star wars holiday special
A long time ago (well, 31 years ago) in a galaxy far, far away (Television City isn't technically a different galaxy, unless you consider TV producers to be people who don't spend much time on planet Earth), an evil was unleashed upon the human race.
Today marks the 31st anniversary of the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, a Christmas not-so-spectacular roasted by critics including some here at TV Squad years after it hit the air and even some of the franchise's most ardent fans.
That also includes George Lucas who once remarked at an Australian convention that he wished he could buy up all of the world's remaining copies of the show and smash them into oblivion with a sledgehammer. I wonder if 31 years from now, he'll be saying the same thing about Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace?
Starring the entire "Star Wars" cast with the exception of Alec Guinness, the 1978 special was produced with the intent of capitalizing on 'Star Wars' mania. Instead, it set a low-water mark for bizarre television. The plot, such as it is, involves Chewbacca rushing home to his home planet of Kashyyyk to celebrate "Life Day," the Wookie equivalent of Christmas.
Even if those scenarios will be true for you on Dec. 25, I offer you my pity as my Christmas gift. Plus, you still would rather spend it listening to ol' Uncle Hernia Scar than watching one of these holiday hams.
One of the pioneers on the technical side of the movie and TV industry has died. Stan Winston did makeup and special effects for several TV shows and TV movies over the years, including Amazing Stories, Roots, Manimal, Get Christie Love, and Gargoyles, as well as dozens of classic movies, including Iron Man, all three Terminator films, Edward Scissorhands, The Thing, Pearl Harbor, Batman Returns, The Wiz, Predator, Jurassic Park III, The Relic, Congo, Aliens, Invaders From Mars, Leviathan, Galaxy Quest, and many others. He also directed several movies, including Pumpkinhead and Ghosts, which he also wrote. He also created the costumes for the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special in 1978. Winston won several Oscars and other awards for his work.
Winston died of cancer in Los Angeles last night at age 62. He had battled multiple myeloma for several years and died at his home. At the time of his death he was working on the next Terminator sequel, Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins.
Unfortunately, it stunk. It stunk so bad that, according to IMDb, George Lucas tried to buy up all master copies of the show so it would never be shown again. And it hasn't; its only broadcast was on 11/17/78. It's never been released on home video, either. Bootlegs of the show have been floating around for decades, but have been hard to find.
But now, thanks to our old friend YouTube, you can now watch the entire special, which has been broken up into 10 parts. Part one is after the jump; click here to go to the YouTube page for it, where you'll see the other parts in the "Related" section.
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