The wonderful Drew at Drew's Movie Reviews is running his Christmas in July Blogathon right now. How has it been a whole year since Drew’s last Christmas in July Blogathon?! I honestly remember writing last year’s post as if it were yesterday. Anyway, I’m so glad it’s back, because I need the outlet - Christmas is my favourite time of the year but no one will let me talk about it until December. Last Christmas was an amazing time for me as a movie fan as I delved into the Star Wars movies before watching The Force Awakens, and shocked myself with how much I fell in love with it.
Imagine my surprise then when I discover that in 1978, a Star Wars Holiday Special was broadcast on TV! Okay, so general consensus seemed to be that it was the worst TV movie ever made, but I couldn’t help but feel that watching it was a rite of passage for Star Wars fans. Or maybe I just like to torture myself and watch terrible movies. Who knows! I read the reviews, I read the quotes from the cast saying they wish they could forget it was ever made, and all I could think was, surely it can’t be that bad? I mean, the entire main original cast is here. Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, even James Earl Jones!
Oh, I was so wrong…
So, the gist of the story is this. It’s Life Day, a holiday celebrated by Wookiees, and Han Solo is desperately trying to get Chewie home to his family in time for the celebrations. That’s right, Chewie has a family! Specifically, a father called Itchy, a wife called Malla and a son called...Lumpy. Who names their kid Lumpy? I sure hope that’s a nickname. Anyway, Malla is getting impatient and puts in a few video-calls to some friends to find out where her beloved Chewie is. One of those calls goes to Luke Skywalker himself, wearing more make-up than I do on a night out, but he knows nothing. A local trader and friend by the name of Saun Dann tries to ease Malla’s worries, and later turns up at the house (that was fast) with gifts for everyone.
At this point I should probably point out that over 50% of this movie’s dialogue is spoken in Wookiee, with no subtitles, so you kind of have to guess what’s going on. I was at least grateful for the lack of translation when Itchy was gifted with some bizarre adult-fantasy video…thing. That was disturbing. I need to try and forget that moment, erase it from my memory somehow.
I mean, on the surface of it, The Star Wars Holiday Special is like any other Christmas movie. The father of the family is late coming home, leaving a disappointed child. The family are being inappropriate and no help to anyone, and the cooking turns out to be a disaster. That part at least was actually funny, watching Malla try and follow a cooking program to cook a stew. Turns out, it’s really difficult to mix, whisk and beat a mixture when you only have 2 arms. Who’da thunk it?
Then come the Imperial Officers, flanked by 2 Stormtroopers, here to search the property. Doesn’t anyone get a day off work on Life Day? Poor Lumpy is told to watch his cartoons and stay out of the way. Somehow, Lumpy’s cartoon happens to explain what exactly is holding Han Solo and Chewie up. It’s all a rouse played out by Boba Fett and Darth Vader! Bah humbug, guys!
Honestly, at this point the rest is a blur. I made myself a drink during the first 10 minutes, knowing I was going to need it to watch anymore, and I got through a lot of drinks very quickly. A lot like Christmas I guess! All I know is that it was happily ever after, and there was a musical interlude by the Cantina band somewhere in the mix.
So, lesson learnt. This really was a monstrosity. But did you know this was Boba Fett’s very first introduction? Gotta give the movie a point for that. And another for Malla’s cooking attempts. That’s all I can face giving out, though.
In true Christmas in July fashion, Drew is forming a star-studded Christmas party, and we’re all allowed to invite our favourite celebrity in the hopes we’ll catch them under the mistletoe. I feel like I should stick with the Star Wars theme, and as much as I’d like to catch Kylo Ren and warm up that icy heart of his, I worry he’ll throw one of those tempers and wreck the party. With that in mind, I certainly wouldn’t mind bumping into the best pilot in the galaxy, Poe Dameron, AKA Oscar Isaac! Swoon…