The Star Wars Holiday Special is considered by many to be the Holy Grail of crappy Star Wars kitsch and, oh, it is not. That honor belongs to the Star Wars episode of Donny & Marie. It makes the Holiday Special look like it was scripted by Billy Wilder and directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
Unsurprisingly, we open with Marie in Leia drag and Donny Skywalker (in white, stack-heel go-go boots) boogieing through their first excruciating musical number in front of a bunch of glitter-covered risers. R2-D2 and C3-PO wander in, along with Chewbacca and Darth Vader because the producers apparently had a platinum account at Western Costume.
But then things start to get (really) weird: Redd Foxx meanders past a primitive green screen as “Obi Ben Okefenokee,” while Paul Lynde briefly turns up to whine and wave his hands in the air as the Grand Moff Tarkin. But the oddest guest star is a visibly, erm, out of it Kris Kristofferson, wearing aviator shades and leaning against a cardboard rocket ship like it’s the only thing that’s holding him up. He lurches through a half-assed disco cover of “I Want to Take You Higher” (Sure you do, Kris, sure you do.), then a half-dozen Stormtroopers show up, accompanied by a slew of chorus girls in white unitards and motorcycle helmets for an awkward dance routine to Up With People-like renditions of “Get Ready” and “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” The whole experience takes about thirteen minutes: Ten to watch and three to try to figure out what the hell you just saw.