Today is Life Day. If you’re wondering what the heck Life Day is, it is the date when, in 1978, CBS unleashed “The Star Wars Holiday Special” upon an unsuspecting world. The response to it was overwhelming–as in overwhelmingly bad. I remembering watching it while I was living in North Carolina. I missed about half of it because I went out to eat with my family. From the response, I don’t think I missed much. It lost out to THE LOVE BOAT in the ratings. I don’t remember my response to it, so must have been pretty unforgettable, or perhaps my mind wanted to erase the experience from my 16-year-old psyche.
I was hoping it would return the next year. Maybe it would be an annual event, like “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
This show never appeared on network television again. Most people who’ve seen it when it first came on didn’t think that was a great loss. The special would later resurface in the way of black market recordings on VHS or DVD, not to mention on the Internet.
I just finished watching it for the first time since it originally aired. Now I know why it was never re-aired. The whole special just seems to be a misguided attempt to weld a typical 1970s DONALD AND MARIE style variety show unto a science fiction movie. It failed–miserably. It would be as if C-3PO’s arms unto the Venus de Milo–an unsightly mess.
But if one good thing game out of this mess, it made TV producers realize how mutually exclusive TV variety shows and science fiction movies were. Thank the failure of “The Star Wars Holiday Special” the world may have been spared from “An Alien Christmas” or “The Blade Runner Holiday Special.”