Saturday, November 21, 2009
STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL (1978)
Although Star Wars was a HUGE part of my childhood fascination with space opera and science fiction adventure, I probably won't be posting a lot about it. The one thing the internet has more of than porn is Star Wars. Besides, these days, the Star Wars universe is vast, with hundreds - maybe thousands - of books, comics, video games, etc. I long ago lost any ability or interest in trying to keep up with all.
Still, back in the day, there wasn't a lot of new Star Wars stuff to enjoy if you were one of those first-generation fans - there were the Marvel comic books, Kenner toys, and Splinter of the Mind's Eye by Alan Dean Foster. And before that - the legendary (and now officially disavowed) Star Wars Holiday Special.
A two-hour mix of wookiee domesticity, odd comedy sketches, strange musical numbers and stock footage, the Holiday Special aired on CBS television on November 17, 1978. Still, it was new Star Wars, and extremely exciting at the time.
It was, to be honest, pretty awful. But one bright spot in the otherwise ill-conceived television spectacular (well, aside from Carrie Fisher's off-key singing) was this 9-minute animated adventure from Canada's Nelvana Studio (Rock And Rule). With bizarre-yet-appealing character designs, wonky animation, the original cast providing voices, and the first-ever appearance of bounty hunter Boba Fett, the cartoon is an offbeat gem.