Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Star Wars Holiday Special (With Cartoon!)

No. . . .No.

No, no, no, no, no.

You think this is bad.

You think this might be VERY bad. You're wrong.

It is an abomination.

It is a cheesy '70s mess, not even a parody but a bloody hash featuring characters from the movie involved in utterly ludicrous situations. Yes: all the main Star Wars characters are here, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, R2D2, even Darth Vader and (shudder) Princess Leia, and they are all played by the original actors, so they must have either been willing to do this, or were contractually obliged.

Try to imagine the worst music video you ever saw, because every once in a while one of the Wookies (and most of the characters are Wookies making that abysmal sound) looks into a primitive pre-Commodore 64 computer screen and "someone" (in one case, Diahann Carroll) bursts into song. Carroll is dressed provocatively and purrs and croons at the Wooky patriarch, supposedly to turn him on..


Harvey Korman in drag as a cooking show hostess, making some bleeding meat dish a la Julia Child. Art Carney, looking like he's not sure what he is doing there, just bumbling around and ad libbing because they didn't bother with a script. More Wookies. And. . . choke. . . Bea Arthur, who always strikes me as being in drag, even though she's a woman.

There is a plot. Oh. OK, let's say there is. As with Festivus ("for the rest of us"), Chewbacca must be returned to his home planet in time for the grand celebration of Life Day. I guess they had no Jesus on Planet Wookie, but he had to get there anyway, like Spock when he suddenly got way horny and had to go home. The question is: why?

But it's worse than that. (He's dead, Jim!) This show is dead, but somehow it has been resurrected. It was shown just once in 1978, pre-empting Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk. This was a blatant attempt to keep Star Wars in the public consciousness between the wildly popular original movie and the release of the sequel, probably made back-to-back, The Empire Strikes Back.

They didn't need this show. In fact, it amazes me anyone WENT to The Empire Strikes Back after this. Perhaps amnesia was somehow subliminally encoded in the thing.  George Lucas must have signed off on it, legally I mean, and allowed it to be broadcast, although now he feels suicidal whenever he thinks of it.

And now, here it is on YouTube in its entirety, including a cartoon so atrocious it makes Rocket Robin Hood look like Fantasia. By the end of it, you will long for The Adventures of Clutch Cargo and his Pals, Spinner and Paddlefoot.

Holiday warning. Don't watch all of this. Skip through it. I'd provide a list of highlights, except that there aren't any. I hadn't even heard of this before I saw something on Facebook about it, and my first reaction was, "It can't really be that bad." 

It really really is that bad. There are various compilations on YouTube, but they really don't get to the "good" parts. Just watch it in snatches until you feel the need to run to a 97th-floor window.

How many times can you say "whaaaaaaaaat?" in an hour and a half?

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