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10 Worst Things Ever to Happen at Christmas

        Culture | Christmas

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Star Wars Holiday Special, 1978
Mickey Morton (as Malla) and Peter Mayhew (as Chewbacca) starred in George Lucas' least-favorite production ever to exist. CBS via Getty Images
Mickey Morton (as Malla) and Peter Mayhew (as Chewbacca) starred in George Lucas' least-favorite production ever to exist. CBS via Getty Images

A lot can go wrong when you try to force Christmas on something that isn't inherently Christmas-y; just ask almost every rock artist who's ever released a Christmas album. So when Star Wars creator George Lucas presented the idea of a Star Wars holiday special to CBS producers, someone probably should have stopped that sleigh before it ever left Santa's workshop. Instead, the cringe-worthy television event went forward, only to have Lucas cancel all rebroadcasts and video releases immediately after the premier.

But how bad could it really be? For starters, the plot centered around Chewbacca's family and their celebration of Life Day, a Wookiee holiday that seemed to be based on Thanksgiving or Christmas, though no one seems to know for sure. The three family members — Chewbacca's wife, Malla, father Itchy, and son Lumpy — alienated viewers early on with a 10-minute conversation in Wookiee-speak, a series of grunts and howls without subtitles. Rounding out the show was a series of bizarre guest performances, the most uncomfortable of which was an appearance by actress and singer Diahann Carroll, whose scene with grandpa Itchy was awkwardly sensual for a family program.

In the end, the Star Wars holiday special was almost universally panned, and both Lucas and the cast seldom speak of it to this day. However, Lucas did say this about the show: "If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it" [source: Warren].


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