Sunday, July 30, 2023

A Disturbance In The Force (2023) Fantasia 2023

Ever wonder how the Star War Holiday Special got made? If so, and if not, this delightful documentary is going to explain what happened and why.

This is a great documentary. Made of new interviews, archival clips and lots of love, this is the story of the two hour variety special about the Star Wars gang going to Chewie’s home planet for Life Day. It’s a mix of schlocky story, variety numbers and a 12 minute cartoon that introduced Boba Fett and made him a cult character despite having almost no time in the actual films.

This is a 90 minute film about special that may have been made just to spite a studio executive who told Lucas that his film would be gone from theaters by September. Thrown together in the wild west days before Lucasfilm got a lock on the saga of Star Wars the show was an effort to keep Star Wars alive in the minds of fans (like that was going to happen). It resulted in something Lucas would prefer no one ever talk about, but which is canon in the hearts of pretty much everyone who is a fan, despite it being in the words of Lucas “so bad as to be kind of enjoyable”.

I had a blast watching this film. What I loved about it is that it puts the Special into the context of popular culture. It explains not only why and how the show happened but it also explains the marketing that made Star Wars what it is today. It’s a film that speaks to more than just Star Wars but our culture and society. It shows us how we got to here and why that happened.

While I think the Special is mostly awful it has some great bits in it (the cartoon), this doc is a blast. Made with love it’s a celebration of an outlier of something that is very much part of our cultural DNA that reveals it to be a key stone to understanding it. Best of all DISTURBANCE is just great fun on it’s own terms.


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