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A Very Wookie Christmas.
December 5, 2000 10:54 AM   Subscribe

A Very Wookie Christmas. I'm speechless in horror. This actually happened? This actually made it to the airwaves? Thank heavens Lucas is keeping it deeply, deeply hidden forever.
posted by dnash (26 comments total)

 
I think this review was around for a while before Salon decided to jump on the Wookie bandwagon. It's also been covered at slashdot.
posted by gluechunk at 11:02 AM on December 5, 2000


Hardly "high art", the special in question was still really cute. I remember watching it on TV when I was a kid (or at least something very much like it...).
posted by silusGROK at 11:04 AM on December 5, 2000


I have this on tape.

It's...well...beautifully painful. Jefferson Starship plays an extremely horrible song in outer space, but there is a really good cartoon with a talking Boba Fett (I think that's the only time he's ever talked).

Bea Arthur (y'know, Maude and Golden Girls) plays the owner of the local alien tavern and sings another horrible song. But not as horrible as Starships.

It's a very Wookie Sitcom, to say the least. Highly recommended to cure you of the "Star Wars Can Do No Wrong" disease.

posted by schlomo at 11:08 AM on December 5, 2000


Iremember watching and being very happy. I could not get enough Star Wars back then. I seem to remember it featured the first appearance of Boba Fett ever, and got all the kids talking about the mysterious Clone Wars. Back then we all thought there were going to be 9 movies that would be completed by the year 2000. Haha. I also remember ELO's ufo making an appearance I know they provided music.
posted by thirteen at 11:11 AM on December 5, 2000


a talking Boba Fett (I think that's the only time he's ever talked).

BZZZT.

The. Empire. Strikes. Back.

More Fett dialog than you can shake a popcorn bag at.

Well, for him, anyway.
posted by ethmar at 11:14 AM on December 5, 2000


Jefferson Starship? I could be wrong. I was sure it was ELO, because I bought the album "Time" based on this special. Jefferson Airplane didn't become Starship until the mid-80's I thought.
They made action figures of Chewbacca's family based on the characters from this show. They were never released. I am rambling.
posted by thirteen at 11:17 AM on December 5, 2000


I remember this particular moment in television history -- quite vividly, I thought, until I read the Salon story. I do recall the Boba Fett cartoon better than the rest of it. You'd think I'd remember Bea Arthur's musical number.

At the time it didn't seem quite as horrid as the writer describes, but 1978 was a long time ago in a......sorry.....
posted by briank at 11:26 AM on December 5, 2000


X-Entertainment's "review" provides more fun and exciting pics, audio clips, and a few QuickTime movies: their original screed is here and the matter is revisited here.
posted by youhas at 11:27 AM on December 5, 2000


Highly recommended to cure you of the "Star Wars Can Do No Wrong" disease.

I thought that was Episode 1.

*da da dum*
posted by solistrato at 11:57 AM on December 5, 2000


Makes a great trivia question:

Name the holiday special that featured Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Art Carney, Bea Arthur and Jefferson Airplane.

posted by milnak at 12:21 PM on December 5, 2000


i was about 5 when star wars came out...so the wookie christmas was always some strange memory that i wasn't really sure was real or not. But i had friends who also remembered it...and just couldn't really remember what it was about. I think its best that way....the memory without the horror.
posted by th3ph17 at 12:29 PM on December 5, 2000


One other thing about the video copy I have: It comes with the commercials.

There is a great one about unions in the workforce as a very multicultural group of men and women sing triumphantly about the union....I wish I could remember the words right now..

It also has that phone commercial with the Snoopy phone. I used to have dreams about that Snoopy phone.
posted by schlomo at 12:41 PM on December 5, 2000


I not only watched this thing once, but my parents VIDEOTAPED it for me. I watched it over and over. I was eight. I knew it stunk. But hell, there were TIE Fighters, Wookies, and Art Friggin' Carney. (I was a Honeymooners fan from early on, and have always believed that Carney was the true genius behind the show.) I DO remember fast forwarding through the Bea Arthur part, though.
posted by Optamystic at 12:45 PM on December 5, 2000


The Star Wars fan site blueharvest.net offers the whole show for download (18.4MB total). It's a glorious 25 kbps realvideo file. The extremely low quality appropriately maximizes the amount of suffering.
posted by ikalliom at 1:08 PM on December 5, 2000


In Ottawa there is a yearly screening at a local bar named Zaphod Beeblebrox.. It's staggeringly bad, like the kind of bad that is still bad with half a dozen wise ass drunk friends..

posted by Leonard at 1:37 PM on December 5, 2000


Bobafett: "He's no good to me dead."

-The Empire Strikes Back
posted by inviolable at 1:38 PM on December 5, 2000


Also, "What if he doesn't survive?"
- Episode V
and I think that he screamed a bit on the way down the Sarlacc's throat, or whatever that thing has. . . (does that count as dialogue? guess not)
posted by SentientAI at 1:51 PM on December 5, 2000


Actually, the line from when he got swallowed by the Sarlacc was "The Fanboys Will Be Pissed!"
posted by solistrato at 1:54 PM on December 5, 2000


Weren't there some other Star Wars television specials in the 80's?

I seem to recall an 'Ewok Christmas' - a family crashed on the forest moon of Endor or something.

I remember vividly that they had these bracelets with lights in them - one for each family member. As conflict ensued, those lights would go out one by one . . .

Did this happen, or were my parents putting crack in my cereal?
posted by aladfar at 2:42 PM on December 5, 2000


I thought I had dreamt it, too... like the really wierd SW thing Donny and Marie thing. The Endor thing happened, and it was terrible but not as deliciously painful. I like a lot of 70's stuff - I was a wee one then - but sometimes Lileks is right, it'e embarrassing. On the other hand, just because it's the year 2000 doesn't mean that everything doesn't suck.

(It was the Quisp that had the crack in it.)
posted by mimi at 2:57 PM on December 5, 2000


Neat. For the past few years discussion of that TV-Movie pops up. Last year I think it was on Slashdot, and the year before it popped up on a few weblog type sites, and before that I think it was in USENET. Really neat.

I like when stuff like that happens, . :) Annual blog entries.

Anyway, I don't remember watching it when I was a kid, but I remember my family getting ready to watch it. I was such a Star Wars nut even though we didn't have enough money to buy any of the toys. I remember making clothes for my sister's Barbie doll, though. I had like 10 outfits made of construction paper.
posted by perplexed at 3:38 PM on December 5, 2000


Yeah, the Star Wars Christmas special is like an urban legend, in that it keeps coming back like the modem tax, only it actually happened.

(Yeah, I know, it's not necessary for a story to be made up for it to be an urban legend. Wonder if snopes has this one on his site...)

posted by kindall at 4:12 PM on December 5, 2000


Lucas is rumored to have said "If I had all the time in the world, and a hammer, I'd track down every one of those tapes."

I remember watching it as a kid. I think that was the Christmas I figured out that Santa Clause didn't actually exist. I don't think there was a causal relationship between the two events.
posted by captaincursor at 5:02 PM on December 5, 2000


I don't think there was a causal relationship between the two events.

David Hume says that there's no such thing. Long live Empiricism!

(or not)
posted by ethmar at 8:04 AM on December 6, 2000


"Look for
the union label,
when you are buying
that coat, dress
or blouse.

Remember somewhere,
our union's sewing,
our wages going
to feed the kids,

and run the house; we work hard
but who's complaining?
Thanks to the ILG we're paying our way!

So always look for
the union label,
It says we're able,
to make it in the USA!"

This piece has been parodied by some impressive lights, including the first or second season writers for SNL; it was apparently written by an ILGWU employee named Paula Green.

I found the lyrics here, along with the reference and a pointer to the union's site here, which includes the sheet music, for those of you who run out of Christmas carols when you're out with your friends.

Interestingly,

ELECTION WARNING ELECTION WARNING ELECTION WARNING

I had to filter 'Gore' out of the google search; apparently he was heard to utter some intemperate crack about his mom singing him to sleep with that as a lullaby; this was not widely believed, I gather, by two groups:

1) Union workers
2) Scabs^WNon-union workers.
posted by baylink at 8:22 PM on December 6, 2000


I think the reason it wasn't believed was because the song hadn't been written yet when he was a child.
posted by daveadams at 6:39 AM on December 7, 2000


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