persona non sequitur

a review of media by a slightly jaded baby boomer.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I was reading a book of WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? the 100 Worst Events on Television.

The #1 worst event was THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL. Not Christmas Special, but Holiday, 'cause George Lucas is Jewish, and wanted to be politically correct.

This is what I call "anti-art". There is talent here, and there is ambition. There is also of a large sense of WTF?
Something went terribly wrong with this idea, but it was bulldozed through the actors, the cameras, the direction, the producers, the network, and of course, George Lucas.

Along the way, something unique was created.

Film students should see this film in order to process ambition, ideas, conception and execution. A "what went wrong" book could be culled out of this production, if Lucas wasn't paying off people to keep their mouths shut.

It's not unwatchable, but the dropped jaw you get every five minutes is a bit distracting. It is a mess of plotting and be friendly stuff.

However, Harvey Corman and Bea Arthur and the Jefferson Starship and everything in this muddle seem to be out of place. Going over a VHS tape of it, I found I could only deal with it ten minutes at a time. Carrie Fisher can't carry a tune, and her vocalizing of something towards the end makes you wonder if not too many people watched it to the end. But it was "Star Wars" and someone did watch it and the public at large did manage to save copies of it for trading, and later "bootlegging." It appeared at the beginning of the VHS era, and Science Fiction fans have been notorious for being on the razor edge of technology: they all had their own copies....

The existence of the program is one way to disable a fannish conversation. If a Star Wars fundamentalist starts a conversation about the series, just ask "Is Harvey Corman on the dark side or what?" (Akin to asking a Trekkie "When Spock's brain was missing, did his human side come out?")

Lucas wishes he could destroy all copies of the tape, and now, DVD. Purchasing it off eBay is one way to 'enjoy' the special--and notifying Lucas with the hope he will stop by your house with a hammer and you can discuss other things after he finishes. (TBC...)


Post a Comment

<< Home