During this season of giving, everyone is doing their part to spread holiday cheer. But the universe demands a balance. All the sadness and cruelty in the world has to go somewhere. And thanks to a holiday tradition at my house, all that negative energy goes into my VCR and comes out as the Star Wars Holiday Special.
The Star Wars Holiday Special was broadcast on TV in 1978 as a fine-print stipulation to the fiddle contest that George Lucas lost to the devil. It was terrible in every possible direction. If Hitler forced aliens to put on a variety show at gunpoint, you'd feel more comfortable watching it. To this day, parts of George Lucas sizzle and fall off if you mention it near him. Famous little person Warwick Davis actually started as a section of George Lucas that screamed and detached itself when the special first aired. And since that day, it has never been shown or legally distributed.
I'd like to take a look back at the different segments that came together to make this one of history's worst anythings ever. There are two things to look out for in each one. The first is
Actor Indifference. Nearly all of principle actors from the film are here, and none of them are good enough at their job to hide how much they hate that fact. Harrison Ford in particular will read the lines but you can kiss his ass if you think he's going to try. If Kanye West's agent booked him on Hee Haw, he'd perform with more enthusiasm. And for this reason, each segment's Actor Indifference will be measured in
Angry Han Solo Heads. The more you see, the less people cared.
The other thing to look out for in each segment is Craziness. The plot that weaves all the musical and variety acts together is based around Chewbacca's family, and they live under space power lines. There's his sweetly retarded wife Malla, his crotchety dad Itchy, and his rapist-eyed son Lumpy, all of whom look like the aftermath of a raccoon fight. Nothing they do makes sense, even in the context of space apes. So each segment's
Craziness will be measured in Leering Lumpy Heads. Each one represents approximately 5 diagnosable mental disorders or drug problems.
Segment 1: Meeting Chewbacca's Family
At Chewbacca's home, his family is expecting him home for Life Day, and they're starting to get worried. I think. The first ten minutes are spoken entirely in unsubtitled Wookiee and accompanied by meaningless gesturing. You'd think a race whose language is based on the sounds donkeys make during sex would learn some sign language. But they haven't. The actors in these fur suits are so terrible at pantomiming that if they tried to signal for a waiter to get their check, they'd end up with a regionally offensive gesture up their ass and a missing eye. They might as well have filmed this shit in Braille.
Chewbacca's wife calls Luke Skywalker and R2D2 to see if they've heard from Chewbacca, but the two of them don't speak Wookiee any better than the viewer, and one of them can only beep, so it just adds to the confusion. And when she finally gets hold of someone who can understand her, it's a shopkeeper surrounded by Imperial spies who can only speak to her in code. If my grandmother and a dog had a conversation about checking their email, it would be less confusing than this.
Segment 2: Cooking Show
While her husband is assumed certainly dead, Chewbacca's wife Malla watches a comedic cooking show about a four-armed drag queen making a pot of smashed meat. It's around here where the viewer's confusion begins to form into a tasteable hate.
If you are against laughter and Star Wars, this will be the backbone of every future argument you ever have. If you love Star Wars and comedy, then this is like watching scientists saw your wife in half. A part of you dies with her, and that magic trick is ruined forever.
Segment 3: The Mind Evaporator
In this scene, Chewbacca's father Itchy sits in a hair dryer chair that plugs directly into his brain and generates his ideal sexual fantasy: disco sensation Diahann Carroll. And while this is great for him, it's wildly inappropriate for a holiday special. There's a reason Frosty the Snowman didn't have his dick in a Sno-Cone maker in the
second draft of the script.
Segment 4: The Jefferson Starship Machine
In a Christmas tradition I'm sure we can all relate to, grandpa's masturbation is interrupted by government troops looking for revolutionaries. Imperial troops begin to search Chewbacca's home for rebel evidence, and Art Carney distracts them with a suitcase that plays Jefferson Starship music videos. I don't want to spoil anything, but it's fucking crazy.
Segment 5: Boba Fett Cartoon
As his home is ransacked by stormtroopers, young Lumpy watches a cartoon. It's about Luke Skywalker and Han Solo trying to find a talisman of invisibility on a dinosaur-filled planet made out of goo. Now, to a child, that description alone is enough to send your spine into happiness spasms. So if you can take that concept and make it impossible for children to watch, you're worse with kids than Chris Benoit.
Apparently the cartoon is illegal in the Star Wars universe, because Lumpy keeps switching it off every time a stormtrooper gets close. Which makes his decision to watch it at the exact moment Imperial troops are milling around in his bedroom almost as crazy as the cartoon itself. If you're lucky enough to have never seen it, your luck has just run out. Because I can unfortunately sum it up in six panels:
Segment 6: Communications Array Instructional Video
During this part of the special, Lumpy watches an instructional video starring a malfunctioning robot. Because what list of the worst ideas ever conceived would be complete without a baby Chewbacca watching a robot fail to give an instructional video for 8 minutes?
Segment 7: Bea Arthur, Singing Bartender
At this point in the story, we're interrupted by a galaxy-wide newsflash to inform all government employees that they are required to watch a musical number. It then cuts to Bea Arthur getting stalked and eventually sexually assaulted by a man who drinks through a hole in his wig. And I know it sounds like I'm smashing random words together, but she then breaks into song to musically plead for everyone to leave her bar. My keyboard whimpered when I typed that. I don't think it's any coincidence that the Star Wars Holiday Special aired one day before the Jonestown mass suicide. Did you think there wouldn't be consequences, Bea Arthur?!
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