In the spirit of Christmas, may the force be with you. That’s right, this review is on the 1978 “Star Wars Holiday Special” that was one of the worst mistakes the Star Wars franchise ever made. You may be thinking it can’t be THAT bad, but I can assure you that I have sat through some painfully slow movies like Bruce Willis’ 2000 superhero mystery drama “Unbreakable” and some relentlessly confusing movies like the 2015 comedy mystery “The Forbidden Room” (both of which I love with a passion). But this “Christmas Special” is a progressive nightmare that I cannot possibly do justice with mere words. You absolutely have to see this movie to understand what I am attempting to explain.
The movie opens with an introduction of the cast we all know and love, including the comical casting of R2-D2 as R2-D2, but with a few new characters such as: Chewbacca’s wife, Malla, his father, Itchy, and his son, Lumpy along with a few special guest stars. The style of the film is just like the original Star Wars movies from the 70s, for the most part. The film also includes a few musical numbers that don’t feel like they belong but are expected to be in a Christmas special.
The plot line of the movie is difficult to follow (and not because I watched it at twice the speed on YouTube) due to the rapid transitions that occur with little to no warning and the amount of variety that they crammed into a single broadcasted event. First, you see Chewy’s family in a moderately nice home and his son running around being playful, as children do. But then, we are thrown into a holographic dance sequence a mere 8 minutes in. Then, Chewy’s family skypes Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 and, thanks to Luke restating their questions in a language the audience can understand, we learn that Chewy and Han Solo were supposed to be home by now, but Luke assures them that traffic must be bad and for them not to worry. Transition to Darth Vader, looking for the Rebels (primarily Chewy and Solo) as usual. Transition to Chewy’s wife preparing a holiday meal by following a televised cooking lesson that is so comical that you should watch the movie just to see it. Transition to Chewy and Solo under heavy Empire fire (I hope you’re catching an annoying pattern here). Transition to what I can only describe as Chewbacca’s dad using a sit-under hair dryer as a sensual virtual reality porn experience that turns into an extremely catchy musical number. Suddenly transition back to the Rebels skyping with Chewy’s wife, who is even more concerned with his safety and whereabouts, and who is reassured again that it’s probably just traffic (as Luke suits up to go fight the Empire and rescue his friends). The Empire pays Chewbacca’s home a visit while looking for him and Solo, then it turns into a Jefferson Starship music video (not that I’m complaining), then the Stormtroopers trash the wookie kid’s room and make him clean it up. The remaining 45 minutes of the movie are such a chaotic hodgepodge of cartoon animation, an out of place romantic alien soap opera and even more spontaneous singing that not only has nothing to do with Christmas, but is completely forced into the plot line.
Will Chewy and Solo make it home safely and in time for Christmas? Will the Empire ever leave Chewy’s family in peace? The only way to find out is to muster up the courage to click the link below and watch this 1 hour and 37-minute long “special” that will make you never complain about the quality of “Star Wars: Episode I” ever again. Nothing I can say will prepare you for what you are likely about to force yourself to suffer, but if you’ve made it this far and honestly read every word of this review (not just skimming it), then you are part of the few that may have the mental fortitude to make it, but it still won’t be easy. There is a reason you never hear about this production, and all I can say is: I’m sorry.
Merry Christmas and may the force be us, everyone.
Here’s the link if you dare: