Thursday, January 20, 2011
Friend Melissa (AKA Buffy) sent me this link to Stark Raving Mad Mommy's blog awhile back.
Like Melissa/Buffy, I am a big fan of S.R.M.M. We share a certain . . . perspective . . . warped though it may be. (Me and S.R.M.M., I mean - although, come to think of it, Melissa/Buffy's right there with us on the perspective front.)
The topic of this particular S.R.M.M. blog post: the ill-advised Star Wars Christmas special. God, I remember this thing like it was yesterday. Notwithstanding that I was in elementary school at the time, and totally jazzed about anything-and-everything Star Wars, I remember being horribly embarrassed for everyone involved with this steaming pile of bantha dung - specifically, for Carrie Fisher, who contributed a "vocal performance" (I'm using that term loosely) to the proceedings. I also remember being somewhat aware of the fact that, if an eight year-old was embarrassed by something (particularly something involving Star Wars), that something must be REALLY, REALLY, AWFULLY BAD.
S.R.M.M. has provided a seven-minute-or-so clip from the special. Check it out, and scroll to the end. The end confirms another memory that I've been carrying around for thirty years - namely, my youthful surprise at learning that COMMON AREAS IN WOOKIE HOUSES LOOKED A WHOLE LOT LIKE MY FRIENDS' REC ROOMS. As in, they featured stained ceiling beams and Danish Modern furniture. You can see examples of this design aesthetic in the clip. Not pictured - but the picture of them in my mind is crystal-clear - the Wookie bunk beds. Chewbacca's kid had a timber bed set straight outta the Sears Wish Book, circa 1977.
Again, although I was a fairly little kid, I can recall feeling a certain amount of skepticism over the whole interior decor thing. Other items generating shock and confusion in my little-kid brain:
1) Wookies holding hands and saying grace. "Wow, Chewbacca's house looks like the house of my Methodist friend down the street - and they have dinner like Methodists, too." (I was raised Catholic, which meant that we didn't hold hands at the dinner table. Holding hands would have interfered with the whole crossing-oneself bit. But I am Methodist now, and we say grace exactly like the Wookies.)
2) The concept of Chewbacca having a kid. I had him pegged as a swinging single, carousing around the universe, picking up space tarts with Han Solo. So to find out that he had a wife . . . and a kid . . . and he just left them at home? Mind you, in addition to coming from a Catholic family, I came from a military family, so I was personally familiar with the concept of a father who occasionally had to leave home when duty called. But this fact of life did not, in my mind, TRANSLATE TO WOOKIES.
3) Wookies as tree-dwellers. Um, those would have to be some super-big trees, wouldn't they? And Wookies seemed so committed to bipedalism; they just didn't appear BUILT for tree-climbing. Did they have to live above ground because of a predator issue? A predator who targeted eight foot-tall Bigfoot-like creatures with giant canines and crossbows? That would have to be some predator.
By the way, these are the types of questions with which I routinely pelted my mother, while she was trying to cook dinner or otherwise go about her daily life. Sorry, Mom. If it makes you feel better (and I know that it does), your grandkids give as good as you got.
I didn't ask these questions of my mom, though - or, for that matter, of my dad. Because, again, my little-kid brain was SHOCKED AND HORRIFIED by the wrongness of it all, and instinctively knew that shameful and bad things were not to be discussed in polite company but, rather, should be buried deep in the subconscious.
Only to surface thirty years later after receiving a hilarious e-mail from a friend . . . .