The Star Wars Holiday Special – Motion Picture Maniac
I watched the Star Wars Holiday Special from beginning to end… I mean I actually went and did it, I actively sought this beast out, sat there and watched it; may God have mercy on my soul. Just imagine James Franco’s face in 127 hours immediately after he finishes removing his arm and you’ll get a pretty good picture of how I feel right now. Do I deserve a gold medal or a trip to the nut house? I don’t know, either way that’s hardly the main question floating about what remains of my mind at the moment, what I want to know is why, “why what” I hear you cry, why anything is my response, why anything – why EVERYTHING? Who am I, what is my place here, why was this made, why was it approved, why did I do this to myself, who – what – why?
I’m a Star Wars fan—I love Star Wars, and I’m really looking forward to Episode 8, the trailers look great, I think Disney have done pretty well so far, I mean Rogue One especially was out of this world, and thus I felt the time was right to review something Star Wars-ey in preparation for the Last Jedi’s release… oh dear. Twas the year of 1978, Star Wars had come out the year before and was quick to brand cinematic history with its mark forever and ever – all to everyone’s surprise too, then, in the haze of popularity induced merchandising mayhem, some poor misguided soul decided to make a Star Wars Christmas special featuring the original cast; from that moment on we all doomed.
George Lucas had nothing to do with the making of it since the television network responsible, according to some sources, simply borrowed the license so they too could cash in on this brand new money machine that was Star Wars, just a shame the way they saw fit to get in on the success was to make something Lucas would later go on to say he would like to destroy with a sledgehammer. This is the same George Lucas responsible for Howard the Duck, Jar Jar Binks and “I don’t like sand”, now I’m grateful to George for creating Star Wars in the first place and his contribution to the world of geekdom should be forever appreciated, but if he says something deserves destruction at hammer time then it really must be something.
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and all the rest debase themselves by appearing as the characters we know them for in this 90 minute television atrocity, you’d think their presences would make it slightly better but it’s just all the more embarrassing for it. So what exactly is the Star Wars Holiday Special about? Well, Han Solo is trying to get Chewbacca back to his home world and family so he can… celebrate “life day”. Not Christmas, something else, and while the bromantic duo try to evade the Empire we get to see Chewie’s family watch a bunch of videos and that’s it! Just a bunch of growling wookies sitting about watching crap on the television; I wish so badly there was more to it than that but there really isn’t.
It opens with a hilariously gut-busting sequence in which the cast and characters are roll called with a cheesy voice announcing their names and second long clips of the cast smiling for the camera, it doesn’t get more 70’s television than that my friends and it serves as a crystal clear indication of what this thing is like. The direction is unenthusiastic to the point of non-existence and makes all the flying around in the Millennium Falcon cockpit look like a theme park simulator, Harrison Ford looks like he wants to run away and never look back in every shot, Mark Hamill looks like he’s been assaulted with a spray tan gun and Carrie Fisher, well; at the very end she gets to sing a little song about peace and love and wonder… I really don’t know what I’m supposed to say about it right now.
So, where do I start regarding Chewbacca’s family? We are first treated to a bizarre sequence in which a bunch of wookies make noises at each other while the music tells us to find it cute, no subtitles, no English speakers to provide the other side of their conversations and it certainly doesn’t work like “I am Groot”. It goes on and on until finally one of them turns on a little holographic projection of… a cheap discount version of a Cirque de Soleil show… it was at this point I really started questioning the filmmaker’s intentions because I’m pretty sure there weren’t any, oh just fill the story with random do-dah and it’ll be fine.
Oh but it doesn’t stop there, this whole thing is just people sitting down and watching television, they watch a man with four arms dressed like a woman prepare a meal a little too excitedly, a malfunctioning droid who can’t control his tongue and a porno sex simulator that starts singing… sounds like it could be at least funny though, right? Like The Room? Well it isn’t, it’s boring as living hell, I came close to falling asleep twice and spent the whole time daring myself to keep watching despite my better judgement. Anyone able to keep their eyes open will notice the massive amount of shots that have been lifted from A New Hope, and cut scenes of Darth Vader, now that’s how to fill the gaps, steal footage from another, better film in the franchise; was this thing made by a human being or a sociopathic machine?
When stormtroopers attack the wookie home they are distracted by a mini holographic concert that goes on forever, another transmission shows a man with a hole in the top of his head confess his love for a female bartender who suddenly starts singing for some reason and… no, you know what? I’m done, that’s it, I’ve had enough, this so-called holiday special is humiliating and shameful garbage not fit to plug the devil’s rear end, it’s not fun, it’s sickening and boring and hateful, there is not one single redeeming quality to be found; not one. It deserves zero stars because giving one is still far too many, I almost didn’t even present the star metre because, as Roger Ebert said about the Human Centipede, stars don’t belong in the same reality as the product I am reviewing.
It’s monstrous and evil; you wanna give it a go? The whole thing’s on YouTube if you want to have a look, see how long you last. To think that the scenes I described exist in something Star Wars related, go ahead George, buy some time and destroy every copy you can find!