TNB Night Owl–The Star Wars Holiday Special

Christmas gifts. Photo by Kelvin Kay.

As with last Halloween’s Night Owl, tonight’s will be a repeat. I’ve already covered THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL (1978). But if I’m going to be talking about TV Christmas specials of years gone by there isn’t a Special as special as this.

For those of you who missed this the first time around (or smartly blocked it from memory) here’s a quick rundown: Han Solo and Chewbacca have to get to his home planet because it’s most beloved holiday, Life Day, is about to begin. There are occasional clips of Solo being yelled/growled at by Chewy and saying he’s going as fast as he can. Luke and Leia have cameo appearances. But the real meat of the special is Chewy’s family. The Wookie family do their various things while yelling at each other in Wookie-speak with no subtitles. The mom is cooking along with Harvey Corman in drag doing a bad Julia Child impersonation. The dad watches a virtual reality Diahann Carroll burlesque number. The son watches acrobats because…well, because. Meanwhile inept Imperial Guards make a half-assed attempt to harass the Wookie family and Bea Arthur is the bartender at the Cantina who gets a musical number because…well, because. There’s even a poorly animated ten minute cartoon known, not just for looking nothing like the characters, but for being the first appearance of Boba Fett. However the Imperial Guards are defeated, Chewbacca makes it home and Carrie Fisher gets a musical number. All done in a vague haze of what must have been some powerful 70s drugs.

Since I last covered THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL a few things have happened. It’s been worked into the story of THE MANDALORIAN, thus becoming a part of the official Star Wars canon. They’ve made a LEGO STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL because…well, money. And the painful badness of the special shows no sign of fading into obscurity.

Someone uploaded a version of this (which has not, and probably will never, see an official home video release) with the original commercial breaks. Not only do you get to sit through the worst Christmas special in modern television history, you can watch commercials for toys that you thought were cool growing up but never got:

And if you don’t want to sit through that, there’s always the Pitch Meeting for the Holiday Special:

Question of the night–what’s the best thing to happen to you today?

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