Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Happy Life Day!

Leia sings holiday songs to the tune of the Star Wars theme!

Chewbacca has a family!

Yes, it all happened on Life Day! On November 17, 1978 CBS premiered The Star Wars Holiday Special, a two hour WTF moment with little involvement from George Lucas. Produced and written by CBS' staff of variety show veterans, the special landed with a thud back in 1978. Mr. Lucas disavowed the special, bought out CBS and locked the special up in his vault. Other than the promotional materials released in conjunction with the special's premiere and old videocassettes recorded on first generation VCRs, the special was mostly forgotten. When the show was uploaded to the Internet it exploded back into pop culture. Its kitsch value was enjoyed by a new generation, stunned that such a colossal failure came from a monumental success.

About the only thing that came from the special that became part of the Star Wars canon was the animated sequence which featured the legendary character Boba Fett. While Lucasfilm is now more accepting of the special and internal databases refer to the various characters, only the cartoon was accepted from the beginning.

By the end of the special, it was clear to anyone still awake that this special would go down in history for all the wrong reasons. One last question remained, however- why is Chewbacca wearing this weird red robe? Is it some kind of Life Day tradition? The answer is extremely fitting, considering the rest of this debacle. Lucasfilm was not required to provide the costumes or robotics for free. CBS was required to rent the various costumes and suits from George Lucas. Due to the over budget production, the network sought to reduce costs any way they could. By putting Chewbacca into a robe, CBS saved money by only having to rent the head for the conclusion. A fitting conclusion to a disastrous production.