Starburst Memories: Star Wars Holiday Special

At the September (2011) gathering of Dirk’s Film Club we had a comedy double bill.

There was HIGH FIDELITY – amusing rather than rib-tickling – followed by STAR WARS: HOLIDAY SPECIAL –  red wine was snorting through our noses with laughter.

George Lucas wants to destroy every single copy. I can understand why, but he’ll have to work hard as the internet is littered with clips and grainy VHS footage that gives the whole thing the appearance of a nightmare.

In many senses it is a nightmare that managed to induce incredulousness without a word being spoken. CBS commissioned this two hour long, special ‘Cash In’ for Thanksgiving in 1978 following the success of the original film. They managed to retrieve the sets, costumes AND actors out of storage to create a television spectacular that really does beggar belief. Its never been rebroadcast or released on video: of course, Dom-Dirk has managed to find his own exclusive copy back in a flea market in Manchester but has never been able to get beyond the prolonged Wookie planet sequence at the beginning. The best bit is a poorly animated cartoon that introduced Boba Fett,which has been included as a hidden extra on the recently released blu-ray edition of the trilogy.

Chewie and Han (Ford unable to disguise his ‘what the hell am I doing here’ look) are heading back to his home world of Kashyyk for Light Day. There is a prolonged scenes of grunting and growling as Itchy (Dad), Lumpy (kid) and Malla (Mrs Bacca) prepare for Chewie’s arrival. The first hint that something is amiss is when Malla tries to follow a recipe on TV performed by  four-armed, drag artist and it slides into a relentless decline. Pop-eyed Mark Hamill shouts some nonsense to R2 D2, Bea Arthur turns up in a flood-lit version of the cantina on Tatooine and there is a bizarre scene where Itchy seems to plug into an Orgasmatron, before it concludes with a spaced-out Carrie Fisher singing a song to the tune of Star Wars.

It is the mad woman in the attic of the Star Wars family.

I don’t want to see it again. I would pay good money for it to be removed from my memory by a hypnotist. It’s like walking in on your parents having sex – close the door, forget it happened.

4 responses to “Starburst Memories: Star Wars Holiday Special

  1. I didn’t realise it was TWO HOURS long, I thought it was some 15 minute Comic Relief-type affair. I’m sure Lucas would be more than happy to re-release it if they let him insert a non-sensical appearance by Hayden Christensen and put a few CGI Dewbacks in the background.

    Sounds like it’s no ‘Dimensions in Time’, that’s for sure.

  2. If the Holiday Special is the mad woman in the attic of the Star Wars family then surely ‘The Phantom Menace’ is Uncle Knobhead.

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