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The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

The Star Wars Holiday Special

The Star Wars Holiday Special is a 1978 TV movie set in the Star Wars galaxy. The main storyline of the film focuses upon Chewbacca trying to return home to the planet of Kashyyyk for “Happy Life Day” (aka Christmas) to see his family.

I won’t spoil the storyline but the Empire gets involved and Han and Chewie are delayed and an awkward, often downright horrible and creepy, musicial space saga ensues.

Some say this is the worst piece of TV or film to ever be associated with the Star Wars franchise, and they may well be right (before the prequels), I think it more Star Wars : Sharknado. This 97-minute TV special aired once on the CBS network on November 17 1978 and was never seen again – with George Lucas actively trying to bury its existence.

However I actively sought a DVD copy of the film and watch it every year as a christmas tradition (yeah that’s right, you didn’t read that wrong, I watch it every year intentionally!)

The film features a cast of the main characters from the Star Wars film including Chewbacca, Han Solo, R2-D2, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Darth Vader,  and C-3PO. Along with these well-known characters there are a host of new characters including Chewbacca’s wife Malla, his son Lumpy (yep Lumpy!), and last but not least his creepy and crabby father Itchy (think Herbert from Family Guy except as an old Wookie).

All of this combines to make magic once you sprinkle in some disco music, some caroling by robed Wookiees led by Princess Leia, and a host of other questionable musical numbers.


So what’s great about it?

  • Creepy old Itchy is a highlight of the show – what kind of old Wookie watches hologram porn in the lounge room anyway?
  • The need to self-translate all Wookie speech the film (why this isn’t a Hitler Downfall -esqe meme series is beyond me)
  • The use of B-grade disco to distract the empire
  • It is still better than nearly every christmas film ever made
  • The advertisements that aired during the show are magic (there is something cool about old advertisements from the 70s and 80s they just don’t make them like this anymore) – watch below

All I can say is watch it and love it! Merry Christmas to you all.

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