The Star Wars Holiday Special aired in 1978 (when I was three months old), so I’ve obviously never seen it. However, like Vietnam or the Holocaust, I’ve long heard tales from survivors about how terrible it was. And judging by this five-minute condensed version (via BuzzFeed), it would be tough to overstate its crappiness. Here are the first words of the video:
The Star Wars Holiday Special! Starring Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker! … Introducing Chewbacca’s family! … Beatrice Arthur! And Jefferson Starship!
YIKES. On the plus side, Harrison Ford is also in it, and the special ends with Princess Leia singing to Wookiees wearing choir robes. It’s traditional garb for them, I’m sure.
(By the way, I suspect that this video is the kind of thing Patton Oswalt was talking about in Wired Magazine when he bemoaned the Internet’s role in the destruction of geek culture — because it allows us to experience the awfulness of the Star Wars Holiday Special without wasting two hours of our time. And while Oswalt made some good points in his essay, two things stuck out at me: 1. He sounded like an old man. “Why, when I was a boy, we had to EARN our geekdom the HARD WAY. Kids these days! With their Internet and Wikipedia!” And 2. He completely overestimates the spread of Internet culture and its supposed destruction of American otaku. My girlfriend and I were Kick-Ass and Hit Girl for Halloween, and NOT ONE PERSON at the party we went to — in hipster-ass Williamsburg, Brooklyn, of all places — had any idea who we were. Every time I wear my Three Moon Keyboard Cat t-shirt, I get twenty weird looks for every time someone says, “Haha, Keyboard Cat!” So spare me the whole “There are no more hidden thought-palaces” BS. The Internet IS a hidden thought-palace.)