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The Star Wars Holiday Special: Boring fans for 31 years

31 years ago today, on Nov 17, 1978, CBS broadcast what has become one of the most maligned TV programs of all time, The Star Wars Holiday Special.  It was so bad Lucas disowned it and famously said he'd want to smash every bootleg copy with a sledgehammer.  This article takes a look back at the Holiday Special and the special brand of retarded it brought into Star Wars fans' lives.

Is the Special really that bad? Yes it is. The format is similar to variety specials that were popular in the ’70s. The main story involves Chewie and Han as they are racing back to Chewie’s homeworld for Life Day, a generic Star Wars version of Thanksgiving. The story goes back and forth following Chewie and Han and then following Chewie’s family (wife, son and father). Little to no action happens when the camera is with Chewie’s family.


From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by pholley.

I tried to watch a bootleg copy I found... I really *tried*... Just couldn't do it, even though I've always been a Wookie fan. Ended up fast forwarding through most of it, my mind boggling how anyone could have sat through the thing in its entirety.
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I wasnt able to watch it. But now that you mentioned it in your article, I guess there's no better time to watch it then, except this Yuletide season.
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I was six years old and Star-Wars-crazy when it aired, and I remember how eager I was to watch it. I won't say I hated it (six-year-olds aren't generally known for discriminating taste in the arts), but I definitely remember felt let-down and somehow cheated.
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Oh wow. I just went over to Youtube and watched the first few minutes. Had to shut it off. If I'd seen this as a kid, I never would have developed my Star Wars obsession and subsequent, crippling Harrison Ford crush. Harvey Corman? BEA ARTHUR?! And Chewie's repellent "family"... crap, I need a drink.

On second thought, it's very odd that Lucas disowned this. The Ewoks were just as bad.
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Oh man. This is a labor of love, but gosh darnit I still have a soft spot for this flick. I still eagerly await the day that Lucas gets over himself and agrees to do a Bea Arthur action figure. ;)
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Ya know, I get tired of hearing and seeing critisism about the Holiday Special. If you are a true STAR WARS Fan, you would appreciate anything and everything that comes along in the STAR WARS Universe. No matter how bad it is.
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IMHO this would be a difficult watch without the Rifftrax guys, but with them, it's pretty good. More to the point, as my title indicates I found many moments in this thing to be painful to watch, made somewhat palatable by the riffing, of course. It would be hellish, I imagine, without the guys working it over. One shining moment has Harvey Corman doing his cooking show bit in a sort of purple multi-armed space-drag kinda thing you have to see to believe. The wookie costumes are well-done too. If you are a Rifftrax-CT-MST-3000 fan you should own this.
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