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The Star Wars Holiday Special 1978 — Page 2

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 (Edited)

I’ve watched it all the way through thanks to the recent high (ish) quality releases. I have to say my mouth was agape the whole way through. It’s like some sort of bizarre, postmodern art project. It’s equal parts ridiculous and terrifying. The extended scenes of the Wookiee family howling at each other would be funny if they weren’t so damn unnerving. It also seems to have been made by people who share none of our cultural or human reference points - that was the 70s I guess. It doesn’t even reference Star Wars in a straightforward way. It’s nuts and well worth a watch just the once, but it’s not a Star Wars film, just Fox trying to make hay while the sun shines.
Still better than RotS though 😃

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So I was watching the Paul Lynde Halloween Special and it has a lot in common with the HS. I guess it was a 70’s thing. The cartoon is still great though.

It seems like people are really embracing the new characters. In fact, the big question people ask me now about Star Wars is, “Are Finn and Poe gay lovers?” And really how the f*ck would I know? My second husband left me for a man, so my gaydar isn’t exactly what you’d call Death Star level quality. ----Carrie Fisher

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I watch the holiday special at Christmas sometimes. It’s boring weird, and outright uncomfortable at times, but it is also endearing in a way, has some good parts, and has some of my favorite actors in it. Overall I think it’s worth watching if you are a big fan of the franchise. Plus there is a ton of genuinely funny material in there. If you find it to boring, I recommend the rifftrack for it.

I decided to add a signature

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I keep a copy around mostly as a cautionary tale for family members considering watching a prequel. The upside of the kids only having watched the OOT and the Disney films is obvious – but the downside is that they really don’t know how bad some parts of the Star Wars catalog can get, and could naively end up watching ROTS if they’re not careful. Show them the Holiday Special, assure them all of the prequels are much, much worse, and now they’re pretty safe without any of the pain and scarring. It’s a prequel vaccine, basically. A little cowpox to prevent smallpox.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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I watched it the day it aired as an 8 yr old. Then, it was very, very cool. Well, the SW stuff was cool. Even then I couldve done without the singing and Jefferson Starship. But I remember being so excited while watching it. The Boba Fett cartoon was by far the coolest part of it. Fast forward to 10 years or so ago when I got a copy online and burned to DVD. Almost impossible to watch as an adult.

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I first heard about it in the 90’s, probably after reading in the Essential Guide to Characters that Boba Fett’s first appearance was in it.

Heard about it every now and then throughout the early-to-mid oughts. Empire of Dreams’ earlier cut apparently had a segment on it that didn’t make the final release.

By the time I joined this forum just over a decade ago I’d already heard about how the holiday special was “out there” if you knew where to look for it, much like the OOT had been when I was lurking the year before.

Finally watched it in late '08 after downloading it from google video (remember google video?!) and thought it was equal parts bizarre, boring, and WTF. The commercials really added to the experience.

Since someone brought it up earlier:

I remember finding it interesting that Fox had the copyright in the end credits and not Lucasfilm. Did Fox pay for its production and simply make it with George’s blessing?

The newspaper comics are another item from that time with Fox’s name on it and not LFL’s, IIRC.

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Fang Zei said:

(remember google video?!)

Ah, Google Video … I never would’ve been introduced to Turkish Star Wars without it.

Starve the rich.

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Fang Zei said:

I remember finding it interesting that Fox had the copyright in the end credits and not Lucasfilm. Did Fox pay for its production and simply make it with George’s blessing?

Most if not all until 78/79 were copyrighted to Fox. This includes all merchandise, toys etc. LFL got the license probably in 1979. Sorry, I can’t explain it better so my wordings may not be accurate but anyways.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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It’s really really bad, but I watch it every holiday season for fun. I think it’s kind of cool to experience it at least once if nothing else. If you don’t think you can make it all the way through there is a version of it with riff trax commentary that makes it more watchable.

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True story:

I remember watching the Star Wars Holiday Special when it originally aired on TV when I was three years old. About halfway through the show, my parents told me to go to my room because apparently my dog had just been hit by a car and they were bringing it inside and didn’t want me to see the bloody mess. I just pointed to the TV and was like, “but, Star Wars”; however, they still made me go to my room. So, as the evidence clearly shows…

the Star Wars Holiday Special is so bad that it made my dog commit suicide!

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I’ve seen in twice. It’s an oddity, with a cast of classic comedians: Art Carney, Harvey Korman and Bea Arthur. I guess it had the same cheesiness like all the other Variety Hour TV Shows back in the 70’s. Maybe I’ll show the Holiday Special to a few of my friends and family.

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I’m kinda glad it exists cause it gives people another star wars thing to watch that has the original cast. I’d really like a DVD release of it. I’d buy it. It was hard to watch last time I watched it, but I’d definately buy a DVD.

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A legit DVD with a commentary track from the surviving cast would be interesting. Just acknowledge it’s 70’s variety show cheese, and have fun with it.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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I concur. Also, add an MST3K track as an extra bonus.

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The 40th Anniversary of The Star Wars Holiday Special is today 😃

 

In honour of it… a few other threads around the site on all things ‘Life Day’-ish…

I just saw the SW Holiday Special - a 2003 thread

Supposing Disney releases the Star Wars Holiday Special on disc - a 2016 thread

I didn’t think the Star Wars Holiday Special was THAAAAT BADDDD… - a 2014 thread

 

as well as the Preservation Project threads for it…

• SKot’s Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special

• Zion’s Star Wars Holiday Special - Zion Hybrid v2

• Sishyo512’s Restoring the wondrously disastrous Star Wars Holiday Special

• Tasjo’s SWHS WHIO 1st Gen VHS Preservation
 

There are a few TSWHS ‘commentary track’ videos on youtube - even a few Fan Edits of the Holiday Special too!

 

Some useful sites and intriguing articles for more TSWHS info…

https://www.starwarsholidayspecial.com/ - well worth a visit; from basic to comprehensive / detailed info…
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Holiday_Special - for those who may not know much about this subjective masterpiece
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0193524/ - as above, some useful info - this time from imdb.
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/The_Star_Wars_Holiday_Special - Wookieepedia’s take on TSWHS
 

Tears of a Wookiee – The Star Wars Holiday Special at 40 at the Little White Lies website.

The Star Wars Holiday Special 40th Anniversary: 5 Reasons to Appreciate the Wookiee TV Classic! at the Skywalking Through Neverland website.

Animator John Celestri’s road to the Star Wars Holiday Special and the first appearance of Boba Fett - at the SW•com.

In defense of The Star Wars Holiday Special as it turns 40 - at the CNet•com.

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Star Wars Holiday Special - at the erm… Monkeys Fighting Robots site.

Star Wars Holiday Special at 40 - at the DavidMDaut website.

The Star Wars Holiday Special Should Never Be Forgotten - at the Consequence Of Sound website.

 

Please add more below if you know of any (or are willing to admit to that 😉 )

I’m off to ensure I have enough alcohol in the house for tonight’s viewing of it…
 

Don’t feel too bad if you’ve never seen it - or watched it all the way through - neither has Mark Hamill:-

https://twitter.com/HamillHimself/status/1064215037433139200

 

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

I find that answer vague and unconvincing. Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves?
Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? And say something righteous and hopeful for a change?

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Considering it came out only a year after 1977’s A New Hope, it feels more Star Wars than the prequels and a lot of EU stuff.

Yeah, it’s incredibly cheesy, dull and weird but I still enjoy it.
The Boba Fett cartoon was great.

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I love the Holiday Special. I am old enough to remember when variety shows were popular in prime time. The Holiday Special is like opening a time capsule and finding something incredibly nostalgic that no one else appreciates the value of.

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When the Holiday Special aired in 1978 and I sat in front of the TV like a million other nerds. I was prepared for a sequel to my favorite film ever. I’d lived Star Wars every day up to that point.

Not even midway through, I was wrecked. It was terrible. It was nothing like I had expected. Totally disalusioned, I spent decades hating it as my memory of it faded. By the 1990s, all I really remembered was how I felt about, not the actual show.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. These days, after decades of Lucas tampering with the franchise and trying to alter history, I’ve come to appreciate it. It’s bad and silly, but it’s Star Wars before Lucas contaminated it. It’s a time capsule. It’s Star Wars before the fall.

Like Voss pointed out, its more Star Wars than the prequels. I agree with Wook. It would be nice to have a proper DVD of it. Looking at it in the context in which it was made, I don’t dislike it anymore. I appreciate the honesty of it. It’s what Star Wars was in 1978.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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It feels more 70s than the prequels which in a way makes it more like Star Wars. But good god it’s so boring. Which in a way is more like the prequels.

Yub Nub for life

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Mocata said:

It feels more 70s than the prequels which in a way makes it more like Star Wars. But good god it’s so boring. Which in a way is more like the prequels.

So, the worst of both worlds?

Starve the rich.

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One thing I found curious (and this is going off my fuzzy memory of watching it after downloading it from google video a full decade ago, so I could be remembering wrong) is that IIRC the copyright © at the end of the end credits was 20th Century Fox, not Lucasfilm.

The newspaper comic strips were also copyright Fox IIRC.

Now that Disney’s buying Fox, there’s presumably nothing keeping them from throwing it in on future releases.

Edited to add:

And I now see I talked about this very subject in this very thread almost two years ago.