Star Wars Holiday Special Changed Series Canon for decades to come

Good morning! Did you listen to The Escapist on Christmas Day just to read my column? Probably the only thing going up today? Well, aww shucks! We have a warm fire and many tomes of lore to keep us busy. In fact, today we’re talking about something very special for the 2021 finale column: the Star Wars Holiday Special!

CBS is infamous Star Wars Holiday Special occupies a unique place in the realm of pop culture. Everyone knows it, but very few people will bother to watch it. But I did. There were witnesses. There may have been tears. A Wookiee may have watched a live striptease in his family’s living room. And yes, my God, everyone has an absurd amount of eyeliner.

Now, I might just tear this cinematic abomination from cover to cover, but it’s done. No, it’s Christmas, so we’re going to be charitable. We’re going to talk about how this actually impacted Legends and Disney. Star wars time limit. Because yes, Disney will literally re-canonize the characters of this real shipwreck of a production before even considering bringing back Mara Jade.

obviously the biggest Star Wars Holiday Special contribution is the introduction of Boba Fett in the brief animation segment. The animated part is the only part you can actually watch in HD on Disney +, and it has virtually nothing to do with the rest of the vacation special.

However, this less vilified animated segment established a few things. We actually see the backseat of a Y-Wing being used, and Dhin Djarin’s future disintegrating blaster is inspired by a much less lethal equivalent. Plus, Luke is actually referring to using a comms link, which is about as precise as the segment gets it. I say this because for some reason an impersonation of Captain Kirk also makes a “space diary” at the beginning and at the end.

If you think you are imitating at random Star trek This is where the weird meta-connections end, you’d be wrong. The majority of the “plot” of the Star Wars Holiday Special is conveyed exclusively by the family of Chewbacca, Malla, Lumpy and Itchy. Instead of leaving these domestic figures to be forgotten, each plays a role in the greater Star wars fiction.

Young Lumpawaroo is said to play a role in the Black Fleet Crisis as a coming-of-age hero, serving as the proper heir to Chewbacca though he’s still a bit small. Mallatobuck, meanwhile, has been steadily helping the Solo family with a handful of stories over the years, even engaging in operations alongside her husband before his death. Still, “Itchy,” Chewbacca’s father, easily receives the greatest shine.

Attichitcuk set up a whole damn planet in the Outer Rim by Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds and kicked the World Trade Federation out when they threatened to take it back. Additionally, Attichitcuk and Chewbacca fought alongside Qui-Gon Jinn in this campaign for control of the colonial sector of Alaris Prime. Then decades later, old Wookiee helped Han and Chewbacca free Kashyyyk from the Empire.

I cannot stress enough the favor the Expanded Universe has done for the ancient “Itch”. He’s gone from a kinky grandpa watching a virtual reality striptease in the dining room to the kind of guy who says things like, “I’ve known pain. I am a Wookie. Coincidentally, Attichitcuk would also befriend Princess Leia and prove to be a valuable ally in a battle against an ancient Jedi artifact.

This is usually how the original extended universe handled strange incidents like the Star Wars Holiday Special. You took something broken and found a logical explanation for it in larger fiction, or you salvaged the nuggets of potential. Here, it was much more often the second than the first, but not always. For example, the day of life has become an official holiday in the frame and the rest. In the MMO Star Wars Galaxies, someone made the effort to bring Saun Dann back as a seasonal NPC.

Even stranger is a handful of retcons that actually put other characters from the Extended Universe in the background. Most notably, Dark Jedi Sariss technically appears in the background in his disguise as a “prophet”. Fortunately, you don’t need to see the Holiday special to understand why she wants to rule the galaxy in Jedi Knight from Star Wars: Forces of Darkness II – but it is true that I would probably have gone mad for revenge too if I had endured such a thing.

Ironically, one of the few characters who doesn’t actually reappear is Ponda Baba, the Aqualish in which Obi-Wan Kenobi literally disarms. New hope. Due to the recycling of many old costumes from the film, Ponda’s to manage appears in the Holiday special but is reused for a new guy, Teak, who has two very healthy intact arms.

Speaking of switcheroos, Cher was said to have been the star singer in Mermeia’s softcore porn music streak, but had to decline due to surgery at the time. It’s certainly a dodged blaster bolt, given that the audio in the footage would also be used later in Star Wars Galaxies several years later.

Yet the most inexplicable piece of tradition that has continued from the Star Wars Holiday Special is not in the original timeline but rather in the Disney timeline. Bea Arthur’s Ackmena, a bartender at Cantina de Chalmun in Mos Eisley, was re-canonized as early as 2017, just three years after the barrel was reset. In fact, his role in Mos Eisley society is expanded.

The Star Wars Holiday Special 1978 impact change lore canon EU Expanded Universe Disney timeline

On the positive side, her reintroduction is by writers Kelly Sue DeConnick and Matt Fraction, so they do something about her, giving Ackmena a wife and underlings who respond to her. By contrast, bringing Ackmena back is up there with Disney bringing Jaxxon back in place of the characters that most fans really like. She got an official visual representation and everything. That’s a lot of effort for a character only nerds like me even know.

Above all, however, the deepest thing about the Star Wars Holiday Special it’s not how painfully boring it is, or how clearly everyone reads their lines on a blower towards the end, or how horribly horrible song makes Carrie Fisher sing at the end. What’s really amazing is that for something fundamentally slapped in a rush, he does his best to capture the aesthetic of Star wars. It’s a terrible variety show that will hardly ever reach despite hiring a lot of talented artists, but gosh, it’s so hard.

That was before most people had checked whether you called Luke’s little space phone a “commlink” or not. For the first wave of Star wars fans, this was their first glimpse of Kashyyyk, an artistic direction that would stretch to Revenge of the Sith much later in the franchise. No one should watch this sober in any way, but despite such a mess, it’s not just inspired memes, but real story content in the frame. That someone got something out of it is remarkable.

Plus, hey, at least it’s not as painfully maddening as The Rise of Skywalker.


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