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The Star Wars Holiday Special

Like most geeks out there I’m a big fan of Star Wars.  Many will agree that the original trilogy is far superior to the prequel triology. Until yesterday I thought Episode II was the worst movie of the entire series. But then I found out about the holiday special.

The Star Wars Holiday Special was made in 1978, a year after the original movie.  The storyline (quoted from Wikipedia) sounds quite good:

… Chewbacca and Han Solo visit Kashyyyk, Chewbacca’s home world, to celebrate Life Day. They are pursued by agents of the Galactic Empire, who are searching for members of the Rebel Alliance on the planet. The special introduces three members of Chewbacca’s family: his father Itchy, his wife Malla, and his son Lumpy, though these names were later explained to have been nicknames, their full names being Attichitcuk, Mallatobuck, and Lumpawaroo, respectively.

During the special, scenes also take place in outer space and in spacecraft including the Millennium Falcon and an Imperial Star Destroyer. The variety-show segments and cartoon introduce a few other locales, such as a cantina on the desert planet of Tatooine and a gooey, reddish ocean planet known as Panna.

Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia are all in there. But their presence absolutely doesn’t hide the fact that it is a terrible terrible movie. Episode II is a genius work of art compared to this pile of crap. In it’s day the movie received mostly very negative reviews. George Lucas agrees. He said this about the christmas special: “If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.”

See the special for yourself on YouTube. But I recommend you don’t.

To restore your faith in Star Wars watch the trailer of episode VII . Very much looking forward to that one.


Freek Van der Herten is a partner and developer at Spatie, an Antwerp based company that specializes in creating web apps with Laravel. After hours he writes about modern PHP and Laravel on this blog. When not coding he’s probably rehearsing with his kraut rock band.