In the 100 days leading up to STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, I am counting down my 100 favorite things about Star Wars. Here is today’s entry:
#76: The Star Wars Holiday Special (or, as Jennifer calls it “A Very Wookiee Christmas”)
I will admit it right off the bat: it is mostly awful. But, it is more of the legend around it that I love. It aired one time on November 17, 1978 and then it was gone. Never to be seen again, until bootlegs showed up at Sci-Fi and comic book conventions. Everyone who was alive at the time saw it. I remember being glued to the TV when it aired and I loved it at the time. What 6 year old wouldn’t? It had the main actors in it, plus a few new surprises, like Art Carney, Bea Arthur and Harvey Korman, plus musical guests Jefferson Starship! The gist of the plot is Han Solo and Chewbacca are making their way to Chewbacca’s family to celebrate Life Day (basically Wookiee Christmas). They run into trouble on the way and Chewbacca’s family gets worried. The rest is television history.
A few years ago I finally got ahold of a bootleg copy and sat down to watch it. At about the 40 minute mark, I was glad it was almost over. But I was wrong. It is nearly 2 hours long. It’s not all bad though. It was the first introduction of Boba Fett in a small cartoon in the middle of the show. THAT part is great (and readily found on YouTube). The entire special can be found on YouTube, if you have the courage. But, at the very least, watch the beginning here: