It is Life Day, a holiday that is celebrated on Chewbacca's home planet Kashyyyk. Chewie and Han Solo are trying to get to the planet where Chewie's family is waiting for him, but the Empire is out searching for the Rebels, giving everyone a hard time. While we are waiting we get a look at the everyday life of a Wookiee family. We meet all the familiar characters from Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) and we are introduced to Boba Fett during a short cartoon. We also pay a visit to the Cantina and meet all the monsters again. Written by
Princess Leia Organa:
[sung to the tune of the star wars theme]
A day that takes us through the darkness/a day that leads us into light/a day that we celebrate/the LIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGGHHHHHTTTT!"
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I don't know whose idea this thing was, but it was a bad one. The "Star Wars Holiday Special" took place in between the two movies, and is famous amongst Star Wars fans for featuring the first appearance of Boba Fett, and completely forgotten by everyone else. Why so forgotten? Because, simply, the show is absolutely terrible.
The "special" (and I use that term as loosely as possible) is about Chewbacca's family, who await his return for the celebration of the holiday "Life Day." Far as I can gather, the holiday involves Christmas ornament-like globes and wearing red robes and being Wookies. The special is basically two hours of waiting, and along the way there are cameos by all the major stars of the original film (Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, etc.) It's shocking they appear at all, I have to believe the mob was involved for them to show up. They don't do much, and look thoroughly ashamed of themselves. And they should be; after all, all the action is given to Art Carney (Don't ask me), who plays a trader who's friends with the, uh, Baccas. Action hero Art Carney, ladies and gentlemen.
The show has more asides than a Shakespearian play. There is no plot, there are only little goofy tidbits. None of it is very Star Warsish. Harvey Korman plays a few roles, including an alien version of Julia Childs, and a robot explaining how to set up a communication device. Bea Arthur works in the infamous Cantina, which on a tv budget looks a lot like a diner with some guys with alien masks. She gets a very lengthy musical number and so do Jefferson Starship, and others.
Why would you make a Star Wars special that had nothing to do with Star Wars? It's mostly musical numbers, third rate celebrities (Way older than Star Wars' target audience I should mention), and Wookies who can't speak English. There's a good twenty minute period where no English is spoken since it's just the three Wookies goofing off. If this is genius stuff, then so's "Freddy Got Fingered."
The important Boba Fett apperanace is also one of the few truly entertaining moments of the show; a cartoon about Luke and co. meeting Boba for the first time. It's exciting and well voiced and animated. It's also just a little doo-dad that Lumpy (Yes, when you're named Chewie you name your son Lumpy) watches on a little video screen while waiting for his dad to come home.
It's funny to watch, and painful to watch, and annoying to watch, and mind-boggling to watch. It has to be seen to be believed, but do you really even want to?
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