The Star Wars Holiday Special is finally worth repeating, and Disney + is the place to do it.
In 1978, Fox aired Star Wars Holiday Special, a 98-minute special featuring the characters of Star wars as they prepare to celebrate the Day of the Living – a Wookiee party equivalent to Christmas – despite the ongoing conflict with the Empire. It’s celebrated by spending time with family and giving gifts, and that’s what Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) intends to do, if he can only get home to Kashyyyk.
the Holiday special is known for its severity. It was so badly received that it was only shown once on television and was never shown on personal video; however, he survived through whispers and bootlegs shared by fans. The cast openly derided the project, with Carrie Fishers says she would play the Holiday special during parties, “mostly at the end of the night when I want people to leave.” Mark Hamill even jokingly asked the president to forgive the special.
Despite all this, the Holiday special has gained cult status among fans. That’s the very definition of “so bad is it good”, decidedly 1970s celebrity cameos (Bea Arthur, Diahann Carroll and Jefferson Starship) in variety show format, with musical numbers and comedy sketches. . These are also the first appearances of the planet Kashyyyk and, in animated form, of fan-favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett (voiced here by Don Francks).
People have long pushed for Holiday special to be re-released, and Disney + is the perfect platform. Fox, the original distributor, was acquired by Disney, so there is theoretically no rights issue. The cost of presenting the Holiday special numerically would also be minimal, if Disney chooses to do so over Disney +. More interestingly, Disney + ‘s own flagship seriesthe Mandalorian and the next one LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special established Life Day as part of the canon.
the Holiday special is objectively bad. The actors were disinterested at best, the script was a disaster, and the value of the production was extremely minimal. After a brief introduction, the special begins with a long streak of Chewbacca’s family interacting with each other in the Wookiee’s native language, minus the subtitles. Meanwhile, the animated, Boba Fett-centric sequence is widely considered the best part of the special, even though it features rigorous dialogue (written by George Lucas himself) and disproportionate characters.
The musical numbers mentioned above are probably the strangest part of the special. Arthur plays a bartender at Mos Eisley Cantina, and when the Empire adopts a curfew, she has to say goodnight to her patrons by singing melancholy lyrics to Cantina Band’s iconic song from A new hope. Carroll, a groundbreaking film and television actress, also plays an uncomfortably alluring singing hologram that Chewie’s grandfather seems to enjoy a bit too much. The tale even stops abruptly so that an Imperial Guard can watch a Jefferson Starship hologram performing “Light the Sky on Fire”. Finally, the special ends with Leia singing a song of the day of the life to the tune of the principal. Star wars theme which includes the lyrics, “a day of joy that we can all share happily together”.
the Star Wars Holiday Special is hot and is part of Star wars history, regardless of the initial receipt. It’s worth passing at least once, and fans deserve the chance to see it the way it was meant to be seen: properly and officially presented on a platform that appreciates its absurdity.
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