Dallin’s post on holiday disasters reminded me of a true holiday disaster. Yes, Virginia, it does get worse than PHANTOM MENACE. There is an episode of Star Wars so awful that even someone as smart as John H could never hope to redeem it–THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL–a piece of TV so bad that George Lucas has attempted to buy and destroy all the master tapes in order to ensure it never is seen by human eyes again.
However, my co-workers and I were able to acquire a bootleg copy and recently took some sadomasochistic pleasure from screening it. We acquired it at great personal risk because Lucas has stated publically that if he had the time and a sledgehammer he’d smash every bootleg copy. (As you know Lucas has eyes everywhere).
Human brains, we learned, can only withstand about five minutes of this show each day. Six minutes and you risk seizure and/or an epileptic fit.
The heart-warming premise is that Chewabacca’s family, his son Lumpy, his father Itchy (the scary grandpa Wookie costume makes Itchy look like he has mange) and his sexpot wife Malla eagerly await his return to their giant treehouse on the Wookie planet to celebrate the Wookie holiday Life Day.
Doesn’t sound that bad, does it? Oh, but it is..it’s much, much worse.
In order to survive my mind mercifully blacked out much of the details, but after about fifteen minutes of the wookie family grunting and moaning around in their native tongue some stormtroopers bust into the treehouse and break poor Lumpy’s bantha doll. A human merchant played by Art Carney on auto-pilot comes by and gives them a bunch of Christmas–er, Life Day gifts, including a hologram tape of Diahann Carroll singing that has a viagra-like effect on Grandpa Itchy. Yes, it is quite strange.
Then for some reason we’re in a cantina where Bea Arthur (you know her as Maud) is the bartender and Harvey Korman comes in to get a drink, but his head is a container, so she pours a milky liquid into his head and he drinks it through his skull or something. Finally, Chewie and Han arrive and fight a really clumsy stormtrooper that trips over a branch on the balcony of the treehouse and falls to his death.
Free from oppression, the family gathers to sing the traditional Life Day carol and out comes Carrie Fisher, coked up to the gills. She stares off into space all glassy-eyed and sings for us. The end.
Oh, wait, I forgot the best part, I don’t know how they worked it into the story, but somewhere along the line there’s a cartoon starring Boba Fett. (I must now confess that in college my very first e-mail address was actually firstname.lastname@example.org, so who’s the biggest dork now, guys?). It’s Boba’s first appearance ever in a Star Wars film, so that’s at least an answer to a trivia question.
Have any of you seen this? Or do you remember seeing this? I think it’s important to never forget because in May when we all line up and shell out ten bucks to see Revenge of the Sith, no matter how bad it is we can always remember this "special" special and know it could have been worse.
P.S. Actually, it could be a lot worse, after we finished with the STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL someone brought in a bootleg tape of William Shatner singing "Rocket Man." Now, that was scary.