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It's funny.  Laugh.

1970s Star Wars Christmas Special Reviewed 201

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the funniest-thing-I've-seen-all-week dept.
You have got to read this story. Menoyoda writes "There was a Star Wars holiday special in the 70s that George Lucas would as soon have tossed down a memory hole. But someone, somewhere, taped it and this review was written about it. It involves the holiday antics of the Chewbacca family. Happy Holidays! " This is without a doubt one of the funniest things I have ever read. I am afraid of this footage. I'm gonna have to track down a copy. Nothing can be this bad.
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1970s Star Wars Christmas Special Reviewed

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  • I remember seeing this when it aired. It had really cheesey video effects. It was Sid and Marty Kroft-bad. I've seen bootleg copies of it for sale at cons... but no desire to see it again!

  • Oh my gawd!

    Repressed memories are resurfacing! I actually saw this! It had Storm Troopers bustin down the front door... and one of the STs sadistically broke the kid's favorite toy...



    --synaptik
  • I would totally love to buy a copy on video, or a realaudio/mpeg file of this would be totally appreciated!
  • Hmm, a cursory glance at ebay shows several copies supposedly up for auction... shouldn't be that hard to find.

    Of course, what I'm really looking for are episodes of WHEN THINGS WERE ROTTEN. Can only find the one commercial tape they made of a couple of the episodes.

    --

  • I actually saw this on TV! I've had lingering memories of it my whole life -- not sure if it was real or not. It's one of about 4 memories I have of when my parents actually lived together. (I was 4 when they divorced.) I'm not crazy after all!!! Aaaaahhhh! We need to get a bootleg of this in a big way! Or maybe Lucas should release this one on DVD! -adam
  • by dieman (4814) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @07:09PM (#1450766) Homepage
    http://pages.infinit.net/bonesnet/Holiday_videos.h tm
  • As I recall, Lucas was once quoted as saying he'd rather buy up every copy in existance and smash them with a hammer.

    I vaguely remember this special (and one with some Ewoks?) from years and years ago. I didn't think it was that bad at the time.

    Wasn't Lucas on one of "The Muppet Show" episodes?
  • And all this time I thought it was a bad dream after watching Star Wars too many times.
  • Friend of mine picked up a bootleg of it at a con, and its quite possibly the most horrible thing ever. Chewbacca's dad's name is ITCHY. He puts on a virtual reality helmet and watches a jefferson starship video.

    its THAT BAD.
  • by bravehamster (44836) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @07:12PM (#1450770) Homepage Journal
    A quick search on eBay brought up 9 copies. Current going price is about $9. Here's the link:
    A Very Wookie Christmas [ebay.com]

  • Yes, the movie did happen. I watched it when I was a kid in New Zealand in the 70's. I can understand why Lucas would want to destroy it :)

    As to The Muppets - yes again. R2D2, C3PO and Luke were on (from memory - can't remember re: the others). Funniest thing was Gonzo playing Darth Vader! :)
  • I definitely saw this one. It WAS cheesy and dumb and very un-Star Wars, and you could probably give it all the various goofy tag lines you can imagine and all of them would be dead on.

    And I remember loving every damn minute or it. Jesus, I was young once!
    -------------------------------------------
  • > Nothing can be this bad.

    After watching all of B.A.D. (Bad American Dubbing), BAD Too, and BAD 3: Still more Bitching, I would have to say that yes, it can indeed be that bad. While these shows didn't have any SW stuff, and primarity spent their time bitching about badly dubbed anime, some of the clips showed that some people will stop at nothing to have the worst footage in the world.

    That Streamline pictures comercially released a movie, dubbed into english, without removing the japanese dialogue first (you couldn't hear either; the two languages walked all over eachother), clearly shows that some people should never be allowed to get near any sort of video production. The worst part was that they later went on to release on with the video upside down... now how the hell does one do that?!

    Kindof makes me want to see this SW video to see if it is even worse than all of the stuff they showed in BAD...
  • It is part of my annual Christmas ritual, along with some XMas-themed MST3K episodes. "Bad" doesn't begin to describe it. The worst part is, elements of it have become SW canon, believe it or not...
  • Somewhere I have an old 45 (The record, not the gun. You know, the flat round thing that you use to play on turntables? Oh, never mind...) of R2-D2 and C3P0 singing "What Do You get A Wookie For Christmas When He Already Owns A Comb?". I don't remember what was on the flip side, but I'm pretty sure it was worse than the "A" side. Now I'm gonna have to try to find it...
  • I saw that when I was a kid. It was a lot better than "Phantom Menace". I mean, the special effects were nto as good, but the story was better.

    Come to think of it, so was that lame direct to video movie about the kid on Endor.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've lived my whole life with a dim memory of seeing a TV show about the home life of Wookies. I always thought it was a product of watching too much Battle Star Galactica while hepped up on too much orange-flavored Triaminic cough syrup....
  • by DanaL (66515)
    I used to talk about this, because I remembered it from when I was a teeny little kid. All my friends think I'm nuts!!

    (I don't think proving the existence of a Start Wars Holiday Special will convince them I'm not nuts, but it's a point in my favour)

    Dana
  • Wow, I remember this. There was a painful rendition of the Twelve days of christmas that included "Artoo-Detoo Fish" and other horrible things like that. They actually got the movie actors to do this POS. The sets looked a lot like pressboard with paint, (suprise! they were!) and the story was just laughable.

    Now for the good geek part. This special was the first recorded appearance of the coolest character in the series, namely Boba Fett. Sure, it was in cartoon form, but he was there.

    Personally, I think that its one of the rare cultural treasures that we have, and it needs to be preserved. (ducks) No, Really! its the one time that Lucas let something SW get out of his control. Besides that, they were so embarrassed that they had to do Empire to make up for it. And as we all know, that was the best of the movies so far! (IMNSHO)

  • I saw it too. an ugly memory I would like scraped from my mind.
  • by / (33804) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @07:35PM (#1450783)
    A transcript of the whole thing can be found here [lucasfan.com]. You can read it while you're waiting for the clips [infinit.net] posted [slashdot.org] by dieman to download.

    BTW, this was posted [memepool.com] on memepool back on December 13, but I guess some people must have missed it.
  • This Christmas story is the first appearance of Boba Fett (in an animated segment) and introduces Chewbacca's family, several of whom appear in the Star Wars novels.

    Jay (=
    (Waiting for "Star Wars Holiday Special, Special Edition"... let's see how much CGI it takes to fix that turkey)
  • I remember watching this as well, and I recall it being horrible. Even for a Star Wars fan.

    But the Internet Movie Database DOES have it listed here [imdb.com]

    But what was Harrison Ford thinking? I mean, even back then he'd already done more quality work than the entire cast combined except for Peter Cushing.

    Apparently the reviewer completely forgot about Sir Alec Guiness. His body of work is as impressive as Pete Cushing's and Harrison Ford's... perhaps moreso.

    Also, I disagree with his opinion of Tim Conway entirely. I happen to think Tim Conway is hilarious. Perhaps he is confusing the talented Tim Conway the with most UNTALENTED Jeff Conaway from Taxi? :-)


  • Ok, Maybe not.
    I saw this several years ago . . .
    I'd been waiting to see it for years at the time. . .
    It was, to say the very least. . .
    The worst experience of my life.
    And that includes the time I was forced to watch "learn to use Microsoft Bob in 3 hours."
    Honestly, it was...
    (except for the wookie sex, that was cool!!!)

  • I just checked the eBay link, but five of the nine give "Invalid Item" pages. Although there are other reasons this happens, the only time I ever see these is when eBay ends an auction prematurely because the item in question is illegal (a la Warez, pirated CD-R music, etc). Hope eBay allows some of these transactions to go through; I have got to see this.

    Frank
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @07:44PM (#1450788)
    http://www.revok.com/ has this little gem for sale.. ;-)
  • by Kirby (19886) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @07:48PM (#1450789) Homepage
    Ironically enough, we got a copy of this and watched it at a Christmas party just on Sunday. It was an experience.

    Not a good one, mind you.

    This is bad. Not Jar-Jar Binks bad. Much, much worse. Apocalyptically bad. There was some debate as to whether it was better or worse than _Manos, the Hands of Fate_. We were mixed on that, but all considered it comparable.

    The elements of it don't sound that bad - it was the remarkable execution that made us long for, well, execution. Seeing Chewbacca's family, sounds okay, right? Picture multiple 10-minute segments of unsubtitled wookie dialogue. There's some musical interludes, ala a 70s variety show. Not too bad, right? Well, the highlight was an unremarkable and long Jefferson Starship number. We were treated to Bea Arthur 'singing' in the Cantina (for an extended period of time), a ten minute long Cirque-de-Wookie using the holographic chess type technology from the Falcon, Wookie Porn (I Kid You Not) featuring disco diva Dihann Caroll, and Carrie Fisher on almost enough drugs to enjoy the thing. (She has admitted in interviews later that she was high for the special. You can tell. Easily.)

    Wookies grunting. Wookies standing around in ceremonial robes, holding glowing globes. Art Carney. Lots of Art Carney. No visible jokes, of course. Some strange cross-dressed man teaching Chewbacca's wife how to cook Bantha Rump. (I don't have to make this stuff up.) Mark Hamill wearing quite a bit more makeup than Bea Arthur. This show has it all.

    And a rancid little cartoon that is the first appearance of Boba Fett, where Han and Luke contract a disease that makes it so that they must be hung upside down, for no discernable reason. It was poorly drawn, confusingly plotted, and the best part of the show.

    If you are in a position to see this movie, I strongly urge rethinking your options. It will suck the life force out of you. I would rather watch two hours of Jar-Jar Binks having anal sex with an Ewok than see this special again. I will have nightmares forever about Wookies in my apartment grunting and doing nothing of discernable value all night while I am forced to watch.

    Then again, if there really is a Y2K apocalypse, at least it will be an improvement. After all, what's the end of civilization, in the grand scheme of things, compared to the wretchedness of the Star Wars Holiday Special?
  • I was half expecting "A Jar-Jar Christmas" this year. Odd that it didn't materialize. Lucas has typically been very predictable about such things.

    I also seem to recall a special with Ewoks. That was when I was in upstate New York so it must have been mid-to-late '80's.

  • Same here. Same age group. I vaguely remember seeing it as a little kid and every now and again I'd ask other people about it. It wasn't until I got on the net that I found some people in alt.fan.star-wars (or was it rec.movies.star-wars? - I forget, it has been a while), to confirm it. Made my day.
  • by Nerd_Boy (62598) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @07:55PM (#1450792)
    While were on the subject of terrible star wars movies in repressed memories, does anyone remember the ewoks movie. It was this horrible movie going something along the lines of boy is abbandoned or something, boy goes on journey to find his father with ewoks. And so on. The only other things i can remember about it are there was a stupid magic stone, someone went in a lake and got trapped under its surface because the surface is "magical" anf they fought a giant spider. Oh yeah the kid and the ewoks got kidnapped at some point, and they were transferred in like these hollowed out beasts on a cart. Oh i really hope thats real and I'm not crazy, i actually think i have it on vide somewhere. And also let us not forget the ewoks saturday morning cartoon.(I'm not crazy, I'm not crazy....)
  • by Rayban (13436) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @07:57PM (#1450793) Homepage
    They also have the first episode of the star wars radio plays. If you haven't heard these yet, you are MISSING OUT big-time on something really cool. You'll get hooked on this first one and want to buy the rest though - consider yourself warned.
  • Also, I disagree with his opinion of Tim Conway entirely. I happen to think Tim Conway is hilarious.

    I guess we all know who's going to be the first one on the block to buy "Dorf on Linux" when it comes out...

  • I also seem to recall a special with Ewoks.

    Tapes of those must be around my house somewhere... I haven't seen them since I was 10, at least. There were two or three that I remember, but I can't remember much of the plots... a giant spider or something? Anyway...
  • I remember seeing this, and thinking it was funny. I'd love to some day see this again. Thankfully, we have the bootleg community to keep such wonderful things alive for us!
  • Can't find the source, but I remember reading that at least one of the members of the cast was hopped up on coke when the Xmas special was filmed. Anyone got a "line" on some evidence?

    It would explain quite a bit.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They still sell this movie in the Suncoast vid stores in malls. Flee in terror.
  • Man, I saw that one a year or so ago, and it was *bad*. I mean, *horrible*. I'd never heard about it before, and the guy who'd gotten it said it was a special surprise. He stressed that he didn't say it would be good, just special, actually he said he would be surprised if anyone thought it was good. And it didn't disappoint, it was horrible. I mean, usually with American television, the commercials are pretty disturbing, but in this case watching commercials from the 70s was much more fun than the actual program.

    I guess the only reason to see this is to be able to say that you did - and lived to tell the tale.

    Eythain

  • Here is IMDB's listing for the "Star Wars Holiday Special":
    http://us.imdb.com/Title?0193524 [imdb.com]

    Sam Jooky

  • I definitely saw this when I was younger.. They simulcast the audio on FM radio, so it was like stereo TV, before there was stereo TV. I remember thinking it was pretty bad, the only thing slightly Star Wars about it were those damn Ewoks.. Ack!
  • ::waves goodbye to his site's server::
    Someone get a mirror of this going or something. I originally just sent this to CmdrTaco, but...what the heck, happy festivus. =)

    Star Wars Holiday Special [gamesnet.net] in crappy Real Video format.
  • Wow.. I remember watching that way back when. All of my friends thought I was full of BS because they never saw it and no one seemed to have ever heard of it. I saw it a con about five years ago and I remembered why... hahaha... and to think Harrison Ford has that one on his resume....ahahahahhahahah.. er.. anyway...
  • It was called "Caravan of Courage", and was indeed completely pants.
  • I hapen to have "Battle for Endore" and "Ewok Adventure" amongst the gems in my video collectiong. Also a copy of Ep1 on VHS widescreen with thai subtitles... wonder how that got in there :o-)
  • "while hepped up on too much orange-flavored Triaminic cough syrup...."

    Mmm, god I loved that stuff.
  • Damn you, Taco! Damn you to hell! You could have just had a private chuckle and let this one slide, but NOOOO, you had to go and post it, didn't you?!? Now this horror will once again be unleashed upon this unsuspecting planet. And to think that the secret cabal run by George Lucas to find and exterminate all traces of this travesty had gotten so close! You will be held accountable for spreading this suffering across mankind!

    Who thought anything could actually make Phantom Menace look decent. :)

    Deosyne
  • Yes, a year later, here in France we had the chance to see the SWHS, fully translated in French (think about that lovely french accent in wookie), and many things are great :
    The man disguised in woman (the cook) is dubbed by a woman (I don't think they realised it was a man), and I believe that for some scenes, they hadn't read the scenario, because it goes on improvisation (maybe it's the same in English, and they also translated the MMMMMMM....ERRRR...yes! ).
    This thing is great, because the men who made it managed to make it without Lucas watching them (imagine Lucas' face when he first saw the thing on TV, with all his friends).
    They were high on LSD when they wrote the final scene : wookies walking in space, with 70's colors everywhere.
    The fight (yes, it's a fight) of Han against a stormtrooper is memorable : the trooper tries to get his gun, and fells down the tree.
    Remember when Solo tries to take Chewbacca's son in his arms ? and the matt paintings so miserable that they look like cartoons ?
    Great thing.
    I still wonder how it managed to cross the ocean....

  • Jeez, thats one thing that I remember as being real good. Do they still even have orange-flavored Triaminic?
  • Also, I disagree with his opinion of Tim Conway entirely. I happen to think Tim Conway is hilarious.

    I concur. I have fond memories of the sketches Tim Conway and Harvey Corman did together on the Carol Burnett Show. Conway was very talented with physical humor, and had an excellent grasp of the absurd. Their dentist sketch is a classic.

    Schwab

  • oh wow....

    I remember that.....

    That Storm Troopers busting down the door
    upset me so much when I was a little kid...
    (saw it when it originally aired...)

    seriously repressed memories...


  • I saw it quite recently actually, a late night comedy show on Australian tv called "Rove" [rove.com.au] has a usual crappy Television segment, and on the last show before Xmas they showed SWHS... my only comment, It's still better than Episode One... Oooh i can feel the heat of the flames already ;D
  • there is a video/hologarm/DVD of " a hairy wookie writhing around in a teddy?" out there?

    I wont be able to sleep till I find one.

  • ...check out http://www.stomptokyo.com. They have
    oodles of bad film reviews, tv reviews, (and they
    had a piece on the Star Wars holiday special
    months ago, natch).

    Toby
  • Trust me .. having seen the thing in 1989 I can only say that Lucas must have been drunk to have even thought of doing this thing. It has true 'cringe' appeal, one of those shows where you're not embarrased at watching it, you're embarrased for the actors.
  • I think you're referring to Caravan Of Courage. It's not such a bad movie when you realise it's aimed at kids. You can't seriously expect a movie based around ewoks to be aimed at the typical starwars crowd.

  • by Master of Kode Fu (63421) on Wednesday December 22, 1999 @10:59PM (#1450827) Homepage
    It might have been the drugs in the hyper-sweet orange drink that McDonald's gave out free to school and charity events when I was a kid, or perhaps the extra-low-frequency waves from my childhood Coleco CB-40(TM). I have vague memories not only of that terrible Wookie holiday special (especially the soft-porn holograms), but also of horrible, horrible Star Wars-inspired crimes against entertainment during the late seventies and very early '80's...

    Salvage [geocities.com]
    The Formula: Star Wars space hype + Andy Griffith + Sanford and Son
    The Skinny: Imagine Matlock building a spaceship out of junk, flying it to the moon, salvaging space junk and using an ordinary fire extinguisher as a handy thruster for space walks. And yes, no episode was complete without some big-shot NASA official scoffing at Andy's home-spun spacecraft built with home-spun wisdom, only to get showed up at the end. One imagines a young Linus Torvalds watching this show, not conscious of how it will inspire him.

    Yogi's Space Race [yesterdayland.com]
    The Formula: Star Wars space hype + Yogi Bear + Wacky Races/Laff-a-lympics + Disco fever of the same era
    The Skinny: It had four segments, the two Star Wars-inspired ones being Space Race, which had the stable of Hanna-Barbera characters racing in space vehicles and Galaxy Goof-Ups, with Yogi and friends as some kind of space police who spent their off-hours goofing off at the local space disco. A cartoony attempt to swipe as much Star Wars momentum as possible -- I distinctly remember one episode where the bad guy was a Darth Vader rip-off assisted by an R2-D2 rip-off. One imagines George Lucas watching Yogi's space adventures and being inspired to create the Ewoks.

    Galaxina [desert.net]
    The Formula: Star Wars space hype + Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten + The guy from those '70's Doritos commericals
    The Skinny: The Infinity is a ship captained by the Doritos guy and maintained by the ultra-vixen android Galaxina, a robot with feelings. The Infinity crew is a randy bunch of sailors (There's a brothel scene in which the crew sing a song called "Porno Patrol" to the tune of "Bridge Over the River Kwai") and eventually Galaxina and a crewmember fall in love. I actually remember a line in which the guy says "Too bad you don't have a you-know-what," to which Galaxina responds "We can order one in the catalog." Kind of like Arthur C. Clarke's "predictions," except for cyberdildonics. One imagines Rick Berman (writer for the post-Shatner Star Trek series, whose hedonistic appetites are legendary among sci-fi fandom) watching this.

    Quark [primenet.com]
    The Formula: Star Wars space hype + Richard Benjamin + Mr. Spock + Mindy's Dad (from Mork and Mindy) + Buck Henry + Sanitation engineering
    The Skinny: A sci-fi spoof created by Buck Henry. TV's first "Quark" is not the bar owner from Deep Space Nine, but Richard Benjamin as a garbage scow captain with a nitwit crew. In a tip of the dumpster to Star Trek, the science officer is an emotionless half-human/half-plant being (I remember him saying his species does not kiss, but rather pollenates. I am not making this up). There were a few Star Wars references too, including "The Source," which gave Quark power only if he believed in it, as well as a character named Obeemud, a wookie-like creature who was Quark's boss' side-kick, and a bumbling C3P0-ish android named Andy. If I recall, it never got past a half-dozen shows. This is probably one of Buck Henry's few bombs, but perhaps he was saving his creative energies for other things, such as Saturday Night's Live's "Lord and Lady Douchebag" skit (around the same era, if drug-and-age-addled memory serves). Commentary on science fiction and present-day stuff through a sci-fi lens with unintentionally hilarious results. One imagines a young John Katz watching every episode...twice.

    Buck Rogers in the 25th Century [fiveyearmission.com]
    The Formula: Star Wars space hype + Gil Gerard + Mel Blanc + Skin tight disco outfits
    The Skinny: Would you leave your job to play opposite Seven of Nine? Gil Gerard left his job at a chemical engineering firm to play Buck Rogers, Earth's super special agent who often came to the aid of women in skin-tight outfits (this is the future, you know). Upped the cheese factor by getting Gary Coleman to play a child prodigy (a concept that Universal also used in Galactica 1980 with "Doctor Zee"). In later seasons, it tried to be more true to "real" SF with many Asimov references, most notably the character of (gasp) Admiral Asimov. It's the only TV show I recall in which Asimov's Laws of Robotics get metioned. The original formula was so good that Universal Studios recycled it as Knight Rider a few years later -- one imagines a young David Hasselhoff getting his jollies watching this show.

    A very painful Carol Burnett show
    (for the Tim Conway fan from an earlier posting)
    The Formula: Star Wars space hype + Tim Conway + Mark Hammill + Christmas
    The Skinny: This is the only one for which I have no proof, but only a vague memory (any help would be appreciated). Santa Claus' sled gets abducted by an evil starship and Tim Conway (playing a Luke Skywalker parody), a "Walkie" and a garbage can-shaped droid (the R2D2 parody) attempt to stop the evil. The lame Star Wars jokes continue until Mark Hammill walks on set, bringing the Force -- the Los Angeles Police Force -- who arrest the actors in the skit for copyright infringement. One imagines a young ESR and RMS watching this, shocked at how Carol Burnett's attempt to modify the Star Wars story was crushed under the bootheel of a proprietary screenplay.

    Well, writing this has cured my insomnia. Thank you and good night.

  • I remember this... dear god, the therapy hasn't expunged it from my memory....

    Well, anyhow, the only part I actually recall (or maybe this is just my memory playing tricks on me) is that when Chewie and Han show up, there some tussle with Stormtroopers (hey, is't Star Wars, how can there not be) which results in one of the stormtroopers being pitched over the balcony on the huge friggin tree fort that the family Chewbacca live in, presumably to fall hundereds of feet to a messy end.

    You know, I'm hard pressed to think of another holiday special where someone is killed. Not that everyone involved in this stinkburger (and any variety show of the 70's in general) has not richly earned a painful death... It's just, somehow, most Christmas specials managed to avoid introducing fatality into the whole mix.

    "Happy Life Day!" *Splat*

  • I think it is gary coleman... same height, same face.


  • I watched a chunk of it (the real video format).

    Wookies doing wookie things for 20 minute straight. Storm troopers not looking scarey, and trying to be funny. Princess Lay-her looking stoned, and bored. Some guy you've never heard of playing Jefferson [Airplane|Starship] music for some other guy, who seems hyponotised by it. Yes, there is wookie porn. The wooden dialog between Han Solo and Chewbacca. Etc.

    This is the pain I feel when you rape me with a big, red fire extinguisher.

    ---
  • While searching for gainful employment, I have during the Christmas season working at a major national toy retailer (you know, the ones with the website that kept crashing after they offered free shipping?) Anyway, part of the muzak "loop" that they have been playing features C3P0 singing "Christmas in the Stars." It's almost worse than hearing Whitney Houston bellowing "Do You Hear What I Hear."
  • Many people wouldn't forgive the racist discrimination against Wookies which resulted in Chewie not getting a medal at the end of A New Hope.

    Well, Chewie got his medal. At the MTV awards ceremony Leia gave him his long due medal and he gave a speech in Wookie. No doubt he was thanking his parents which we now got the chance to know...


    ----
  • Above has link to Real Media format of movie. Can we get some mirrors please?
  • I'm not the conspiracy type, but this is weird. I was 43% done downloading the link provided above when some sort of traffic spike knocked me offline. When I got logged back on the network, the entire gamesnet.net domain is gone.

    Man, Lucas' henchmen are quick!
  • Chewbacca's dad's name is ITCHY. He puts on a virtual reality helmet and watches a jefferson starship video.

    Thank you _so_ for reminding me. I may never sleep again.
  • I saw this when it was originally aired. I think it is instructive that it was only aired once, back in the 70s. Since then I have only been able to remember Wookies singing and dancing, and the rather odd question of why Wookie home life had so much in common with domestic Terran surburban bliss circa 1978, when the Wookies themselves resemble us only in that they are bipedal with the same sensory organs we have. If ever there was a demonstration of real repressed childhood memories, this would be it. This review is really all I need of that special. With two children in the house, I am very afraid that one of them would want to watch it a second time.
  • You may think this SPECIAL is laughable bad!!! BUT NOT ME, I THINK ITS TRAGIC AND SAD, IN LIGHT OF CHEWBACCA dying in the books!!!!

    Just think how his FAMILY TOOK THE NEWS!!! So SAD!!!

  • there are other reasons this happens, the only time I ever see these is when eBay ends an auction prematurely because the item in question is illegal (a la Warez, pirated CD-R music, etc).

    Selling this tape would technically be in the same exact category as Warez, pirated CDRs, etc. You could make a case that Lucas won't really make any money from it, so it's ok to redistribute... While logical, there's no legal basis for that. eBay would be open to legal charges from Lucas if they allowed these sales to go on, especially as they have shown in the past their ability to act as sale content editor.

  • Yep, I've seen it and own a copy. Ok, well I saw it drunk after a sci-fi con, but still I've seen it. Damn that punch was good and the screwdrivers too...oh yeah the video.....it was just bad. I love star wars but this was just bad. I'm just glad I passed out from all the alcohol....

    pd
  • It will completely ruin the Star Wars Universe for you... Trust me, its really not worth it.
  • >>let it all just be rumours that Leonardo
    >>DiCaprio is going to play Anakin in Episode II.

    One very good thing actually. We'd get to see Ewan McGreggor kick leo's ass and throw him into a pit of lava in Episode III !!!!



    john
  • Hey, can we safely say that George Lucas reads Slashdot ?? Seems entirely possible that someone in the Lucas-camp read this thread or at least was pointed to it. When they saw mention of these videos, two phone calls took care of it -- one to their lawyers and one from their lawyers to eBay.
  • Chewie, Lumpy, Itchy ... where was Scratchy?

    Regards, Ralph.
  • Oh YES! Now I remember that scene. Deeply disturbing to my 7 or 8 year old psyche. Memories flooding back...

    What is far more disturbing is that my brain has room for more or less full recall of even that television special, that I haven't thought about for 20 years. If there was storage space for that special, one must not junk ANYTHING upstairs. It just takes the right trigger for the memory and bam, there you are...

  • *SPLOILERS* (as if anyone cares)

    Yea, there were two. And like Alien 3, the second movie completely invalidates the one before it, rendering the entire struggle pointless.

    Of course, not only do the little girl's parents die, her brother dies as well, within the first ten minutes of the movie. Man, talk about disturbing to little kids. Of course, my sister and I were the approximate ages of the characters, so I was furious that they didn't off the annoying little twit instead.

    I also remember a Star Wars cartoon hour on saturday mornings, with one set of stories about ewoks, and the others about the adventures of R2-D2 and C3PO.

    And for some strange reason I have vague memories about an ewok holiday special. I think it even featured that same doomed family from the movies. Can someone validate this?

    And you know, why weren't there spinoffs of Empire Strikes Back? No sitcoms set on the Cloud City of Bespin? No Yoda song and dance numbers with other muppets? And come on, Hoth is the perfect place to stage a Santa story. I mean, where else is his galactic headquarters going to be?
  • No, no....Lucas wasn't in the Muppet Show!(At least, not that I know of) Luke, Chewy, R2D2 and C3P0 were. And Gonzo was dressed as Darth Vader (Or was it Darth Gonzo??)

    I have WAY too much time on my hands;>.

  • There were THREE Ewoks specials?? Anyone know of this?? I remember two....And an Ewoks cartoon.....
  • In fact, that animated special inspired my sister and her friends to celebrate Life Day every year instead of Christmas. They still do so to this day :-).

    ----
  • I think it's Nicholas from 8 is enough
  • They also have the first episode of the star wars radio plays. If you haven't heard these yet, you are MISSING OUT big-time on something really cool.
    Seconded! I heard these for the first time a few months back during a drive to NYC with my sensei. If I can't find a copy on my own I'm going to see if I can swap her a dub of my Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy radio play tapes (also most excellent!) for a dub of her Star Wars radio play CDs.
  • Even Worse... I have the mp3's of that record (They sound awful, but what do you expect from a record) I would have to dig a bit since I burned them off to a CD. If I could find them, I bet anyone could... There out there. Sorry, no link though, maybe next Christmas :-) hobiewahn
  • Has anyone mirrored this? Where'd they stick that stuff, on the other side of a 300 baud modem?
  • "its THAT BAD."

    Agreed. I was 10 years old and addicted to Star Wars, so I sat through the whole thing. I wondered why my parents left the room within minutes of the show's beginning - It was Star Wars! How could they leave?

    Then, I lived through the "Instruction Manual" holo-video for the kid's Life Day gift.

    It seems it would be funny to have a faltering instruction droid use the assembly tools to repair itself instead of explain the incredibly complex gizmo. Some of my best laughs have come from poorly written documentation.

    But at age 10, I was suddenly VERY afraid that the Radio Shack 150-in-1 Science Kit that I had begged to get for Christmas would be as frustrating at that wookie kid's gift was. Fortunately, Radio Shack pulled through.

    This show ... did not.

    Yes, Virginia, it's THAT BAD.

  • with most UNTALENTED Jeff Conaway from Taxi? :-)
    I dunno, I think he did some good work on Babylon 5 as Zack. Perhaps not stellar, but good.
  • You can't seriously expect a movie based around ewoks to be aimed at the typical starwars crowd.

    So 'Return of the Jedi' wasn't aimed at the Star Wars croud?

    Return of the Jedi has sort of a split-personality this way. You've got the whole Ewok thing for the kiddies, but on the other hand there's this serious plot of Luke sacrificing himself to bring about Vader's redemption and confronting the dark side within himself. The latter is great, I just turn my brain off during the former.
  • no its twiggie from battle star galactica
  • I remember this too. The Ewoks kept going "starcruiser crashhhhh!" In their obnoxious hateful little voices, and making hand motions and whatnot. Oh God, I had totally forgotten about that. I didn't even think of it when reading the Christmas special review. Mommy.... I'm scared...

    "Moderation is good, in theory."
    -Larry Wall

  • I don't think i could have summed up the severity
    of how bad this is better than you.

    My friend group loves to watch bad films. We go out of our way to find them, and find them we do.

    This is one of the few (if not the only one) that i can't watch. It's just too bad. Although the cartoon is pretty cool, and it's kinda funny to watch Carrie Fisher stagger through her lines... It still doesn't make up for how HORRIBLY BAD this is.

    If you have a choice between eating wormy dirt, and watching this special... eat the dirt.
  • If I remember correctly I was about 5 or 6 when this aired on TV, and since I was a huge Star Wars fan wanted to watch it.

    Well, my mother came back from shopping, and happened to meet a teacher of mine or someone who gave her a really bad report (since I was a little pain in the ass), and instead of watching the special, found myself in bed early as punishment.

    After looking at what I missed, I'd like to send a big "thank you" to whatever teacher it was at the time. You guys taught me such crap as being able to stand an egg on end at the equinox, the moon's phase is a result of the Earth's shadow, and other lunacy, but I forgive you for sparing my young eyes from this horrible Christmas special.
  • MP3 it and put it on a site somewhere, then stand back. Hell, I'll mirror it.


    ...phil
  • by boster (124383)
    No one seems to have pointed out the existence of a FAQ at http://www.lucasfan.com/swtv/swholspc.txt [lucasfan.com].

    A friend pointed out questions 2 and 2a after making me watch the copy he just bought earlier this year:

    • 2. Where can I see the Star Wars Holiday Special?
      • a. How can I forget that I saw the Star Wars Holiday Special?
    I'd say this is about the most telling statement one could make about this, er, work.

    If you have the misfortune of seeing it (it burns us!), pay special attention to the scene(s) with Princess Leia. Carrie Fisher is barely able to stand up - much less walk without almost falling on her ass. Of course, it has been pointed out that she was in that time for her life when she was addicted to horse tranquilizers.

  • It wasn't a Carol Burnett show, but a Bob Hope Christmas special! [lucasfan.com] Even worse!
    The formula: Star Wars space hype + Bob Hope + Olivia Newton John (!) + LAPD + Christmas
    The Skinny: Some guy plays "Fluke Sleepwalker," Olivia Newton-John plays Princess Olivia and Bob Hope plays Bart Vaiter. Yes, there's a "walkie," yes, the jokes are lame, and yes Mark Hamill charges the stage and arrests Bob Hope for "malicious mutilation of a marvelous movie". I will assume Hamill was referring to Star Wars and not Hope's film "I'll Take Sweden." [imdb.com]

    One imagines a young Rick Moranis watching this. Later, while wandering through the desert, high on cheap cooking wine and peyote, he sees this Indian, who tells him to audition for the part of "Dark Helmet". Moranis not only gets the part, but also tell Oliver Stone about the bit with the Indian, which he works into his film, The Doors.

    Help me, Tim Conway...you're my only hope...

  • If you do, don't use the Sorenson codec!

    Schwab

  • by sbeitzel (33479)

    Yes. I remember seeing this as a kid and thinking that it sucked. In addition to the lame performing and incomprehensible action, you also got every Wookie with a name ending in "ie". Chewbacca gets shortened to "Chewie" as a nickname -- but his mother, siblings, cousins, what-have-you, they just have "...ie" names. Period. The writing was just as inspired as the acting. Truly, a great example of how awful television could be.

  • Don't forget another parody of Star Wars, a TV special I believe. I couldn't find a reference to it anywhere (except for what seems to be a fan-fiction of the same name, but I doubt they can be the same since the fan-fiction is dated 1997 and the special I saw was in the mid-80s).

    I believe it was called Trash Wars. The details are extremely blurry, but the included:

    • A Harrison Ford look-alike named "Ham Salad."
    • An old guy named "Oggy Ben-Doggy."
    • Storm troopers who looked suspiciously like garbage cans. Luke and co often beat them by simply kicking them over.

    If anyone has more information on this, I'd love to hear it. :)

    Ohhhh...
    What is it Oggy Ben-Doggy? Did you suddently feel as if millions of voices were crying out in pain and terror, only to be suddenly silenced?
    No, it was just a slight headache..

  • I think you're thinking of "Hardware Wars", which
    was a starwars spoof where the special effects
    were all done with hardware store purchased stuff.
    I saw a 16mm print of this film sell on ebay a few
    months ago.

  • "Thursday
    Dec 23, 1999
    When my friend Buz told me about the Star Wars Christmas Special, I thought he was joking."

    Looks like the memepool put it up after Slashdot did. They have no entries for December 13th.
    ---
  • by ewhac (5844) on Thursday December 23, 1999 @09:49AM (#1450927) Homepage Journal

    A friend of mine at ILM gave me a copy of this tape; she refused to say where it came from or how she got it.

    Evidently George Lucas organized a formal dinner party for most of the original Star Wars cast, some time in the last five years (there's no date on the tape). Based on the tone of the conversation, I'm presuming it took place near some major holiday (probably Thanksgiving). The recording quality is rather poor, obviously a product of a single omnidirectional mic located somewhere in the room. Here is as accurate a transcript as I can render:

    [General murmurs; a wine glass is rung to get attention.]

    Lucas:
    "Thank you all very much for coming. It's really wonderful to see you again all at once. Uh, some of you expressed some confusion as to why I asked for this gathering, and to be honest I'm a little apprehensive bringing it up because I'm sure it will cause most of you, if not all of you, to recall a measure of pain.

    "This is as much a confession and explanation as it is an apology... So, I better just get right to it. All of you -- or actually I should just say, most of you -- were participants in... A work that we have all tried very hard to forget... Ah, I see you know what I'm talking about, Carrie. [confused murmurs] Yes, the Star Wars Holiday Special. [loud groans, "Oh, no!", etc.] {garbled}, I know, it's... I know it's better forgotten, but... Please, I need to finish this. [silence returns] Thank you; there is a reason this happened and... It's my fault.

    "Basically, a few weeks before any of you were contacted about this, I got a phone call from an executive at the network, and he said he had this fabulous idea he wanted to explore. I said, 'What is it?' He said, 'A Star Wars Holiday Special.' ...As I recall, I just sat there in dumbstruck silence, and this idiot rattles on about how great it would be to see a 'slice of life' view of the Star Wars characters.

    "Eventually, I found the will to speak again, and said I thought it was the absolute stupidest thing I had ever heard. It was insulting to the characters, it was insulting to the Star Wars universe, and it would be insulting to the viewers' intelligence. I mean, the idea that Thanksgiving or Christmas take place in a completely different galaxy... But this idiot says, 'Oh, no, you don't need to actually call it Thanksgiving or Christmas.' I said, 'Oh, really. So what are we supposed to call it?' He says, 'Well you could call it "Life Day," maybe. Or some holiday celebrated by Wookies.' ...And I sat on the phone with this guy for what must have been an hour, trying to convince him that this was just a dreadful idea, but he absolutely just. Would. Not. Let. Up.

    "By this time, I just want to get him off the phone, so I finally said, 'I'll think about it.'
    'Could you send me some story treatments?' he said.
    'I'll think about it.'
    'We'll give you complete creative control; you don't need to worry about that.'
    'I'll think about it; I gotta go.' Click. Obviously this guy was new in town, and didn't know that, 'I'll think about it,' means..."

    Harrison Ford [maybe; can't really tell]:
    "Go away." [laughter]

    Lucas:
    "Exactly! ...So anyway, it's a couple days later... There's a message on my machine from this guy... And this is where I made my mistake. I had just gotten home from darts at the Mayflower, and... I guess I'd had one too many, I don't know, because I found my head flooding with ideas for the absolute worst holiday special imaginable. I mean, the sorts of ideas that are just so unbelievable that they're funny. And pretty soon I was giggling to myself at all the unspeakably ridiculous things I was thinking of...

    "And the next thing I knew, I was at my typewriter, writing it down. I sat down and started to write the most ridiculous, the most preposterous parody of Star Wars I could possibly think of. [laughter] I gave them stupid names; I thought, 'Oh, he's named Chewie, so obviously his family's names are Crunchy and Itchy!' [laughter throughout] I threw in Art Carney, for cryin' out loud; you remember those stupid... Like, the Brady Bunch special where Lee Majors and Farrah Fawcett turn up at the door for no reason, I said, 'Okay, who has absolutely no business being here? Art Carney!' I threw in porno... [titters] Hey, you know... I happened to have the TV on, and there was a re-run of 'Maude' playing, and I immediately knew I had to work Bea Arthur into this somehow. And I made her sing! Dear God, I made her sing! [loud laughter]

    "Anyway, I was up until about six in the morning enjoying the hell out of myself... I mean, I thought it was absolutely hilarious... Because I knew it was a joke. So I'm still looking it over, giggling like a kid... And the phone rings. At six AM. I pick it up... And it's the idiot again, who obviously doesn't grok time zones.
    He says, 'Have you had time to think about it?'
    I said, 'Well...'
    'Do you have any story treatments?'

    "And there I was, at my desk, with the last page of the parody still in the Smith-Corona... And a vindictive thought crossed my mind which to this day I deeply, deeply regret.
    I turned back to the phone and, trying not to laugh, said, 'Why, yes I do.' [loud groans, "Oh, shit," etc.]
    He says... He says, 'Great! Can I see it?'
    I said, 'Sure! Where do I send it?'

    "And I made a copy... [more groans] And I sent it off. ["No!!", etc.] And I was certain that once this moron read this piece of dross, he would finally realize this was a deadly stupid idea and drop it. And... So, anyway, I sent it off, and that was the absolute last I heard of it. I never heard from him again, and I thought, great, he figured it out; it's over.

    "One day... I've got the TV on... And I see a promo for the Star Wars Holiday Special. And I looked... I can't describe the paralyzing, mortal fear I experienced at that moment. I froze... And I looked, and there was you, and Mark, and Carrie; and from the few fragments they showed, I realized what had happened, and I said, 'Holy fucking shit!'

    "And that's when you got that panicked phone call from me, Mark, you remember?"

    Mark Hamill:
    "Yeah, I remember. The thing was... The thing was that... I don't know if I spoke to the same idiot as you did... [laughter] But he tells me about this special, and I said, that's the dumbest thing I ever heard. But the guy said, 'George Lucas wrote the script, and you're in it.' And I thought, well, if George thinks it's okay, then I guess..."

    Lucas:
    "Exactly! Exactly! And that was the story you all told me: On the strength of the fact that I wrote the script, you agreed to participate in this spawn of Satan. And that's one of the reasons why I'm so adamant about control over my stories now, because I don't want anything like this to ever happen again..."

    Carrie Fisher:
    "Why didn't you just kill it? I mean..."

    Lucas:
    "I tried to. That was the first thing I did; I called up the network and said, 'This is not going to happen,' and they said that the ad space had already been sold, and viewers were already calling in looking forward to it, and cancelling it now was just not possible without a big embarrassing explanation... And I really wasn't sure what to do, I probably should have killed it anyway... But I thought, well, they're going to lose a lot of money, and at that time I didn't realize yet that I could have completely paid them back; and they did think I approved the whole thing since I wrote the 'script', so it's not like they were operating in bad faith...

    "And so we reached an agreement where they would air it once, and then it would be destroyed for all eternity. And that's exactly what happened: They aired it, I got the master negatives, I burned them. {garbled} Yes, myself, personally.

    And ever since then, I've felt absolutely dreadful that this happened to you... [laughter] That you were made to be part of this private joke gone horribly, horribly wrong... The reason I'm bothering to bring this up at all, apart from wanting to lighten my soul, to the extent that it's possible... This Internet thing seems to be taking off big time, and I have this dark fear that someone who had a Betamax in 1978 who was dumb enough to record this and save it for 20 years is going to dig out their copy, digitize it, and start handing copies around, and the agony will start all over again. So, before that happened, I wanted to get you all together and explain what really happened, and that I hope you can forgive me, and that I'm really, really sorry I did this to you. I just... [appreciative applause]

    [END TRANSCRIPT]

    Note: The preceding, in it's entirety, is completely, utterly, and in all ways totally fictional, and is nothing more than the product of my furtive imagination.

    Schwab

  • by / (33804)
    Like I said before, look under television [memepool.com] (except I got the date wrong: it should be December 14). But you're right in that they're idiots and reposted it today. It's quite amuzing how /. and memepool play off each other like this, reposting each other's content which was originally ripped off from each other.

    Tuesday Dec 14, 1999
    A long time ago in a galaxy far far away (the 70's), someone greenlighted one of the most
    horrible creations ever to deface the boob tube: the Star Wars Holiday Special. This review
    maybe makes it sound like it's so bad it's good, and in some ways, I guess it is, but in most
    other ways, it's sort of like putting live hornets in your ass.
    to Television by faisal

  • Oh no! I had completely forgotten about that one until you mentioned the "starcruiser whoosssh! starcruiser crashhhh!" line. I was happy and safe until you triggered the memory...

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