Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

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Life Day!

"Whoa" and "Sweet zombie Jesus" are the thoughts competing in my head right now, because on Nov. 17th, 1978, when I was just barely 5 years old, I actually watched part of The Star Wars Holiday Special.

I...I don't think I suffered permanent brain damage...but then I didn't get to watch all two hours of it...

As leonardpart6 was kind enough to remind me, today marks the 30th anniversary of that bizarrity. And the L.A. Times saw fit to commemorate that:
The plot of "TSWHS" plays like a demented "SCTV" sketch: A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Han Solo and Chewbacca are racing to Kashyyyk, Chewie's home planet, in time for them to be with Chewie's family for the annual Life Day celebration. Chewie's wife, Malla, his son, Lumpy, and his father, Itchy, anxiously await his arrival, while Imperial Stormtroopers, under direction from Darth Vader, exhibit very un-Life Day behavior, ransacking homes, imposing curfews and shutting down the cantina.

But here's where it gets weird. Mixed in with all the principals from the original "Star Wars" movie are Bea Arthur singing a Brechtian tune in the cantina; Diahann Carroll entrancing Lumpy as his virtual reality fantasy; and Harvey Korman cooking up an alien Julia Child impersonation.

This is what OMG looked like in 1978.

"Weird Al" Yankovic, who affectionately needled "Star Wars" with his popular Lucas-approved song parodies "Yoda" and "The Saga Begins," included a sight gag in his "White and Nerdy" video in which the title character makes a back alley purchase of "TSWHS." In a phone interview, the comedian could not make it through the list of the show's guest stars without cracking up. "Nobody evokes the gravitas of the 'Star Wars' universe more than those people," he said.

"TSWHS" is awful, but to quote the title of Carrie Fisher's 2003 novel, it is "The Best Awful."
I know I saw the opening parts of the special. I didn't see the one genuinely cool part, the animated segment that introduced Boba Fett. Pity me.

More about the historical context (oh Dear God, I just called this "historical") of that frickin' special at the link.

I'll just add this: George Lucas, sweet gentle nonviolent George Lucas, has apparently said he'd like to track down all bootleg copies of The Star Wars Holiday Special and smash them to pieces with a sledgehammer.
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