Tag Archives: star wars

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 Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi | Richard Marquand



This final entry sees the Empire creating a new Death Star, a feat with such magnitude, even the Emperor himself has come to oversee the progress.  Meanwhile, a rescue attempt is underway to try to spring Han Solo from his icy trap in Jabba the Hut’s lair.  Luke has grown in his Jedi training, but only a confrontation with Darth Vader will make the transformation complete, and its a showdown Luke wants to avoid now that familial ties have been revealed.  The Rebellion once again plans to destroy the Death Star before it becomes functional by eliminating the force field surrounding it generated by a base on a nearby planet, but the Emperor isn’t a fool, and has a few surprises up his sleeve.


Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back | Irvin Kershner



The Empire Strikes Back continues the Star Wars saga in exciting fashion, with the Empire now having driven the Rebels from their secret base to another on an ice planet called Hoth. The Empire eventually locates this new base, forcing an evacuation, whereupon a more experienced Luke is told by the “spirit” (aka Force Ghost) of Obi-Wan Kenobi to seek out a wise and powerful Jedi instructor named Yoda for training. Meanwhile, romance is brewing between Han Solo and Princess Leia,, but Han has problems of his own as he is plagued by bounty hunters and the Empire out to nab him. Excitement erupts as Luke and Vader meet face to face, and some startling revelations occur.


Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) | George Lucas



The inaugural review of the 1980’s film retrospective, looking at George Lucas’ monumental blockbuster.  Yes, it’s from 1977, but it’s mandatory to cover in order to comment on the later films.

The plot: A couple of robots shuttle to a desert planet after their rebel spaceship is taken over by an Imperial star cruiser, capturing everyone on board including the Rebel Alliance princess, Leia. Leia has sent the robots to Tatooine to convey a message to a man named Obi-Wan Kenobi, who she claims is the only hope left for the rebels to beat the evil Empire.  A pair of Tatooine farmers buy the droids after they are captured by some scavengers to use on their farm, and after the farmer boy, Luke,discovers the princess’ message, he heads to Obi-Wan to deliver it. While he is away, his family is killed by the Empire seeking the droids, as they make their escape from the planet with the aid of a galactic smuggler named Han Solo, and make their way to help the princess, who is now aboard a space station powerful enough to destroy an entire planet in seconds, the Death Star, to which the rebels have obtained plans that reveal a weakness to destroy it — if only their home base doesn’t get destroyed first.