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December 30, 2010 8:00 AM   Subscribe

The Star Wars Holiday Special edited down to just over 5mins so you can actually watch it (well the low-lights) without too much pain. After than you might want a Star Wars free year.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (52 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Damn! I forgot the (previously)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:02 AM on December 30, 2010


Wait, so some people actually want less Star Wars Holiday Special? Go figure.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:06 AM on December 30, 2010


Oh and it looks like that clip may have been posted before but that is now dead... but if you think it's a double then apologises (I'm suffering from some virus and it's obviously killing my search-fu)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:06 AM on December 30, 2010


Oh wow. I could've sworn I'd seen this special, but I thought it was animated. It turns out that I've been thinking that the Ewoks animated series was the Star Wars Christmas Special all these years (I was 6 when it came out, so my memory is understandably a little hazy). I never got all the hate until now.
posted by KGMoney at 8:17 AM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Happy Life Day, Suckers! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

/DeForest
posted by Smart Dalek at 8:18 AM on December 30, 2010


If I recall, KGMoney, there was an animated segment in the original SWHS, notable as being the first appearance of Boba Fett. The rest of the special is completely unwatchable for even casual Star Wars fans, and is so horrible it can't really even be watched ironically. I tried about a year ago and I just couldn't do it.
posted by bondcliff at 8:21 AM on December 30, 2010


is so horrible it can't really even be watched ironically.

Amateur.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:36 AM on December 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


I watched the whole thing straight through when I finally discovered a full length copy online a few years back.

It can be watched ironically, but it's best done with some serious geek friends who have a taste for MST3K style heckling.

And whiskey.
posted by verb at 8:36 AM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wikipedia says that the only airing of the Christmas Special was in 1978, so I definitely have never seen this before, unless the animated segment was aired separately.
posted by KGMoney at 8:36 AM on December 30, 2010


I've had many Star Wars free years since whenever the third (the real third) movie came out. Great part of my childhood, but that is where I like it to remain.
posted by clvrmnky at 8:38 AM on December 30, 2010


I have a young son. I don't have Star Wars free days. I can't even ask him to pass the salt without getting struck down by an imaginary light saber.

It's pretty awesome, actually. The force is strong with him.
posted by bondcliff at 8:40 AM on December 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Don't know much about the other links, but that last one is actually a pretty good read.
posted by valkyryn at 8:41 AM on December 30, 2010


Luke's perm like spring frost,
Bea Arthur and Greedo dance,
Wilhelm saves the day.
posted by hanoixan at 8:41 AM on December 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have no trouble watching SWHS straight through, but I put in years of training with Crimetime After Primetime, The Tribe, Starz True Stories Saturday, and the like.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:43 AM on December 30, 2010


I have a friend who is completely obsessed with Star Wars, goes to conventions all costumed up and everything. And she's gone out of her way to not watch the Holiday Special. So there must really be some trainwreck, why-can't-I-watch-this, Pandora's box type shit here.
posted by naju at 8:43 AM on December 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Er, why-can't-I-unwatch-this
posted by naju at 8:44 AM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]




Wow, even the Readers Digest version is painful.

You're better off reading this post if you want to understand what was going on without the whole clawing-your-eyes-out thing.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:50 AM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


FelinniBlank, I will not hear this taking the name of Forever Knight, in vain.
posted by khaibit at 8:54 AM on December 30, 2010


i tried to watch the full version and gave up about 20 minutes - truly wretched - i guess i'll have to thank you for posting the 5 minute version just as soon as i finish clawing my eyes out
posted by pyramid termite at 8:56 AM on December 30, 2010


Wow. I really LOVED that "My Year Without Star Wars" article. Was lukewarm about it at the start, but totally adored the ending. Danke for the links!
posted by SkylitDrawl at 9:02 AM on December 30, 2010


As much as we perceive it a vital part of our archetypal mindscape, he has the right to revise, expurgate, monetize, and three-dimensionalize to his heart's content, and there is nothing we can do about it. It just doesn't belong to us.

I like you Javier, but you're wrong. There is a point in which art is absorbed and is the property of the audience, we could argue what that point is, but I think we can agree that Star Wars has passed it.

It does belong to us in the same way Lucy Ricardo belongs to us, or The Persistence of Memory belongs to us. It/they/she has changed the world in some way and, warts and all, belong to us.

Kinder, softer, pudgier, older, father George Lucas has decided that a hero like Han Solo can't fire first. He's a hero! But Lean Lucas knew that a smuggler who lives with one foot outside of the law would do anything to stay alive, but now he thinks it's dirty to fire first, even at gunpoint.

That one edit completely undermines his brilliant anti-hero and is akin to Lucille Ball making Lucy Ricardo a little more subservient, or Dali straightening out those clocks a little.

Han Solo belongs to us now and the lesson he learns, that he's made friends and that he cares for them and maybe the money doesn't matter so much, is important to us. Lucas should have stuck to fixing the stuff that was broke. If he had to...
posted by CarlRossi at 9:02 AM on December 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


It can be watched ironically, but it's best done with some serious geek friends who have a taste for MST3K style heckling.

There is a Rifftrax you can download for this, actually. We would have done so this year if we'd had time. And enough booze.
posted by emjaybee at 9:04 AM on December 30, 2010


A Star Wars free year

Can I have a Star Wars free world instead?
posted by Ratio at 9:25 AM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


You're better off reading this post if you want to understand what was going on without the whole clawing-your-eyes-out thing.

... and you're dying to have one of the great pop cultural misfires explained to you by your nerdy teenaged cousin who is vice-president of his high school's AV club and still bitter about Dave Slupecki being picked as president.

The most compelling thing about the Holiday Special is that because it was a one-time-only thing, the bootlegs and torrents and whatnot all come from the same single broadcast in 1978. The commercials are awesome and beyond. Forgotten late-seventies toys like Tobor, variety shows from forgotten late-seventies celebrities like Bobby Vinton and the oddest thing of all, a three minute PSA about the importance of unions.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:35 AM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Part of what makes it almost literally unwatchable is that, unlike every other Star Wars release, it's never been remastered or rereleased, so it only exists in nth-generation dubs from folks who were lucky enough to tape the thing. The upshot is that you normally get all the commercials when you watch the special, which are generally more entertaining than the special itself.
It's also interesting to note that today, when we have a whole other trilogy of movies and spin-off cartoon series and hundreds of novels and comic books expanding the Star Wars universe, not to mention both Robot Chicken and Family Guy doing comedic riffs on the films, that this special was released after just the first film, before Empire Strikes Back, or any of the myriad books and films and cartoons had been released. It doesn't explain ten minutes of untranslated Wookiee growling or the comedy stylings of Art Carney, but it is interesting to note.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 9:37 AM on December 30, 2010


I've had many Star Wars free years since whenever the third (the real third) movie came out.

What do you mean, the real third movie? There was only Return of the Jedi. Pfft. Next you'll be telling me they made a sequel to Highlander or The Matrix.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:42 AM on December 30, 2010


On this subject, I owe big to whoever it was on mefi who first linked to the Sci Fi Janitors take on Life Day, which made me laugh a lot. Those little yellow puppets crack me the hell up.
posted by sonascope at 10:05 AM on December 30, 2010


Honestly, it made me laugh out loud, which is far more entertainment value than I got from the last three movies combined.

Actually, two-and-a-half. I never did make it all the way through the last movie.
posted by philip-random at 10:21 AM on December 30, 2010


I can't imagine that I would have missed this as a kid, but I swear, that's the first time I have ever seen it. And the last.

I have to say, thanks for the short version, but I couldn't finish it when Carrie Fisher started singing.
posted by Xoebe at 10:23 AM on December 30, 2010


I couldn't finish it when Carrie Fisher started singing

People are always giving Carrie Fisher a hard time about singing, but looking at her parentage, it's not surprising that she'd sing. Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds? I mean, c'mon!

BTW, Carrie's one-woman show Wishful Drinking (based on her memoir) is currently running on HBO, and is WELL worth catching. She's been through a lot, but she's able to laugh about it and seems pretty happy in her own skin these days, all things considered.
posted by hippybear at 10:34 AM on December 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wow. I really LOVED that "My Year Without Star Wars" article. Was lukewarm about it at the start, but totally adored the ending. Danke for the links!

Yea, I think you buried the best part here.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 10:45 AM on December 30, 2010


Part of what makes it almost literally unwatchable is that, unlike every other Star Wars release, it's never been remastered or rereleased, so it only exists in nth-generation dubs from folks who were lucky enough to tape the thing. The upshot is that you normally get all the commercials when you watch the special, which are generally more entertaining than the special itself.

When I was growing up, watching Star Wars was a regular activity for me and my younger brother. We'd have "Star Wars weekends" where we'd watch all the films back to back over and over again.

For years the only copies of A New Hope and Jedi that we had were recorded off the TV onto VHS (we'd had Empire as well, but my dad had recorded over it, so our mum normally rented that from the shop up the road for us - the evacuation of Hoth is kind of ruined if half way through Terry Wogan pops up and starts interviewing Rod Stewart).

As a result we were obviously bombarded repeatedly with the same bunch of otherwise forgotten eighties British TV ads and I think I will remember this one until the day I die:

Morning Breakfast inside of you,
Ain't no limit to what you can do!

[SAX WAIL]

Be a one man army,
As hard as they come.
Or play the fool and have some fun!

[SAX WAIL. KEY CHANGE]

Or I can be a winner,
Who likes to play rough!
And acts real cool when the going gets tough!

[FULL ON BAKER STREET STYLE SAX SOLO]

FILL UP WITH WEETABIX!
FILL UP WITH WEETABIX...

...AND JUST DO IT!



Fuck it. I might even have that inscribed on my tombstone.
posted by garius at 11:25 AM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I want the last 5 min 26 sec of my life back.
posted by Pixelie at 11:57 AM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I watched the holiday special this year. I didn't think it was the worst thing I've seen. Although I did wonder who thought it would be a great idea to have Wookie moaning as the only dialog for the first ten minutes.
posted by vagabond at 12:01 PM on December 30, 2010


Can't believe no one's yet mentioned That Guy With The Glasses' take on the Star Wars Christmas Special. I think I hurt myself laughing, the first time I saw that.
posted by webmutant at 12:46 PM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


FIGHTING THE FRIZZIES.... at 11
posted by porn in the woods at 1:31 PM on December 30, 2010


The special was truly the blueprint for much of what was to come from Lucas. It's a testament to mediocrity. Only Russel T. Davies, of late, has come close with a great effort by the BSG writers for the last season.
posted by juiceCake at 1:46 PM on December 30, 2010


wow! am a star wars fan but that was painful to watch. i can't imagine that being a full hour long. damn!
posted by liza at 2:17 PM on December 30, 2010


BTW, Carrie's one-woman show Wishful Drinking (based on her memoir) is currently running on HBO, and is WELL worth catching. She's been through a lot, but she's able to laugh about it and seems pretty happy in her own skin these days, all things considered.

She did her show in Melbourne last month and I went twice, front row both times. The second time I won a (cheap, plastic) medal for answering all the questions about Hollywood Inbreeding and I went up to the edge of the stage to receive it, she knelt down, hung the medal around my neck and gave me a peck on the cheek.

She said something like, "I'm like a Munchkin from the Wizard of Oz" (because she was kneeling) and sang a bit of The Lollipop Guild song.

If I'd been in my right mind, I would have said, "Actually, it's like the end of Star Wars!" Except I'd just been kissed on the cheek by Carrie Fisher!
posted by crossoverman at 4:11 PM on December 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


i can't imagine that being a full hour long.

Oh, imagine it. The original broadcast was *two* hours long.
posted by mediareport at 5:12 PM on December 30, 2010


Hah, I still had to give up after two minutes and ten seconds. Unbearable. I can't imagine sitting through two hours of that.

My dad used "What Do You Get a Wookiee For Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb)", from the Star Wars Christmas album, on his favorite Christmastime mixtape, so I don't consider myself to have uncommon intolerance of horrific Star Wars/Christmas mashups, but even I have limits, apparently.

BTW, after considering a number of ridiculous options, you get the wookiee "love and understanding, goodwill to men". Yeah, I know.
posted by little light-giver at 6:07 PM on December 30, 2010


Scroll down for the video of skinhead Weetabixen.

WEETABIX, IF YOU KNOW WHAT'S GOOD FOR YOU!

posted by zippy at 6:08 PM on December 30, 2010


There is only one way to survive a full showing of the Star Wars Holiday Special with sanity intact.

The guy who went through a year without Star Wars, eh? Are these the same movies I saw as a kid? Because I have to say, while I did like them the original movies both then and now, I don't really get the sheer obsession with Star Wars. For the life of me, I can't figure out how people could invest so much of themselves into these goofy homages to the old serials.

Don't give me any of that crap about Joseph Campbell and the "heroes journey," that's just justification. Star Wars really isn't all that great shakes. It certainly isn't timeless; if it were then Lucas wouldn't have felt compelled to put out those "special editions." They're fun, time-wasting movies, the definition of popcorn flicks. I never got the sense there was anything deep enough about them to make them worthy of obsession, not now, and not back then either.
posted by JHarris at 7:23 PM on December 30, 2010


JHarris: Well, I suppose the question is, have you EVER had movies or books or what have you grab you deep in your soul and change the way you interact with the world? Maybe you're just wired in a way where such things don't affect you like they do others. No value judgement in that. Goodness knows, I grew up with parents who never seem to have been deeply moved by any media they took in, either.

Still, you're male, and you're about the right age for Star Wars to have kicked in for you. Although maybe you're just younger enough than I am to not have been in the right age window for it to resonate. That's also possible.
posted by hippybear at 7:44 PM on December 30, 2010


What do you mean, the real third movie? There was only Return of the Jedi.

Somebody much wiser than me made the following observation in acomment thread sonewhere: ''The only REAL Star Wars trilogy is the first one, Empire and Spaceballs"
posted by KingEdRa at 9:48 PM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


''The only REAL Star Wars trilogy is the first one, Empire and Spaceballs"

I had a friend who argued much the same, except instead of Spaceballs, he inserted Blade Runner, claiming Decker was Hans Solo post strange time warp accident which resulted in the destruction of his physical body but the good people at Tyrell Corp saved his brain which they later attached to a replicant making him both human and replicant ... or Robocop, which would've made a good Part-4.
posted by philip-random at 10:47 PM on December 30, 2010


Carrie's one-woman show Wishful Drinking (based on her memoir) is currently running on HBO

No it is not. TiVo does not have it listed and according to this website the last showing was yesterday.
posted by w0mbat at 11:30 PM on December 30, 2010


Well, that's a shockingly short window of viewing for HBO for one of their specials. Usually they hang around for at least a month or so before being shelved for a while.

Oh well, it's worth catching if you can. I enjoyed it, anyway.
posted by hippybear at 7:54 AM on December 31, 2010


I just watched the whole thing, and can only say: The Star Wars Christmas Special is the truest version of George Lucas's vision.
posted by benzenedream at 1:01 PM on December 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


There is no such thing as The Force. It is a myth. Enjoy your Orthodox Christmas.

And, by the "third movie" I meant the third movie, released back in the 80s. "Return of the Jedi"? Or was it something else?

That fact that this confused anyone has confused me. I'm not the one who released them out of order.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:20 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, buying into the 1. Phantom Menace 2. 3. (whatever the other two recent ones were called) way of thinking is buying into George Lucas's way of thinking, which is all kinds of wrong. The guy dropped the proverbial ball way back when in the early 1980s with the actual third movie, and the degree to which anyone allows him to think he's offered anything of substance to the culture since, is the degree to which the Emperor is encouraged to think he's actually wearing clothes.
posted by philip-random at 11:16 AM on January 6, 2011


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