It’s the holidays, and there’s no better time than this for well placed commercial messages aimed at selling toys! I’m sure that’s what CBS and the folks at Lucasfilm were thinking when they cooked up one of the most infamous holiday specials of all time. It was 1978, and a year earlier Star Wars had swept the nation, making fans out of every kid from to Yavin 4! In an effort to keep the mania alive, they aired the Star Wars Holiday Special.
In concept it doesn’t seem like that bad of an idea. You get the main cast back, add several chart topping musical acts, throw in some famous guest spots, and wrap it all up in a Wookie Life Day Celebration with Chewbacca’s family! What could go wrong?
Lots! Your main character could get in a car crash, forcing you to cake on the make-up to cover up the fact that he’s recovering from reconstructive surgery. You could take it on faith that when your lead actress tells you that she’s a classically trained singer that it also means she can hold a tune. And let’s not forget about the fact that maybe some of your main cast doesn’t really like playing the character they made famous, and considering this is a tv broadcast, they decide it’s entirely below them, and they phone in their performance.
Oh…and there might be a perverted old wookie in there somewhere, too.
But wait! With all that’s gone absolutely wrong, there is one small glimmer of hope in this train wreck of a program. It runs a mere 9 minutes long, but is in fact 9 minutes of some of the best Star Wars Expanded Universe material of that era. Not only that, but it features the introduction of what would become one of the most revered Star Wars characters of all! Boba Fett!
So, for your viewing pleasure, I know present to you, the animated short from the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special!
Happy Holidays, Friend!