I can understand why this special has not seen the light of day since it’s poorly received 1978 debut. I’m dating myself when I say I vaguely remember this on tv when I was very young. It confused and upset me and I didn’t finish watching it. Years later I wondered why I knew Chewbacca had a family, but I assumed I read it in a Star Wars book.
Back in November, I saw someone post a link about “Life Day” on Twitter. Busy with grad school and the holidays, I did not have time to watch the video until now. As I wasted 1:36 of my time so you don’t have to, I will regale you with my thoughts as I (re)watched this monstrosity. To make it more fun, I have added a drinking option. Take a shot anytime that: that the actor Harvey Korman shows up and the term friend is used!
Here we go:
:00 Han Solo and Chewbacca are flying the Millennium Falcon! Cool! Life Day is mentioned, and obviously it’s a BIG deal.
:01 Star Wars word crawl
:02 The actors and actresses are introduced. The Wookies look scary. The special guest stars are an interesting lot.
:03 We see Chewie’s home planet of Kashyyyk, shown as a tree house painting, no special effects here my friend. We go inside, and it’s a 70’s era home decorator’s dream!
:04 We are introduced to Malla (wife), Itchy (grandpa) and Lumpy (son). Lumpy is an annoying brat, no wonder Chewie is never home.
:07 Lumpy watches a hologram of alien circus acrobats to get out of his mother’s way. What is going on here???
:11 The adults turn on a traffic control channel to see if the MF ship is nearby. All the wording is in English. I guess that must be the space universal language.
:12 Malla contacts Luke Skywalker (♥) to see if he knows where they are. Why is Luke wearing makeup? After feigning a little bit of concern, he goes back to work making repairs with R2D2.
:15 Now we go to a scene at a trading post, where we meet Saun Dann, who runs the place. He tries selling cheap crap to an Imperial Guard with a porn ‘stashe. He relays a coded message to Malla. So sly this guy.
:18 Darth Vader! By now I’ve seen the quality of the sets for this production, so I’m guessing this was unused footage from the movie, A New Hope.
:19 We head back at the Wookie home, where Malla watches a cooking show. OMG- what horror is this? Harvey Korman (*drink!) is a cross dressing alien with four hands. While this might have been comedy gold on a variety show, this is Star Wars! Stir, whip, stir, whip, whip, whip, stir!
:24 Han Solo and Chewie are fighting TIE fighters. “This is one Life Day you won’t forget!”
:25 The trader is now at the Wookie house with gifts. He gets kisses from Lumpy and Malla.
:28 Grandpa watches his porn gift in front of his family. Yes, really.
:29 Itchy gets off watching a video of gorgeous Diahann Carroll (what, Wookie females aren’t good enough for him?) sing to him, and say things like “I’m your fantasy, I’m your experience, your pleasure. It’s our moment in time”. Disturbing…
:35 Princess Leia! She also seems rather unconcerned about HS & Chewie, and doesn’t deign to talk to Malla, instead wanting to talk to the trader.
*I must take this time to give a shout out to Carrie Fisher. When I heard of her death, I cried. Now I am not the type to cry over a celebrity’s death, but this was different. She was Princess Leia, who taught me and countless other girls that princess’s do not have to sit back and wait for a male to rescue them. She was bad-ass and REAL, in the movies and in her own life. She will be missed.*
:38 Storm Troopers arrive at the door and Saun Dann tries to distract them. One of the guards barks “Will you get on with it!’ Exactly- when will this all be over?
:43 We are forced to watch yet another video-this time of the music group Jefferson Starship slumming as they sing “Light the Sky on Fire” (Grace Slick had wisely departed the group prior to this) along with strobe lights and glowing pink microphones.
:49 Scary close up of Lumpy’s face leads us into the “best” part of this show, the cartoon adventures of the Star Wars gang. We meet Boba Fett for the first time, and he fools Luke into thinking he is a friend (*drink!). The animation is crude, and the plot is laughable, but it is still the highlight of the special.
1:03 Lumpy watches another video on how to assemble a transmitter. Harvey Korman pops up again (*drink!) to portray a malfunctioning droid. Lumpy doesn’t need instructions, he’s Chewie’s son, he should have epic fix-it skills!
1:07 Yet another video to watch- this time the Storm Troopers watch too. The video takes place on Tatooine in the Mos Eisley Cantina. Harvey Korman (*drink!) shows up yet again as a lovesick alien who moons over the bar owner, Bea Arthur.
1:15 Bea sings a song about friends (*prepare to drink ALOT) as she and the aliens dance around the bar. By now, you should be very drunk, so the rest of this special should be easy watching.
1:21 Most of Storm Troopers leave, just in time for…
1:22 Chewie’s back!
1:23 Han Solo helps push the remaining Storm Trooper to his death.
1:25 Hugs for everyone! Sweet, slightly creepy, reunion with wife.
1:26 The trader is back, to explain (lie) to Imperial Guard why Storm Trooper is gone. Obviously he feels that Wookies don’t know how to do anything, so he communicates with other humans on their behalf.
1:28 All the Wookies pick up glowing snow globes. It’s time for Life Day! Now they are all wearing long red robes and walking in a line through space.
1:30 Many Wookies are in a large room with a stage, when the whole Star Wars gang shows up to celebrate with them!
1:31 Leia is singing!!! Han Solo and Luke are turned on by her voice.
1:33 Chewie remembers his time with them, and he has flashbacks to the movie.
1:35 Back at home, Chewbacca and his family sit around the dinner table (maybe eating the Bantha Surprise from the cooking segment?) and pray before they eat. My prayer has been answered- the show is over.
1:36 I am done with this atrocity!!!!! Credits roll.
All I can say is, wow. I have no idea how this was approved by George Lucas. I heard he wanted all copies burned, but with the internet, this special will live on forever. Just in case you want to watch this show for yourself, I have included a link. But don’t watch it. Seriously, don’t.