This post is at the special request of one of my readers who complained that I didn’t include the Star Wars Holiday Special in my recent Star Wars viewing marathon. [Side note: Suggestions for future blog posts are always welcome.]
The most obvious reason for not including it in my viewing marathon was that it’s not on Disney+ which is where I was watching all of the other films and TV series. It’s apparently never been released officially since its original showing, so I didn’t feel too bad about searching it out on YouTube.
The other big problem is that it’s not part of the current Star Wars canon. Yes, whilst it stars all of the main characters and some of the concepts from it may potentially be canon again, it’s an incredibly low quality production and it just doesn’t feel like a Star Wars film.
The only thing I liked about this film is that it shows real life in the universe outside of wars or major events. In the main films there’s not much time to show how real people (or wookies) spend their time. This film did that, but in an annoying comical exaggerated way which I didn’t like. There are now plenty of (canon) examples of real life in the TV series (Star Wars: Rebels and Star Wars: Resistance) which aren’t confined by the movie film format so this isn’t too much of a concern for me.
I also didn’t like the interlude sections which were mainly random musical sideshows. I really didn’t need to see Chewbacca’s child watching the world’s worst video of a robot that breaks down every 5 seconds whilst giving instructions on how to build a radio, or Chewbacca’s Dad enjoying what is clearly adult VR content. The animated interlude featuring Boba Fett was interesting though, especially since this is technically his first appearance in the Star Wars universe (by production chronology, not by universe chronology).
Another major character point that made me not like this film, and would be a major problem for me if this was canon, is that if this film is Chewbacca going back to his family, that also means that he left his family, including his young son, alone to just go travelling with Han Solo for no specific reason. Although the Holiday Special implies that he goes back to them fairly regularly (or at least video chats them), I can’t imagine Chewbacca leaving his family for such a long period to go off with Han, particularly as he’s possibly away from the events of the film Solo, even all the way out to Episode IX (a period of around 45 years).
At the time it came out, this was probably (but more likely not) a welcome addition to the Star Wars universe which at the time only consisted of one film. Nowadays, we have far more films and TV series, and I don’t think there’s really a place for the Star Wars Holiday Special. And if I count this in my Star Wars viewing marathon, do I also need to add the various Lego Star Wars series, and how about Star Wars: Ewoks and Droids? And the original Star Wars Clone Wars TV series? And what about the books and comics which actually are canon?
I would say it was maybe worth the one watch for completeness, but would I watch it again? Probably not. Would I recommend it? Not for the general viewer.