Say the words The Star Wars Holiday Special around a group of geeks, and you’ll most likely be met with guttural groans and a lot of glares. The 97-minute TV special debuted on Nov. 17, 1978 (making this its 40th-anniversary year), and never aired again. Many fans, as well as director George Lucas, would prefer to pretend the Wookiee- and disco-saturated show never existed, but I watch it every year as a holiday tradition to amuse myself and horrify my friends. The infamous TV special aired on CBS, parent company of CNET. It featured not only the iconic Star Wars characters Chewbacca, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, C-3PO and R2-D2, but also new characters like Chewie’s wife Malla, his son Lumpy and his father Itchy. If that’s not intriguing enough, we get Golden Girls actress Bea Arthur playing Ackmena the cantina bartender; The Carol Burnett Show veteran Harvey Korman playing a myriad of bizarre characters; and actor Art Carney as electronics salesman Saun Dann and friend to the Wookiees. The gist of the plot is that Han Solo and Chewbacca are on their way home to the Wookiee planet of Kashyyyk to celebrate the holiday Life Day, which is sort of like Christmas without Jesus and involves just a lot of awkward caroling in space with Wookiees wearing red robes and led by a very out-of-it Princess Leia played by the late Carrie Fisher. However, on the way home in the Millennium Falcon, Han and Chewie encounter… [Read full story]
You are here: / / In defense of The Star Wars Holiday Special as it turns 40
CNET is an American media website that publishes reviews, news, articles, blogs, podcasts and videos on technology and consumer electronics globally.