comScore

Oh yes, this is really happening. 'Star Wars Holiday Special'

Recommended

The 11th Annual Star Wars Holiday Special Toys For Tots Benefit

Dec. 13
4 p.m. , 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Admission is free with a new, unwrapped toy donation.
Benefits,Parties,Receptions, Family Events, Film, Holiday

As the latest Star Wars installment, The Last Jedi, hits movie screens, it’s evident that Lucasfilm/Disney has crafted a franchise juggernaut from a carefully calibrated brand identity. Such standards were not always the rule, however, as evidenced by the notorious Star Wars Holiday Special (1978). Meant to capitalize on the blockbuster success of the original film, the universally panned TV special combines variety-show oddities with a schlocky space adventure involving reuniting Chewbacca with his Wookiee family for Life Day. Along the way, viewers are subjected to bizarre cameos from the likes of Art Carney, Bea Arthur, and Harvey Korman, along with musical interludes from Jefferson Starship and Diahann Carroll (who coos seductively to Chewbacca’s father, Itchy, during a wondrously ill-advised virtual reality “fantasy”). Broadcast just once and never officially released to the general public, the infamous special became the stuff of legend: a fever dream too brazenly atrocious to have been real. Yet here it is, screening at the Bryant-Lake Bowl for the 11th year as a benefit for Toys for Tots. Come endure the embarrassment of the rebel heroes as they take a break from intergalactic warfare to celebrate the holidays.