Let’s ride this train to the station, shall we? The Star Wars Holiday Special was an ill-conceived attempt to create a Christmas special with the Star Wars characters. The plot involved Han trying to get Chewbacca back to his family for “Life Day”, and the story falls apart from there; we just had a bunch of mediocre skits (including at least three characters Harvey Korman would probably like to forget he played) and some other questionable stuff. It’s not worth watching except as a curiosity…and for the animated segment.
Produced by Nirvana, who would later go on to make The Ewoks/Droids Adventure Hour, the segment does have the first animated appearance of our favorite Droids who have managed to hijack most of this week (I used up all the good Droid fights in my collection for Friday Night Fights already), as well as Boba Fett. It also had some horrible designs for anything without a metal face or mask. You’ll see what I mean when you watch it.
By the Force those are some ugly people. Poor Harrison Ford, Han’s character model is the worst of the lot. We do get a nice sneak peak at Boba Fett’s design, although it’s not quite the final version. It looks more like he has armor plated clothing than a full set of armor. I don’t know why C3PO, who already had a full appearance in the movie, was given those rubbery cables in the neck and lower body, but that would be how he’d look in the show as well. Frankly, R2 D2 is probably the luckiest of the cast as he looks like his movie counterpart. We only see Darth Vader’s head but it looks like a rough sketch rather than the final result.
The voice acting is all over. You see hints of the voice actor Mark Hamill would become, and I’m sure how much to blame on the writing, but he still had some work to do to be good. I couldn’t really tell if that was James Earl Jones as Vader or not. You’d think both Jones and Anthony Daniels would be good at this considering all the ADR they did in the movie. Jones wasn’t even the one in the Vader costume so that’s all he did. He does better on the current Rebels series. Harrison Ford only gets a few lines and it’s not the best performance. Maybe the director wasn’t very good?
The special as a whole is forgettable, but it does influence the lore. Kashyyyk, the Wookie homeworld, gets named and designed here, and this would show up again in later movies and cartoons. Of course, there’s the preview of Boba Fett, and the designs that the Droids would have in their own cartoon, since nobody at Nirvana thought to update them. (The Stormtroopers improved if memory serves.) So maybe it’s not so forgettable. George Lucas just wishes it was. Oh well, it’s good riffing material at least.