The day Star Wars started sucking.

It’s Friday November 17, 1978 and this boy is contemplating his upcoming 16th birthday with a lot of enthusiasm. What’s more, there is going to be a Star Wars Holiday Special on TV to kick off the birthday weekend. I’m gonna skip the yada-yada-yada about how much Star Wars meant to me as a young lad of 14 and 15 for two reasons: 1- You all have your stories (and I really don’t want you geeks to start sharing them) and 2- I’m not Harry Knowles and that’s his shtick. Let’s just skip to the part where I say that was the day Star Wars went from being the center of my life to being just another movie – as it should be.

Celebrating Chrismannukwanza or whatever that was…

The two hour telecast about getting Chewbacca home to his family for “Light day” was packed with TV’s most notorious “Anything for a buck” players of their time (Art Carney, Bea Arthur, Harvey Korman), Some of them dressed in drag (in faaaaaabulous outfits by Bob Mackie).

It

It had godawful video effects (I’m guessing you guys couldn’t afford ILM?), It had unconvincing performances by stars who act like they don’t want to be there-

Can I be excused so I can go back to my dressing room until the very end?

especially during the musical numbers.

Now we know what that hairdo was for: protect her ears from her own singing.

It had a dull cartoon to introduce us to the most overhyped character in the history of all fiction: Boba Fett. Produced in Toronto by a budding studio called Nelvana. The swishy style of animation somehow made all the male characters look effeminate and Princess Leah appear feminine. Sure, the following movie The Empire Strikes Back was technically superior in many ways, but it lacked a freaking ending and the much vaunted (and inexplicably popular) Boba Fett did nothing more than load a fridge in his hatchback. And when we got to that highly anticipated ending, entitled Return of the Jedi three years later, they made good on the threat that Yoda’s success would mean more fuzzy-wuzzy stinkin’ Muppets. As for Boba Fett, the three year old expectation that he was gonna be a bad ass vaporized as he fell clumsily into a giant sandy butthole.

Disappearing soon in a giant butt hole near you.

As much of a disappointment The Holiday Special turned out to be, it was as Revenge of the Jedi (as “Return” was called then) was being filmed that, for me, marks the point where the stake went right through the part of my heart reserved for StarWarsian love: Mark Hamill made an appearance on Merv Griffin’s talk-show and declared “I can’t tell you any details, Merv, but George Lucas has come up with a race of people that are going to knock the Smurfs right off of the map.” In retrospect, this proved to be a good thing as it saved me from becoming too involved with a veritable quagmire of overly-praised pulp fiction. Suddenly it was as if I was channeling grumpy old Alec Guiness. I mean, why all the praise? It must be coming from gamers because for moviegoers, George Lucas’ name on credits triggers anxiety attacks: More American Graffiti, Howard The Duck, Willow, Radioland Murders, Indiana Jones and his Snot Faced Bastard Progeny… Now, I see people put down heard-earned money to buy the latest re-release/upgrade/quadruple-dip of this vandalized once-great movie with its two lame sequels and three even-lamer prequels just so they can see for themselves changes they’re only going to bitch about- I can only thank George Lucas for breaking the (literally) card-carrying fanboy spell I was under with this opportunist slice of ephemeral television. Here goes:

See? Told ya it sucked! The ultimate irony here is that this show was meant to introduce the action-figure line and, yet, no toys were derived from this entire show. George is on a mission to erase this from human memory. Don’t be surprised if the links go dead. And for all of those fanboys out there whining about George, I offer this advice.: Stop encouraging him by simply doing what I did: stop buying the “upgrades”. If there’s no money in it, he’ll stop- just like Ted Turner gave up on colorization. Heck, he might even repackage the original Star Wars sans episode number and reignite happy memories in all of us who first made him a godzillionaire.

May the lameness be with you.

Pain Level: 10/10 Quality of Pain: Whatever they said that giant butthole Boba Fett eventually fell in would feel like. Painjoyment™: Non-existent. This just sucks bantha poo-doo. It’s not even bad/fun enough to enjoy as cheese.

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About The Cinémasochist

I'd rather just talk about "bad" movies. View all posts by The Cinémasochist

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