That Time the ‘Star Wars Holiday Special’ Predicted VR Porn

Chewbacca’s dad gets a little virtual interspecies love affair going.

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Dec 11 2015, 7:33pm

Image: LA Weekly

Let's get this out of the way: yes, the Star Wars Holiday Special is terrible and there's a reason it's never been released through official channels. But what no one talks about in their assessment is how weird it is. The first half-hour could easily have been directed by 80s gay underground filmmaker Tom Rubnitz, right down to the inclusion of a drag queen (or Harvey Korman as a reasonable facsimile, giving the creepiest cooking lesson short of … well, Tom Rubnitz's films.)

But the thing isn't just weird and campy and creepy and partly written by Bruce Vilanch. No, it was also ahead of its time. We're not talking about make-up or special effects or plot structure. No, we're talking about the deeply disturbing scene where Chewbacca's dad plugs into a VR machine and has a disco chanteuse whisper sweet nothings to him before performing a little song. He rewinds it again and again while making a strange, self-satisfied grin that seems to say, "Why yes, I am jerking off to this."

So, let's just spit it out then: this was a primetime family special, but the Star Wars Holiday Special totally predicted the rise of Oculus porn. Or whatever VR device is the one you go for. The creepiness starts at the two minute mark, with an overly-long interlude of strange music and visual effects. Then the gorgeous Diahann Carroll steps in to whisper some sweet, sweet nothings to Itchy, the patriarch of Chewbacca's clan. That's at about 3:50 in the above video.

"I know you're searching for me. Searching, searching. I'm here. My voice is for you alone. I'm found in your eyes only. I exist for you. I'm in your mind as you create me," Itchy's new VR girlfriend says. "Oh yes. I can feel my creation. (Flirty laugh.) I'm getting your message, are you getting mine?

"Oh, we are excited, aren't we? Well just relax, just relax. Now, we can have a good time, can't we? I'll tell you a secret, I find you adorable."

Itchy rewinds it a few times, making this face:

Image: The Conscious Alliance/YouTube

"I am your fantasy, I am your experience, so experience me," she says. "I'm your pleasure, so enjoy me."

Then she sings a song, because this is nominally a family special.

There's a lot that feels unnerving about this scene. Right down to, well, the strange, strange, sexually regressive dialogue of subservience, and it's only compounded by it being a woman of color. But it seems pretty clear: Chewie's dad was watching VR porn, a future we're only now on the cusp of realizing. The overtones will, roughly, be the same. It's about fantasy fulfillment for the audience, largely men, many of whom may make Itchy's same face.

Itchy was the first Oculus porn user. He's not the last. Just 37 years later, the nadir of an already bad moment is about to bloom forth into terrible, terrible reality. Try to unsee this when you watch The Force Awakens next week.

May God have mercy on our souls.

Read more: The Star Wars Holiday Special Was The Worst Thing on Television Ever