ByEleanor Tremeer, writer at
MP staff. I talk about Star Wars a lot. Sometimes I'm paid for it. Twitter: @ExtraTremeerial | Email: [email protected]
Eleanor Tremeer

In the anticipation for Rogue One, it's easy to forget that this time of year is also a very special anniversary for .

That's right, The Star Wars Holiday Special first aired just 38 years ago, to the abject horror of fans and casual viewers alike. Happy Life Day!

Well at least Leia enjoyed herself. [Lucasfilm]
Well at least Leia enjoyed herself. [Lucasfilm]

Renowned for his friendly rivalry with the Star Wars cast on Twitter, there was no way William Shatner (a.k.a. Captain Kirk) was going to let the Holiday Special anniversary fly past his viewscreen without reminding the actors of their most embarrassing moments.

Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher did not respond, probably because they were nursing the sick burns from Shatner's phaser fire.

Set phasers to "oh no he didn't!" [CBS]
Set phasers to "oh no he didn't!" [CBS]

But a new hope rose up against the Star Trek actor: As the special focuses on Chewbacca's home life, his actor — Peter Mayhew — took it upon himself to defend the wookie family's honor, striking back with some serious shade.

For those of you blissfully unaware of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, it's not only known as one of the worst Trek films, Shatner wrote and directed the movie himself. Ouch.

Check out this clip from The Final Frontier, in which Spock saves Kirk from falling to his death by flying down using rocket boots — which is about as believable as Kirk/Shatner climbing a mountain.

But as goofy as The Final Frontier is — the crew go in search of God after a camping trip in Yosemite — it's a veritable masterpiece compared to the glorious trainwreck that is The Star Wars Holiday Special.

This feature-length presentation was an absolute humiliation for Lucasfilm — so much so, in fact, that the studio banned The Holiday Special from ever being broadcast again, and destroyed all copies of the film. But lucky for us, someone recorded the whole movie on VHS, and put it all on YouTube.

Hooray! [Lucasfilm]
Hooray! [Lucasfilm]

Which means we now get to relive all the best/worst moments from this brain-destroyer of a holiday special! And let's start with the climax...

Chewie's Dad Watches Porn

Stuck for something to give your grandpa this holiday season? Why not porn! I shit you not — very soon after the film begins, Itchy (Chewie's father) settles down to watch a raunchy musical number, inside a hairdryer that basically gives him all the happy endings he could want.

And if you thought that was mentally scarring, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Stir Whip Stir Whip!

Chewie's wife, Malla, is cooking up a lovely pot of Bantha loin to the dulcet tones of this terrifying TV chef — who gets steadily more and more manic as she stirs, whips, and beats (??) the mixture. Because that's definitely how cooking works.

When another arm just appears out of nowhere, that's when the movie really threatens your sanity. But it's not over yet!

Boba Fett's First Appearance

Yes, everyone's favorite bounty hunter, Han Solo's nemesis Boba Fett, made his first appearance in the holiday special — and it's absolutely ridiculous.

The animated section was the only part of the Holiday Special that people actually enjoyed, and Fett was added to the Star Wars movies, where he made a name for himself by standing around a lot and then bellyflopping into the Sarlacc Pit.

Total Meltdown

This is a lesser known scene, but it's no less hilariously disturbing, and it's my personal favorite because you can see yourself having a mental breakdown on the screen. Here, the android in Lumpy's instructional video has some kind of fit — and as he totally deteriorates, so does your hope for escaping this movie with your mind intact.

Yup, that's pretty much exactly how I felt, an hour into this mess.

Carrie Fisher's Little Helper

The best thing about the Holiday Special is that the original actors all make an appearance — though it's clear they'd rather be anywhere else.

Harrison Ford plods through like a pro, Mark Hamill legit looks like a waxwork figure, and Carrie, dear Carrie, sings a lovely little song at the end... and it's pretty obvious that she made it through the Holiday Special with a little help from her good friend Mr Cocaine. Honestly, we don't blame her.

In all seriousness, Fisher has been very open about her addiction to cocaine: She became more dependent on the drug, even surviving an overdose soon after Empire Strikes Back. Fisher has dedicated a lot of time to raising awareness about addiction, helping others by sharing her stories. And she definitely has a sense of humor about it:

We love Carrie Fisher.

The Terrifying Moment When Lumpy RUNS

I'm not even going to subject you to a video of this. Lumpy, Chewie's son, is easily the most horrifying part of the Holiday Special, with his soulless glass eyes, demonic grin, and otherworldly shrieks. But he's still stocky and short and you figure hey, if I met this tiny monster in a dark alley, I could probably outrun him at least. THINK AGAIN!

You're not outrunning this hairy bastard. [Lucasfilm]
You're not outrunning this hairy bastard. [Lucasfilm]

Damn, that hairy bastard can move.

Tell us in the comments: Would you watch a new Star Wars Holiday Special?


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