We’ve all a taste for the infamous, suppressed Star Wars Holiday Special. Who among us can resist a 97-minute variety show set in the Star Wars universe featuring Bea Arthur as an intergalactic bar wench lustily warbling a Broadway-style number to drunk aliens? Or, indeed, Chewbacca’s son, Lumpy? You’d have to have a heart made of carbonite. But there is another, more obscure artefact of ill-conceived Star Wars seasonal celebration: the 1980 album Christmas in the Stars.
It’s possibly more interesting because it’s not completely terrible. Or, at least, it doesn’t have a completely terrible pedigree. Many of the songs were written by Tony Award-winning composer Maury Yeston, original Star Wars sound designer Ben Burtt does the R2 and Chewbacca sound effects, and it features the first recorded appearance of one John Bongiovi, on holiday classic ‘R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas’.
The brainchild of Mr Jovi’s cousin Tony Bongiovi and Meco Monardo – who had also produced the disco rework ‘Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band’, still the world’s highest-selling instrumental single – it’s a weird ride and CBC Music has the exhaustive oral history.