Monthly Archives: February 2020

The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) | Steve Binder (with David Acomba)



The Star Wars Holiday Special is a two-hour made-for-TV musical variety show movie that aired on November 17. 1978 on CBS for its November sweeps period.). Variety shows were hot on TV in the 1970s and this effort would serve as a ratings bonanza, putting the hottest cultural phenomenon of the last year in front of as many eyeballs as they could on a Friday night when kids could stay up to watch TV. The Force was not with this one.

Chewbacca’s family living in a giant treehouse on Kashyyyk. The family trio includes Chewbacca’s wife Malla, his father Itchy, and his son, Lumpy. Chewbacca is returning to see his kin for a celebration of the holiday called Life Day. However, Chewie is delayed by an Imperial Cruiser in the vicinity performing a blockade that keeps the Millennium Falcon from its destination, and down on the Wookiee planet, Stormtroopers are invading homes and placing the locals under a strict curfew. All Chewie’s family can do is use their technology to entertain themselves with cartoons, acrobats, sultry women of fantasy, and Jefferson Starship while they wait.

Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Bea Arthur, Art Carney, Harvey Korman, Diahann Carroll, and the voice of James Earl Jones all make an appearance.


Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) | Nicholas Meyer



The final of the Star Trek films to feature the entire original cast, Star Trek VI draws many parallels to the end of the Cold War between the United States (represented here by the Federation) and the Soviet Union (the big bad Klingons).  An explosion occurs on the Klingon moon known as Praxis (an allusion to the nuclear disaster of Chernobyl), which makes the Klingon race face possible extinction, as their way of life crumbles, rendering them a superpower no longer (akin to the breakup of the USSR).  The crew of the Enterprise is called upon to be an escort for Klingon Chancellor Gorkon (Gorbachev wannabe) to a crucial assembly on Earth. 

It’s hard for Kirk and co. to trust the Klingons after so many years of fighting them, so when a pair of photon torpedoes are shot into the Klingon ship and two men in Federation gear assassinate many onboard, all fingers point to the only logical culprits, the Enterprise crew.  Kirk and McCoy (who tried in vain to save Gorkon) are put on trial for the disaster, leaving the remaining crew with little time to coordinate an effort to clear their names and secure their release before whatever faction responsible commits more assassinations in response to the peace process.