Alas, here we are. The most infamous piece of footage that's ever existed. I'm sure most of you are familiar with The Star Wars Holiday Special, so there's no need to throughly go into the background. It's common knowledge that this was made about a year after "Star Wars" was a huge hit and someone said "Hey! Let's turn that into a holiday special!" And that George Lucas has, more or less, disowned this show/special/whatever.
It's interesting to note that while watching the entire thing, it appears many of the people involved in making it were high on some sort of drug or another. But when Lucas saw it, he was like "WTF is this?" which tells me he never did a drug in his life. I guess this makes him more of a nerd.
So this originally aired about a week before Thanksgiving back in 1978, which is why I'm doing it a few days after the holiday. They never really say in the show it's suppose to be Christmas, just a "holiday". There is also the fact that people get all up in arms over the word "Christmas" and want it replaced with "holiday" but that's another matter for another time.
And yes, this is indeed a "bootleg" version, which means it's a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy, etc. And it includes the commercials, but oddly enough doesn't have the "Fight the frizzies. At 11." promo which is supposedly the most famous copy.
The special starts off with Han Solo and Chewbacca flying in the Millennium Falcon trying to escape some Imperial fighters or something. Han tells Chewy not to worry, he's gonna get him home in time to celebrate Life Day with his family. Then the credits start off, which tells us that no only is the original Star Wars gang here (except for Obi Wan, obviously) but we got some new friends such as Chewy's family, Bea Arthur, Jefferson Starship, and ART CARNEY!!! (I've always wanted to do that.)
After the credits, we go to Chewy's pad where wife Malla, son Lumpy, and Chewy's father Itchy is just hangin' around doing chores. And it's at this point, the five minute mark, that we realize that all hope is lost on this special because we literally spend ten minutes with these beings and they all talk in Wookie. So there's nothing but "ERRRRRGHHHH!!" "AAHHHHHHGHH!" "RRRRRGGHHNNNN" going on and I'm thinkin "Couldn't they AT LEAST provide subtitles or some shit."
During all the "Uggghs", we see the family is cleaning up and preparing for Chewy's homecoming. Malla is worried, which is making Lumpy nervous. So Itchy gives Lumpy (Damn you Holiday Special for making me type such a ridiculous thing) some LSD tablets and tells him to trip out in the corner. Well, no not really, but he may as well have because they turn on some sort of projector thing and a bunch of holographic mime/clown things come out and perform. Holy shit! It's the 70's version of Cirque Soleil!
After wasting 20 minutes on this crap, Malla silently (Thank god, all the "URRRRGHS" were getting annoying) checks to see if any starships are around. Their HOME COMPUTER! tells them "answer unclear. Try again later." Then Malla says "Fuck this noise" and opens her super duper secret communication device that is illegal! Gasp! Malla is a ham radio operator!
Malla calls Luke, who is working on some weird thing with R2-D2. Luke figures out through all the Wookie grunting that Chewy and Han isn't there yet and they're all worried, cause there's nothing left to do in this damn special but worry and take drugs. And they give a close up on Mark Hamill here and he looks like a mannequin of sorts, like they put a SHITLOAD of makeup on him. I guess he discovered Botox on his adventures.
R2 gets bored and sets the place on fire, which pisses Luke off and they cut communication. Malla decides to bother more people by calling a local trader named Saun to see if he knows anything. How he would know anything is a mystery but whatever. Saun is dealing with an officer of the Empire and Art Carney does what he does best (acting like Norton from "The Honeymooners") when he gets Malla's phone call. Since Saun is secretly working against the Empire, he has to talk to Malla using a code and the code is, seriously, "That RUG you're waiting for should be arriving soon. Some old lady made it herself by HAND. SOLO!" Ugh. Might as well use a Lite-Brite to spell out this secret message.
Then we get some stock footage of Darth Vader parading around his ship looking for Han and Chewy. Darth sets up a blockade around Chewy's home planet, which means no ships can get out, and more importantly, get in. Cue evil music, John Williams!!
Malla and family hear about the blockade and more worrying ensues. There is a knock on the door and they get all jumpy for some reason but it's only Saun. He's here to give them gifts for Life Day. He gives Malla something that looks like a large boombox, Lumpy some thing in a box that'll come into play later, and Itchy, well...
I guess in a way he gave him porn. That's the conclusion I came to going by how Saun describes what it is to Itchy and what ends up playing. Itchy sits in some chair with a helmet thingy attached and Saun puts this chip into the chair and this thing starts playing where a hot black chick (Diahann Caroll. I don't always know who every person is, but I do research these things. Man, running this site is like doing a term paper sometimes.) starts saying things like "I find you adorable" and "I am your fantasy" and she starts sitting in weird poses. Then she sings a song, cause when watching porn with your fantasy (I guess me and Itchy have something in common: we're into black chicks), there must be singing, dammit!
Wow, the new Doctor Who is hot!!
Anyway, Leia is tired of all this "ARRRGHH" talk also and demands to talk to a human being, so Saun pops up and says he'll take care of Malla and family. Leia is like ".....what?" and hangs up.
Han and Chewy make it to the planet and decide to land in a spot that's far from Chewy's home, meaning they have to walk there so they're not spotted by the Imperial force. At home, they all hear a ship fly over head and they all think it's Han and Chewy so they run to the door and instead of a giant brown fur being and Harrison Ford, they see some Stormtroopers! GASP!! Cut to commercial!
I didn't mention much of the commercials so far, only cause they're not that impressive. But one popped up here that I found highly amusing. We get this good ol' boy type fella talking about being in the Lady Undergarments Union. You know, just cause you like to look at 'em doesn't mean you're in the union. Then there's this long 2 minute song about this union and it's being sung by the homeliest group of women I've ever seen. Oh and Dallas comes on Sunday night.
"I'm not only the President of women's underwear...I'm also a member!"
The troopers look around the house and Saun shows the leader the giant boombox he got Malla. He does his usual schick and we get a minor "Honeymooners"-inspired moment before Saun turns it on. It opens up and holographic images of Jefferson Starship appear and perform a song. And I have to admit, the song wasn't half bad. The leader gets into it, even throwing his panties at the holographic stage.
Saun realizes he can only stay so long before the troopers REALLY think he's there to replace Chewy as Lumpy's father and he takes off. The Stormtroopers want to search upstairs in Lumpy's room, which pisses Lumpy off. They threaten to shoot him, but the leader insists not to and instead demands Malla keep Lumpy entertained somehow.
And like most mothers in the 70's, they put Lumpy in front of a TV to keep him busy. But this isn't your typical TV. This TV allows Lumpy to watch an animated short about the adventures of Luke, Han, and Chewy! Man, it's good to know if I ever have to go out and have adventures, I can capture the moments, animate them, and present them to my family like a cartoon short.
So the cartoon begins and it's one of the better moments in the special. But it's all a bit odd because the animated versions of Leia, Luke, and Han look really really fuckin' weird. But ignoring all of that, the story was really good.
Han and Chewy were looking for some medallion that can turn people invisible or something. They contacted Al Sharpton immediately and I guess he had it. Well, this medallion causes humans to go into a coma and the only cure is to tie them upside down, for some reason. Chewy is piloting the Millennium Falcon and instead of landing on the Rebel Base, possibly infecting the rest of the planet, he yells "RRRRRAAGGHHH" which I guess is Wookie for "AHHHH!" and leaves the planet. Luke, confused by this whole thing, goes after Chewy, with R2 and C-3PO in tow.
They follow him to some planet who's name I couldn't begin to spell cause I'm not a Star Wars fan boy. (Waits for the letters to come pouring in now). But the entire planet is made of water. Well, that's not true. They say it's water but in reality it was this goopy purple stuff. Luke and the Droids are about to be eaten by a purple Loch Ness Monster when a mysterious figure pops up and kills the monster. The mysterious figures introduces himself as Boba Fett.
Boba claims to be a good guy, but he mistreats and abuses the Loch Ness Monster he's riding, which would make me question the whole thing, but whatever. They all go into the Falcon and Luke immediately passes out. C-3PO figures out it's the medallion and it's only effective to humans. Boba says he can get a cure back in town and he's gonna go get it for them. Chewy insists he tags along.
In town, Boba goes off on his own and contacts Darth Vader! GASP! No way!! Back at the ship, R2 picks up on the message between Darth and Boba and they realize he's really working for the Empire. Boba gets the cure for the coma blues and they head back to the Falcon, where C-3PO tells Luke and Han who Boba really is. Instead of killing them all right then and there, he takes off. Ok...
Now that Han is awake, we see how weirdly drawn he is. Like, his face is bigger then his torso. It's weird. Anyway, this ends the animated portion of our special and from this point on, it's pain, pain, pain.
The Imperials trash the shit out of Lumpy's room like they're The Rolling Stones and realize the fun as worn off, so they decide to leave. Lumpy runs up into his room and sees the damages and throws a fit which goes, and I quote, "ARRGHHHHGHHFHHHHHHH!!"
Then everything starts to fall apart and any resemblance to a plot this special had kinda spirals out of control, because everything from this point on is kinda on random. The Empire takes over the airwaves and puts out a special announcement for the Imperial forces. You cannot be turned down for this offer!
Then some guy comes on and says he's gonna present a film that shows what life on Tattoonie is like and suddenly it's a reality show about what it takes to run the famous Catania we visited in the first movie. All the usual customers is there, along with the band, and God I wanna throw this piece of shit movie out the window and put in "Star Wars" right now.
And lo and behold, we meet Ackmena aka Bea Arthur! And she takes care of the place while the Master is away. Well, actually she is the master, she owns this place. And in steps Harvey Corman.
Ahh...I forgot about Harvey Corman. He pops up three times in this movie. First, he's some four armed Julia Child cook, then he plays a malfunctioning robot in some instructional guide that pops up later, and here he plays Krelman, some dude who has a crush on Bea Arthur.
Let me state that again. Harvey Corman is playing a guy with a crush on Bea Arthur.
So Krelman is this lonely guy who fell in love with Ackmena cause she showed him attention, but then he realizes he gives EVERYONE in this catania the same attention and he gets depressed again and drinks himself to death. Or not.
Anyway, the same guy that came on earlier to present us this reality show comes onto the big screen in the catania telling the planet it's under a curfew and everyone must lock themselves in their homes until further notice. So Ackmena is trying to kick everyone out of the bar but they won't leave, so she does the only thing that'll clear a room faster then anything: she starts singing.
Sure enough, it works and the bar is empty except for Krelman, who as woken up to throw up, and have drunken sex with Bea Arthur. Then this reality show comes to a close.
We go upstairs and Lumpy is all pissed about the Imperial forces trashing his place, so he opens up Saun's gift which is some kind of thing that can broadcast a message and disguise your voice, which I must say came in handy. Good thing Saun gave it to him earlier, huh? Lumpy watches a video where Harvey Corman plays a robot who keeps malfunctioning. I guess this was suppose to be funny, but it really isn't.
Anyway, Lumpy figures out the device and uses it to get rid of all the Stormtroopers in his home, save for one who was told to stay behind. The one Stormtrooper hears Lumpy upstairs and goes upstairs to see what the little knucklehead is up to. Cut to commercial.
Fight the frizzies. At 11. I wish I had that on this DVD. But I consider myself lucky to even have this copy, so beggers can't be choosers.
Fight the Donald Trump Clones! At 11!
And so, we're back and the Stormtrooper is totally gonna start wailing on Lumpy but he manages to run outside and before the Stormtrooper can make a little furry welcome mat, Chewy arrives and protects his son. The trooper is about to shoot father and son but Han comes from behind and throws the trooper over the railing. Oh, good. Porn AND death in a family holiday special. Thanks George...wait I can't blame him. Dammit!
Anyway, everyone's happy to see each other and Han insists he must go back to get his ship, and we're treated to 10 more minutes of Wookie talk. ARRRRRRRRRGGHH!!! That's not Wookie talk, that's me screaming for this to end already.
The family then grab little crystal thingys and suddenly they're walking around in space. Soon they are joined by the rest of the Wookie population and they end up....somewhere. And Lord help me, there are thousands of Wookies in this scene and they're all talking. Thankfully, R2 and C-3PO is there, along with Luke, Leia, and Han. They all can't stress enough that "this is YOUR holiday" but we had nothing better to do, so we're gonna be pests and stick around.
Then, so God help me, Leia starts singing the Star Wars theme but THERE ARE WORDS TO IT!! And armed with the knowledge that Carrie Fisher doesn't remember doing any of this, you know that her singing leaves much to be desired. We got shots of everyone while she belts out this tune and the shot of Harrison Ford looks like he's thinking "God, when is George gonna tell me about this Indiana Jones movie he has planned. I can't take much more of this."
Finally, this thing comes to end, with the Chewbacca family sitting around the dinner table and having their feast. Man...no wonder George Lucas doesn't wanna claim this thing. I wouldn't either. Of course this means that sometime in the future he's gonna get dragged onto Maura Povitch and hear these words "When it comes to the Star Wars Holiday Special...YOU ARE THE FATHER!"
So everything you've heard about this thing is true. It sucks, it's weird, and you probably have to take a lot of drugs to sit through this. It was amazing enough that there were people back in the 70's who knew this was gonna be a momentous occasion when this aired that they actually set up these devices called VCR's and recorded all two hours of this. If you wish to obtain your own copy of this, well, good luck. This thing can only be found in back alleys, along side copies of my sex tape. Not that..there is...ANYWAY!
Fight the frizzies. At 11.