January 4, 2005

Every Day is Wookiee Life Day!

Fighting off the post-holiday blues? Seattle Maggie hears ya. While we admit that we like to scoff publicly about petty commercialism, we always feel a pang of sadness once the whole thing is over. All the pretty lights go dark and festive sweets cease to be an everyday occurrence; all we have to look forward to is cold January drizzle and the sinking feeling that another year has begun and we still have no clue as to what our ultimate purpose in the universe is.
Do not despair, my friends! Seattle Maggie has just the thing to help you shake off that lingering scent of desiccating Christmas trees and stale gingerbread. From a long time ago (well, 1978 actually), in a galaxy far, far away, we submit the Star Wars Holiday Special. Our good friend Spygirl had told us about it back at Thanksgiving, and slipped us a bootleg copy while we were home for Christmas with the following warning – “It’s bad. Not even funny bad, just head-explodingly bad.” We never were one to crumble in the face of fear. Armed only with our new popcorn air popper, we slipped in the tape (cheerfully labeled “I’m Sorry. I’m So Sorry”) and pressed Play.
Some Cinecultists may have heard about this special, or may remember seeing it in their youth. We were particularly intrigued with the rumor that George Lucas personally destroys any copies that he comes across, and we could soon see why. It’s Wookiee Life Day, and Chewbacca is heading home to spend this diplomatically non-denominational holiday with his family: hulking wife Malla, scrappy son Lumpy and slightly pervy dad Itchy. We wish we were making this up. Chewy is running a little late; in the meantime, the Wookiee family frets, whips up some yummy Bantha stew, shops online for presents, and gets a visit from those pesky Imperial troopers – amazingly similar to our own holiday experiences.
There are guest appearances from Bea Arthur, Art Carney and Jefferson Starship, a Boba Fett animated short, and endless scenes spoken only in Wookiee (and NO subtitles – however, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easily “Nrrragh! Nwah! Mwah!” translates to “I told you to take trash out, dammit!”). Also, we are treated to all of our favorite Star Wars characters, including a freakishly fey Luke Skywalker, a grumpy yet huggable Han Solo, Droids a-plenty, and a glazed-over Princess Leia, who proceeded to sing the Life Day anthem, even as we clutched our heads and begged her not to. The special concludes with an inspiring Chewbacca “How I Spent My Year” montage.
Perhaps the best part about the whole experience was the cool 1978 commercials, especially the hilarious newsbite in which the perfectly serious anchorman says, “Fighting the Frizzies, at Eleven!”* Remember the days when all we had to worry about was fighting the frizzies? We’re not sure that we were old enough to have actual hair in 1978, but we can still appreciate that simpler time and snicker at all the funny pantyhose commercials.
It was bad. It was weird. It was badly weird. But somehow, it was a fitting end to our year. If you ever come across a copy, Seattle Maggie suggests you approach it with care, and the dregs of a good, stiff eggnog. May the Force be with you in 2005, Cinecultists!

*Spygirl informs us that this newsbite also shows up in the "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics" episode of South Park, which is an obscure bit of hip trivia to whip out at dull parties.

Posted by seattle maggie at January 4, 2005 6:39 AM