.
As I mentioned earlier, I can always find at least one good thing about any movie, but this movie is just horrible. Seriously, you'd have to literally try to be that bad in order to not earn a single point from me in a review, as I would rarely ever think about giving any film a zero out of four. Yet, "Star Wars: Holiday Special" wins the honor of being the first and hopefully only movie that I will proudly give a zero out of four to. Never again shall I watch this utter piece of garbage. Therefore, unless you're that big of a "Star Wars" fan, then I'd stay away from this film at all costs. Or better yet, stay away from this film even if you are a die hard fan of "Star Wars." Why? Because you might find yourself losing whatever respect you might have left for George Lucas after watching this crap. Trust me, you don't want any part of this movie, as it's just so awful.
Harvey Korman's cooking show on Star Wars
Bea Arthur's musical number in Star Wars
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