Better than Jar Jar: ‘The Star Wars Holiday Special’

Greetings, acolytes of Arcanum! It is I, Graybrow Mistlebuck the wise, here to impart a bit of geomantic gumption on “‘yo’ posterior.” Springtime has arrived, and I am happy to report that I have never been in finer spirits – the waters are singing through the rolling fields, spring’s soft grasses are lightly caressing the nubile bodies of gleeful picnickers, and I, Graybrow Mistlebuck, have finally managed to cajole my sweetest Silverdew into journeying with me through the shadowed mysteries of love.

Silverdew, my pale petal, would that I could be lulled by thine sweet song eternally, never again to awaken to dawn’s callous light! My faerie, whose wings I have been trying to clip since I fell slave to your ensorcelling hammer dulcimer at the 1998 Medieval Bard’s Faire and Fundraiser. But she has still to realize the full impact of my ancient passions, for her tender bud has not quite blossomed – and I haven’t gathered all the reagents for Darkblood’s Aging Draught which, unfortunately, is necessary in order to keep the longbow of the law at bay. (For methinks their interest at this year’s Bacchan Fertility Festival was more than just formality!)

But alas, I am not here to bore you with an old wizard’s woes, nor to expound on the pleasures of spring – in fact, quite the opposite. As many of you know, pagan film director George Lucas has released his final entry in the breeches-chaffing Star Wars series this month. What you may be surprised to hear, however, is that I am not a fan of Lucas’s little space quests. In fact, science fiction in general has left a bad taste in my beard ever since I lost an entire bag of bone-hewn ten-sided dice to a thirsty-two ouncer of Mountain Dew at a particularly heated game of pen-and-paper Robotech in my adolescence.

However, I would like to laud an oft forgotten footnote in the Star Wars saga: “The Star Wars Holiday Special.” The film lovingly follows the Life Day preparations of Chewbacca’s wookie family – son Lumpy, wife Malla, and father Itchy, as Chewbacca races across the galaxy in order to make it home in time for the celebration. Anxieties mount as the oppressive efforts of the Empire seek to edge out every vestige of goodness in the galaxy, and Chewie’s poor family fears the worst for their beloved patriarch.

Sadly, the outcome looks so dark for the poor wookies that Itchy resorts to flaccid hallucinations of alien ballet dancers in miniature and, no doubt, longs for a time in his youth when such a display could set his matted loins aflame. Lumpy, perhaps too young to understand, can only limp around and groan after his mother, who reminds me of an enchanted bugbear I once had the pleasure of saddling.

But of course all ends well, as the Empire is held at bay by a rollicking rock show by Jefferson Starship, and Chewie makes it home just in time for a strange yet sublime march across the heavens.

Perhaps it is the fact that deep beneath Lumpy’s ample fur I see hints of a young Graybrow Mistlebuck waiting for his own Life Day celebration, which would eventually involve the soft shavings of a young willow branch and a new issue of “Elf Quest.” Whatever the case, “The Star Wars Holiday Special” delights well beyond any of the mainstream Star Wars films, and possesses a charming naivet� equaled only by the fresh guiles of my supine Silverdew. Now, where did I put that mandrake…