A Not-So-Fond Look Back at the Star Wars Holiday Special

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Image: Wikipedia

December’s here, that festive time of year when thoughts lend to holly, snowmen, and … Wookiees?

Yes, it’s time for holiday specials and, as geeks, there’s one that stands out to us more than any other: the Star Wars Holiday Special. The show only aired once, on November 17, 1978, but did enough damage to our collective psyche that we’re still talking about it.

As geeks, we should be somewhat accustomed to embarrassing or awkward moments, but for some reason, the Star Wars Holiday Special is one that we just can’t forget. The show was so awful that everyone from George Lucas to Harrison Ford has addressed it with the kind of deniability we only associate with those most guilty. Ford refuses to talk about it at all and Lucas will only speak about it in the vaguest of terms. However, on occasion, Lucas has been quoted as saying “If I had the time and a hammer, I would track down every copy of that program and smash it.”

Unfortunately, the internet has made Lucas’s threat nearly impossible, with the special only a couple of clicks away. Compare that to the trouble Weird Al went to in acquiring an illicit back alley copy in the geekalicious video for White & Nerdy. Yankovic’s character seems to love the special, but he’s in small company. The show is universally panned and time has done the special no favors, as the cringeworthy moments actually seem worse today.

For those of you who have forgotten or have never been exposed to the one of the worst holiday specials of all time (take a moment and think about the scope of that statement), and want to prepare yourself before watching, read the painfully detailed recount of the Star Wars Holiday Special over at the awesome blog This Sort of Thing. Then, when you can muster a caravan of courage, give the special a watch and let us know what you think. If the special doesn’t seem funny enough already, maybe adding a RiffTrax dub will push you over the edge. Until then, Happy Holidays, but – more than anything else – Happy Life Day!

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