Thursday, December 27, 2012

Microreview [film]: The Star Wars Holiday Special

Star Wars Holiday Special
Animated Han Solo, making the intergalactic symbol for utter failure.
The Meat:

The Star Wars Holiday Special. Perhaps you've heard of it.

Carrie Fisher plays it at parties when she wants people to leave.

George Lucas said that if he had the time and a hammer, he would track down and smash every single copy of it (and The Phantom Menace showed us all how low his standards are)

And it was named the worst two hours in the history of television.

I had heard the stories, sure. I had read about the coveted bootlegs out there for the intrepid to find and endure. But nothing could prepare me for how awful it really is, and how unimaginable the self-discipline to finish it would prove. But finish it I did, so I could bring you this microreview.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a holiday called "Life Day." It was a big deal to Wookiees. Chewie and Han Solo were busy running from Imperial fighters for undisclosed reasons, but their adventures were imperiling Chewie's Life Day celebration with his family. This is where we begin. Back on the Wookiee home planet, Chewbacca's family - his wife Mala, who looks strangely like Fergie saddled by a case of lycanthropy, Chewie's father Itchy (Itchy!)' who appears to be a horny old drunk, and Chewie's kid, Lumpy, who is not an elephant from the Hundred Acre Wood - are awaiting his arrival for festivities. But then Imperial Guardsmen show up, interrupting Itchy's disturbing, virtual reality frolic with Diahann Carroll and decimating Lumpy's stuffed animals. Harvey Corman and Bea Arthur do some variety show sketches, and I slowly discover my will to live fading...fading...

Wookie Holiday Card

The one - well, "redeeming" would be far too generous a word - mildly diverting feature of the Holiday Special is the introduction of Boba Fett, who makes his first appearance in the series by way of an animated segment that really isn't that bad compared to what's around it.

Lumpy: Chewbacca's...boy?...girl?

The Math

Objective Quality: 2/10

Bonuses: +1 for Boba Fett's introduction; +1 for the amazing vintage commercials in most of the bootlegged versions; +1 for its legendary cult status

Penalties: -1 for every musical interlude, including those by Diahann Carroll, Jefferson Starship, and Princess Leia; -1 for, as Wikipedia calls it, the "comedy" from Harvey Korman, and -1 for the 10-minute, non-subtitled introduction spoken entirely in Wookiee.

Cult Movie Coefficient: 2/10. Really, really bad.

Leia singing. You can't tell from his expression, but 3PO is dying a little inside at this very moment.
[See explanation of our non-inflated scores here.]