It's so much worse than I'd imagined. Since I was a wee lad, I'd heard legends regarding The Star Wars Holiday Special. Circulating on the internet for the past few years by those fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to record the travesty the one time it aired way back in 1978, it's been highly regarded as one of those things that everyone wants to watch, but no one really wants to see. Like a couple of monkeys screwing a football. Sure, it'd be funny to watch but you'll never be able to erase the imagery from your mind. Okay, replace monkeys with Wookiees and the football with, oh, I don't know. Harrison Ford. You get the idea. The whole thing is available for viewing over on YouTube, but be forewarned.
I'm usually quick to defend all things Star Wars, the prequel films included. Well, I sort of take that back. I've seen the two animated shows from the mid-80s (Droids and Ewoks) along with those God-awful Ewok made-for-television movies. I just can't defend a product that features Wilford Brimley having conversations with midgets in bear costumes. I have limits.
But man. This thing features Wookiees talking for minutes on end, assuming that we would not need subtitles to understand their repetitive grunts and growls. We see Chewbacca's father, named Itchy (for reasons unknown and preferably so), watch what is apparently some form of virtual pornography. There's Mark Hamill caked in what appears to be stage makeup. There's a seemingly coked up Carrie Fisher singing a song about a fictitious Wookiee holiday called "Life Day." And did I mention that it's sung to the tune of the Star Wars theme? Try to forget those lyrics, fanboy.
Speaking of singing, Bea Arthur sings a little ditty to the creatures in the all-too-familiar-yet-much-cheaper-looking cantina. Actually, this is worth seeing. No wonder the woman has a weird cult following. There's also an almost-decent animated short that introduced the world to fan-favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett.
All in all, it's one of those embarrassing pieces of Star Wars lore that George Lucas wishes we wouldn't see or talk about, but it's necessary. It's a rite of passage of sorts: If you can sit through the thing (broken up into 10 minute intervals on YouTube), and still gaze lovingly at your closet full of Star Wars crap, then the Force is truly with you.