This is from the Dangerous Minds’ archives. Originally posted last Christmas Eve.
I’m probably among a handful of people who prefer the universally reviled Star Wars Holiday Special to any of the actual Star Wars movies. Broadcast once in 1978 on CBS and then quickly banished to TV purgatory, this holiday fiasco is one of the strangest things ever to be piped into the living rooms of an unsuspecting America. At 8 p.m. on November 17, 1978, Star War fans were plunged into stunned disbelief as their sacred mythology was reduced to something more akin to an earthbound shitfest than a spectacle in a galaxy far far away. The only thing missing from the special that would have transmutated its alchemy into the realm of the genuinely mindaltering would have been an appearance by Divine, Edie the Egg Lady and the ghost of Alfred Jarry.
In a highly amusing article that appeared in the December 2008 issue of Vanity Fair, writer Frank DiGiacomo describes George Lucas’s cathode ray bomb as…
[...] a campy 70s variety show that makes suspension of disbelief impossible. In between minutes-long stretches of guttural, untranslated Wookie dialog that could almost pass for avant-garde cinema, Maude’s Bea Arthur sings and dances with the aliens from the movie’s cantina scene; The Honeymooners’ Art Carney consoles Chewbacca’s family with such comedy chestnuts as “Why all the long, hairy faces?”; Harvey Korman mugs shamelessly as a multi-limbed intergalactic Julia Child cooking “Bantha Surprise”; the Jefferson Starship pops up to play a number about U.F.O.’s; and original Star Wars cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill walk around looking cosmically miserable.”
I highly recommend you read the entire article by clicking here. It’s a lot of fun.
With a happy holiday heart, I present for your viewing pleasure the gloriously bizarre Star Wars Holiday Special, which has never been re-aired on TV or officially released on video. And as a bonus, this video includes all the original commercials for Star Wars merchandise.
The 50 second text crawl at the beginning is silent.