There was a Star Wars holiday TV special in 1978 and it was bananas
Happy Wookiee Life Day! This is the most important holiday celebrated on Kashyyyk every year, as it is meant as a celebration for every living inhabitant on the planet. There’ll be a tree to decorate, along with treats and fireworks, and while it might sound like Christmas, it’s not. It’s Wookiee Life Day. And we know this because the Star Wars Holiday special back in 1978 told us.
The perfect time for a Star Wars holiday special might be right now, but it actually happened 37 years ago, and more than likely it will never happen ever again. That’s because the Star Wars holiday special was the weirdest 90 minutes of Star Wars ever, and is less favorable than the prequels. It aired once, and has never been rebroadcast on TV since. It’s also never been released on VHS, or DVD… but it has made its way to YouTube, thank the maker.
The plot of the special is this: Chewbacca has to get back to his home on Kashyyyk to celebrate Wookiee Life Day with his wife and kid. YEAH, the holiday special introduces a wife, Mallatobuck (nickname Malla), and a son, Lumpawarrump (nickname Lumpy), along with Chewie’s dad, too, Attichitcuk (nickname Itchy). But then Imperial Guards and Stormtroopers show up, and also there are a few musical numbers, and Princess Leia sings a song to the tune of the Star Wars theme. Also parts of it were animated.
The special was intended to be a variety-show of sorts, and keep the Star Wars hype alive in the years between the release of A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. Star Wars creator, George Lucas, didn’t have anything to do with the special, and Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford only showed up because they were under contract. For the first ten minutes of the special, everything is entirely said in wookiee. To put it nicely, it was bananas. It’s one of these things you’ve got to see to believe.
Like, how Malla wears a wookiee-sized apron while she’s cooking in the kitchen.
The wookiees have video conferencing, and are able to call Luke Skywalker, and more importantly, Luke can understand them.
Same thing with Leia and C-3P0. Feel like it should be a lot harder to get a hold of the Rebels, considering they blew up the Death Star only a year before.
Then, there are the musical numbers. This is not the musical number we were looking for.
Bea Arthur also shows up (???), and owns her own cantina, and actually sings a catina song herself.
Han Solo is able to get Chewie safely back home, and then he has a tender moment with the family.
Han hugs Malla.
Han hugs Lumpy.
Han hugs Chewbacca.
And then they all gather together in a ceremony that looks suspiciously like the end of A New Hope where Princess Leia talks about the importance of Life Day and sings.
The special is not considered canon whatsoever in the Star Wars universe, but Life Day has made its way into the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Everything else about it, not so much. It makes sense that it was only broadcast once, with mostly everything else about it being scrubbed from existence.
…except for the special, in its entirety, on YouTube. Should the Star Wars holiday special be your new trippy post-Christmas tradition? Probably. You can check out the full movie here, but know it’s no Force Awakens. It’s not even like, the Naboo scenes from Attack of the Clones. It’s Weird, with a capital W.
(Images via Lucasfilm, YouTube.)