How The Star Wars Holiday Special Foretold the Troubling Nature of Life with the Internet

Not so long ago, kesselvania transferred a fiefdom to the wild swamps of the south. Of course, since kesselvania is more a state of being than a physical place, kesselvania really is just anywhere people still remember fun.

Regardless, before the physical transfer of the secret keep, there was a goodbye tour to the ancestral homeland.

That’s not abnormal. Everyone who moves does a goodbye tour of sorts. Many things made the time special. This post ends with one of the reasons why.

Strangely, it ties into the much-derided, oft-mocked Star Wars Holiday Special, which aired once in 1978 and remains a treasured piece of non-entity within those of us old enough to remember when we had to search back rooms of hotel basement conventions for bootleg VHS copies of a wispy memory we couldn’t quite remember.

More specifically, it ties into how the Star Wars Holiday Special unintentionally foretold what would happen to our society in the age of the Internet.

Keep in mind, in 1978, there was no Internet for the common people. The home computer revolution hadn’t even happened.

Yet the Star Wars Holiday Special managed to predict what would happen with unerring accuracy, and a device which helped inform one of my favorite memories of the aforementioned farewell tour.

It predicted the future of our reality even better than Total Recall.

Loss of Privacy

The government was spying on everything that people said in the Star Wars Holiday Special. The oppressive state monitored all communications, meaning the illusion of privacy outside of a guarded, in-person conversation, was lost.

To assure Chewie’s wife, Mala, that Chewie is indeed on his way home for Life Day, the trader Saun Dann has to compose the only verbal code language more clever than Spock’s “hours could seem like days” in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. It’s because he knows the Empire is listening and he has no more privacy than a tree in a field.

Checking the Internet for Answers

Chewie’s wife, Mala, needs help making a special dinner. She streams a chef with a video demonstration of how to make the dish in question. There’s no use for cookbooks or family tradition, or respect for elders’ experience, when you can just access an online platform that will give you the information you need. Mala makes a go of it, alone, disconnected from centuries of cooking wisdom.

The Internet of Kashyyyk cripples a family, splintered into their separate focii, as Mala struggles to make dinner. What should have connected them only drove them apart.

Overestimating and Sharing Our “Talents”

We’ve all had a good laugh at the terrible song they made Carrie Fisher sing in the Star Wars Holiday Special. But really, is it all that different from random TikTok “stars” using the CCP’s own spyware to broadcast their own shallow talents to the world when they’re not really as gifted as they’d hoped?

C-3PO’s thought: “This is going to go viral, isn’t it? Oh, I hope not.”

General Alert Systems

Who hasn’t had an emergency alert blare at them from their cellphone or other connected devices? On Kashyyyk, we see how easy it is for the bureaucrats to corrupt those systems to commandeer our attentions and deliver messages of control and fear. I’m sure that on Kashyyyk, Fur Alerts soon enough led to broadcast governmental decreees.

Dirty Entertainment

We get to the most insidious thing that the Star Wars Holiday Special warned us about, the ease of access to smut and the disturbing obsession with it in a connected age. Chewbacca’s Dad, “Itchy,” foregoes any thought of helping watch his grandson or help his daughter-in-law so that he can watch a titillating program in the middle of the damn living room.

He even wears a special helmet for the full VR experience, like what Facebook is peddling right now to the world. All this in the pursuit of a sexual thrill. On a holiday while surrounded by his family.

It’s obviously an addiction, and a sad warning about the obsessive watching and consumption of dirty material that we’ve just accepted as part of our society now. Itchy should have been a warning to us of how not to be.

Instead, many have lost their way and found themselves acolytes of what is known by my pal and me as “Itchy’s Jerk-Off Helmet.”

Itchy's Jerk-Off Helmet Star Wars Holiday Special

Oh no. Sweet Heaven, no. Oh no no no no no.

“Itchy’s Jerk-Off Helmet” Wins Star Wars Trivia

But if it weren’t for this parable of VR pornographic addiction, we never would have named our Star Wars Trivia Night team “Itchy’s Jerk-Off Helmet.” We never would have made shirts in honor of

It’s the one and only Star Wars Trivia Night in which I’ve ever competed. I’m proud to say I led the team to a dominant victory, which was enough money to pay for everyone’s drinks and food. We were also the coolest cats in the entire place, nerds with the charisma of Jordan at a championship game.

Because as soon as those other teams heard “Itchy’s Jerk-Off Helmet” announced, they should have just saved themselves the trouble and handed their money over.

(I know that the term we used might be a little “blue,” but I’m just reporting the facts on this one. I won’t censor the truth! Also, I hope the term makes you laugh as much as I do.)

If you read this far: I don’t actually think that the Star Wars Holiday Special predicted any of this. I’ll leave the spine-locking cries “my franchise predicted everything that could possibly happen in human advancement” to the Trekkers.

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