Star Wars: More Than Just Bea Arthur and a Roomfull of Wookies


The Dreaded Star Wars Holiday Special of 1978.

Oh, I most certainly remember it.  I sat in front of my parent’s 19″ Zenith floor console television set in amazement, when it was first aired in 1978.  You see, valued ThrowDown reader, back then Star Wars mania was everywhere.  Lunchboxes, pajamas, hit disco songs on the radio, it was a marketing frenzy.  That’s when the Star Wars Holiday Special reared it’s ugly, variety show driven head on CBS.  Star Wars canon would never be the same, even though Star Wars creator George Lucas coughs and turns his head every time it’s brought up.

Although plenty of rabid SW fans refuse to accept the show as part of the entire saga’s “bible”, it was still Lucas that signed off on the show and gave a third-party the ability to use all the actors and likenesses of the hit film.  So, just like the crazy relative that shows up around the holidays, gets drunk and throws up in the gravy boat, it’s in your face and not going away.

Obviously, this is one of the biggest missteps’ a franchise of this size ever took.  It’s not every day a world-wide phenomenon like SW dominates entertainment, only to lay an egg on national television.  Things went wrong from the outset, when Lucas’ classmate from USC film school, David Acomba, was set to direct the monstrosity and abruptly left the project.  Lucas supported the decision and had nothing to do with the entire production of the show.  And actually, Lucas has said “If I had the time and a sledgehammer,  I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.”  Take that with a grain of salt, since this is the mind that injected Jar Jar Binks into his saga.

The sci-fi/variety show was a two-hour garbage dump, littered with a random group of stars such as Art Carney, Harvey Korman and even a musical number with Bea Arthur singing along to the score of the famous cantina band.  The show primarily revolved around a central plot featuring a return to the wookie Chewbacca’s home world for an event known as “Life Day”.  The Empire gets involved in trying to apprehend the main cast and things get resolved with a haunting tune sung by Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in the films. Trust me, the synopsis I’ve just given makes it sound far more appealing that it actually is. 

The actual special is so terrible, it’s never be shown on television again, and is not for sale for home viewing.  That was all well and good for Lucas and company…UNTIL YOUTUBE HIT.  That’s right, SW freaks, you can view the entire two-hour apocalypse for free, much to the dismay of almost everyone involved with the project.  Many will argue that the ten minute cartoon which features one of Boba Fett’s first appearances is worthy of the calamity, but it’s still garbage.

I once ran out to view the movie “Ishtar” because I couldn’t believe it was as bad as advertised, and it was a horrible, horrible, mistake.  So, against my better judgement, and more to stick a needle in Lucas’ eye,  I’ve included a link, so you can judge for yourself.  Please view responsibly.

For those of you that don’t have the strength for the entire show, here’s a five minute teaser platter.  Have a bucket nearby, and Happy Life Day.



Filed under Mishmosh Ranting, Movies, Television

5 responses to “Star Wars: More Than Just Bea Arthur and a Roomfull of Wookies

  1. I went to the new flick in 3-D and literally got up and walked out. George Lucas has ruined the epic-ness that was Star Wars

  2. After watching that clip, I think I’m just going to stick with watching “Guy on a Buffalo” clips on You Tube. It’s much more entertaining and a lot less painful. Maybe they could do a crossover project combining this and “Kiss Meet the Phantom of the Park.”

    • Angry, one of my favorite family photos from back then has my first dog…and that very same Kiss special can be seen playing on the tv behind us. Think I may have to post about it….

  3. Fantastic website. A lot of useful info here. I’m sending it to several friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks on your sweat!

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