Ranking the songs in the Star Wars Holiday Special

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Nov 17, 2017

Happy Life Day, fellow nerds! In case you haven’t burrowed so deeply into Star Wars canon that you've become a mole person, let me explain. Life Day is a Wookiee holiday, celebrated on November 17, because that’s the one and only day that the Star Wars Holiday Special aired. After that single airing, it was sealed into a vault or buried in the desert, or whatever it was that George Lucas decided to do with the reel. So now it is only to be re-lived by those of us willing to download the monstrosity and sit through it. It’s part Star Wars, part wacky '70s variety hour. In it you’ll find disconnected comedy sketches, a very loose plot, and random bursts into song. On this, Life Day 2017, let’s delve into the latter.

There are four original songs written into the Star Wars Holiday Special, and they are all spectacular...ly awful. Here’s your definitive ranking.

4. “Light the Sky on Fire,” performed by Jefferson Starship

This little number distracts the imperial guards from searching Chewbacca’s home too thoroughly and catching his family of only-Wookiee-speaking Wookiees communicating with their rebellious patriarch. This comes in at number four because even though the song is fine, the stage show is lackluster. The band is basically riding on the hot pink light show to keep the energy up, because their dance moves are nonexistent. Also, this song is about UFOs, but you’re literally in a space opera, Jefferson Starship. What even. Shout out to the distractingly phallic mic, though.

3. “This Minute Now,” performed by Diahann Carroll

The only reason this isn’t number four is because the Jefferson Starship performance is so boring. In this song, Diahann Carroll sings a song to Chewie’s decrepit father Itchy so that Itchy can "clean his lightsaber," if you know what I mean. Which he decides to do in the middle of the living room. As one does. Carroll opens the song by breathily thanking him for creating her. Then sings about his fantasy. It’s a really gross scene, and I hate it. Thanks!

2. Life Day celebration song, performed by Carrie Fisher

I know, I know. Carrie Fisher should be number one. But this is … not a good performance, my friends. All three of our favorite Star Wars leads phone it in in this special. If I'm being honest, Carrie’s winning attribute here is that an old Wookiee is not using her song as a masturbation tool in the middle of his goddamn living room. Plus, the Life Day song is only like a minute and a half. Yes, please.

That said, the song is a very clear instruction manual to tell us what we celebrate on Life Day: 

- Joy
- Living joyously
- Peace
- Harmony
- Getting through the darkness
- Being led to light, which we will then celebrate
- Someday getting to:
     o Live
     o Laugh
     o Dream
     o Grow
     o Trust
     o Love
     o Be

1. "Closing Time," by Semisonic

Just kidding. Sort of.

1. “Goodnight, but Not Goodbye,” performed by Bea Arthur

Bea Arthur canonically runs the Mos Eisley cantina. Bea Arthur. That wins. Even beyond just the sheer force of nature that is Bea Arthur, this is a fun song to sing along to. I’m a big fan of musicals in general, and the rhyming structure and cadence of this bit are genuinely fun. Don’t @ me. Bea Arthur treated this 5-minute song like it was the audition of a lifetime, and I am flabbergasted that she didn’t end up in Episodes V or VI. Seriously, don’t @ me.