Midway in his Skywalker Saga’s journey, Greg Silber went astray from the canonical road and woke to find himself on a dark YouTube channel… How shall he say what YouTube that was! He never saw so rank, so dank farrik a video recording! Its very memory seems but a fevered dream. Death could scarce be more bitter than that variety show! But since it eventually came to end, we will recount all that he found revealed there, by Life Day’s grace…
GREG SILBER: Damn, no Incredible Hulk tonight.
AVERY KAPLAN: Or Wonder Woman!!
GREG: We’re already off to a bad start with this mostly-recognizable Millennium Falcon, but the set is obviously much lower rent. But I’ve gotta say, it’s exciting just seeing the original Star Wars cast in footage I haven’t seen, regardless!
AVERY: I’m almost positive the exterior Falcon footage is all reused from the movie.
GREG: That interior looked a little cheap… but maybe that’s just because it’s filmed for TV here.
AVERY: Yeah… they really got the whole cast! And. Art Carney… This is the first appearance of Kashyyyk, the Wookie homeworld. It wouldn’t appear on-screen again until Revenge of the Sith! This is Chewie’s father, Attichituck (“Itchy”), Chewie’s wife Mallatobuck (“Malla”), and their child, Lumpawaroo (“Lumpy”). Really easy names!
GREG: Hold up… Chewie had a whole family that was just never mentioned in the movies?!
AVERY: That’s right. Although all of them are now considered canon, in spite of the fact that Lucas spent a few decades trying to eradicate this holiday special from the face of the earth. I can’t imagine why…
GREG: It actually upsets me to think that Chewbacca basically abandoned his wife and kid.
AVERY: Han and Chewie eventually return to Kashyyyk to liberate it from the Empire and Chewie reunites with them in the second volume of the Aftermath trilogy of novels, if that’s any consolation.
GREG: Yeah sure… I’ve moved on to wondering WTF is happening with what so far has basically been an extremely bizarre silent film starring Wookiees and… whatever those tiny dancers are. Cue Elton John!
AVERY: I think he’s busy with the Gorillaz. Also, isn’t that table supposed to be for Holo-Checkers?
GREG: I guess it can kind of be like a gaming console? You can use it to play games, watch movies, heck maybe it has a blu ray player.
AVERY: Ah, the Star Wars version of the PlayStation 5 (but a little more portable).
AVERY: And here’s the Star Wars version of Zoom…
GREG: Hey, is it just me or does Chewie’s son have a super irritating voice?
AVERY: Shyriiwook always sounds a little phlegmy to me… Oh, but here’s a special guest star – one of The Beat team’s writers, Philippe Leblanc!
PHILIPPE LEBLANC: Congratulations, you made it through the first 12 minutes of the Star Wars Holiday Special. This in and of itself is an exceptional feat. I have watched this special a lot over the years, mostly to introduce other people to the insanity that it is. Most people want to give up in despair when the circus starts.
Usually when people watch this for the first time, they’re skeptic, but tend to be quite pumped. The introduction and title sequence are great. There are TIE fighters pursuing the Millennium Falcon, Han Solo and Chewbacca are there, and the Star Wars theme starts. You think “wow, this could be quite something.” Then, life drains out of you slowly as you realize that the Baca’s family segment is never-ending. Although it feels like an eternity, it’s 8 minutes. 8 long minutes of Wookie growls and a mom asking her bratty and extremely annoying son to take out the trash. Then he watches a circus perform and you’re not quite sure what the focus is, is it Lumpy watching the circus, or us watching the circus.
It’s such a relief when we finally see a human being. Mark Hamill’s appearance short as it is, grants this false hope that things can be salvaged, but it will not happen unfortunately. This segment cements the use of the “watching things on TV” framing device. Lumpy watched the circus, Malla is on Zoom with Luke, Lumpy watches an instructional video, Itchy is watching luscious videos in VR (you’ll get there). It’s bizarre to say the least.
Also, according to Wikipedia, Mark Hamill had a car accident in 1977 which fractured his cheekbone and broke his nose. I believe this is one of the reasons he has so much make-up, eyeliner, and that smoke machines are firing on all cylinder.
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve reached a new level of consciousness.
Good luck on your quest, happy Life Day and may the Force be with you…. You’ll need it for what is to come…
GREG: What’s going on with Hamill’s bowl cut? I know you just blew up the Death Star last year but it’s not a good look my dude.
AVERY: The depiction of R2 here is easily the furthest the special gets from canon. Depicting R2 as anything other than a hyper-competent hero of the Rebellion is horribly slanderous! “Nobody’s perfect”? R2. R2 is perfect!
GREG: I’m also not ok with Luke insisting Chewie’s wife smile. Come on man, that’s your friend’s wife!
AVERY: Well, what can we expect, at this point the guy’s still crushing on his sister. And now: the Academy Award winning Art Carney, folks!!
GREG: Getting real Rick Moranis-as-Dark Helmet in Spaceballs vibes from that big stupid helmet.
AVERY: Do you think that ‘stache is Imperial Regulation? “She did it by HAND… SOLO.” Why did the fandom reject this masterpiece for so long??
GREG: I think in the 70s the FCC required all television programs to have at least one ridiculous mustache.
AVERY: Let’s drag James Earl Jones into this holiday special, right?
GREG: At least he doesn’t have to show his face!
AVERY: BANTHA SURPRISE! A mouth-watering Life Day tradition!
GREG: This is going on way longer than necessary… as if Bantha is something the viewers at home could find in their grocery store.
Do you need a special recipe for Life Day that you can cook using items you may be able to find at your local grocery store or space cantina? Try this!
Cheez ‘n’ Ronto Holiday Special Casserole
Remember: Only you know the size of the bite in your family!
- 2 cups elbow pasta
- Four strips Ronto bacon (or other type of bacon in a pinch)
- One 12 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 2 slices of buttered bread (diced into ½” cubes)
- One artificial space cheese log (or pre-wrapped slices of Aalderanian cheese, or any other smooth-melting cheez-type substitute)
- Seasonings: Parsley, garlic granules, & diced onion
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Boil and drain the pasta. Meanwhile, fry the Ronto bacon in a frying pan (not too crisp).
- When the bacon is done, remove it from the pan before adding the tomatoes, dicing the bacon before returning it to the mixture. Add the seasonings to taste and simmer.
- Put the pasta into a casserole dish. Add the mixture from the frying pan and stir-stir-whip until combined.
- Cover with the cubes of buttered bread, and then top with the cheez slices. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, until the casserole is as baked as the sand on Tatooine.
- Let cool slightly before serving – the Cheez ‘n’ Ronto Casserole will be hot! In the meantime, you can share your favorite Life Day memories with your family while you wait for it to reach a palatable temperature.
Adventuresome cooks can tweak the casserole for exciting variations – we recommend mixing green chilies with the tomatoes for a Greedo-green version that will shoot before your taste buds know what hit them. And now, back to Greg vs. the Star Wars Holiday Special…
AVERY: This is Harvey Korman as Chef Gormaanda, and while it’s the only scene with the chef, it is NOT the only scene with Harvey Korman.
GREG: We’re more than 20 minutes in and it’s off putting that almost nothing so far advances any kind of narrative.
AVERY: Oh, I’m sorry, but “narrative” is definitely NOT a part of Life Day…
GREG: At this rate I’ll never learn The True Meaning of Life Day.
AVERY: Well, there’s still… a long, long way to go.
GREG: It’s so funny to me that the famously grumpy Harrison Ford had to put up with this whole charade.
AVERY: He gives a really heartfelt hug to Chewie later that especially cracks me up for just that reason. Well, now Carney (or Saun Dann, I should say) is making deliveries?
GREG: This is now the second human man to flirt with Chewie’s wife and look… I’m not here to kink shame, but that is an odd storytelling choice.
AVERY: Is this the first unboxing video?!
GREG: Maybe! I mean it’s a Star Wars thing so you know obsessive collectors were watching.
AVERY: “And I DO mean Happy Life Day!” Did kids watch this holiday special??
GREG: If I saw this as a kid I would’ve been… scares. These psychedelic bits seem more for the stoned 70s teens.
AVERY: I know what you were just thinking. “Why haven’t we had a 7 minute dance sequence lately?”
GREG: 7… minutes?!
AVERY: Buckle up!!
Will Greg possibly survive the Mind Evaporator? Find out tomorrow on The Divine Star Wars Holiday Special Comedy: Episode II: Attack of the Clone!