Beware compatriots, for we are about to enter a dangerous place. A place where only the most villainous and depraved exist. And no, we’re not going to Takodana, a neutral planet located in the Mid Rim. We’re about to lightspeed into a discussion about the Star Wars fandom.
Since 1983, many Star Wars fans have had a contentious or toxic relationship with the franchise. For it was during October of ’83 that Return of the Jedi was released. The film’s detractors argue that it’s too childish, and many take issue with the film’s ewoks.
Others disagree, and cite 1999’s The Phantom Menace as the beginning of the franchise’s downfall. They don’t like Jar-Jar Binks, the film’s terrible pacing, or its plot about trade negotiations.
Meanwhile, there’s yet another faction that disagrees with both of these conclusions. In 2012, Disney bought the Star Wars franchise, and these fans hate what Disney did with this series.
They hate The Last Jedi’s Luke Skywalker, when he guzzles blue milk that is fresh from a teet. They hate the never ending barrage of new Disney+ specials that keep dropping. With these fans, there’s always a new and brutal critique.
However, Disney has the power to put all these complaints to bed. All they have to do is re-release a piece of lost media, the Star Wars Holiday Special.
What Is the Star Wars Holiday Special?
On November 17, 1978, the United States was treated to a piece of media called the Star Wars Holiday Special. In this film, Chewbacca and Han Solo travel back to the Wookiee planet of Kashyyyk to celebrate “Life Day”.
However, once our two heroes arrive on Kashyyyk, they cease to be our protagonists. The special pivots to focus on Chewbacca’s father, Attichitcuk. For the rest of the film, we watch Attichitcuk watching TV. That’s right, this movie is basically a sci-fi adaptation of your dad channel surfing.
What follows are segments of Attichitcuk watching Diahann Carroll sing, Bea Arthur sing, and a cartoon about Boba Fett. After these segments play, it’s about time for the credits to roll.
To call the Star Wars Holiday Special a crime against cinema, well, that would be an understatement. The plot is thinner than paper, and its segments are dull at best. Not even a young Harrison Ford can save it.
What’s more, even George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, hates this holiday special. In 1978, his company Lucasfilm gave the actress Carrie Fisher a copy — the only copy that’s ever been officially released. According to a statement from Fisher, Lucas wouldn’t let anyone else have it.
But, as previously noted, Lucas no longer owns the Star Wars franchise. Disney does.
Should Disney Release the Star Wars Holiday Special?
Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, and The Last Jedi. All of these films have been lauded as the death of Star Wars.
However, the Star Wars franchise has roller-coasted in quality since the release of the Holiday Special. This film was released two years before The Empire Strikes Back, and the difference between the two couldn’t be more stark.
If Disney were to release the Star Wars Holiday Special, they could put this tired debate to rest. They would prove that Star Wars has always fluctuated and made errors, that it isn’t a series that should be taken too seriously.
One actor who has fought for its release is Mark Hamill. In the special, Hamill guest stars as the iconic Skywalker.
“I thought it was a mistake from the beginning,” Hamill said. “It was just unlike anything else in the Star Wars universe. And I initially said that I didn’t want to do it, but George said it would help keep Star Wars in the consciousness, and I wanted to be a team player, so I did it.
“Now, I think we shouldn’t be ashamed of it. They should put on the extra of the DVDs — it shows how incredibly fallible we are!”
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