Check out the Star Wars Holiday Special

By Dan Dunkle | Dec 12, 2016

I did find the Star Wars Holiday Special on YouTube this weekend and it just about ripped apart our family.

Samantha complained endlessly about how bad it was, and could we please watch "The Secret Life of Pets" already? Wesley and I found it at times unbearable and other times so bad it was amusing.

Highlights included learning that Chewbacca's father's name is "Itchy." I feel that they spent a lot of time working on that. "What should we call the father?" "He's probably got fleas..." "Space fleas..." "Right, so how 'bout Itchy?"

He was an elderly Wookiee so he also had no teeth, I noticed. It was the 1970s.

The show suffers from two fatal flaws. One is that it is just too long. I like to say when working on news stories, "If it can't be interesting, it can at least be short." The length leads to a very slow pace, and that's just not Star Wars. It also suffers due to the tragic decision to focus on the Wookiee family for the majority of the program. This is a species that communicates only in howls.

But the cartoon at the end of the feature is still kind of cool and is the first appearance I know of for the bounty hunter Boba Fett. You could see the ambition even in this worst of the Star Wars offerings. Many of the things done poorly here are done much better in decades to come. We forget that the special effects we enjoy today, that make us laugh at those older shows and movies, are due largely to innovations from Lucas.

At the end Carrie Fisher sings this bizarre holiday song set to the theme from Star Wars. You see her standing there with Harrison Ford, and that's a bit of a different picture for us this year.

I put a poll on here the other day asking "Which was your favorite Star Wars movie?" The results were underwhelming with only 9 people responding. Five voted for Empire Strikes Back (which I favor as well); three for Return of the Jedi and one for the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Only four more days to Rogue One!

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