Even though he will never let the embarrassingly bad 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special see the light of day, over the past decade George Lucas himself has seen fit to sell out his classic sci-fi/fantasy creation in some other, nearly-as-awful (but not even as campy) ways. The Star Wars merchandising galaxy has moved far, far away from mere Happy Meals and action figures into a whole other marketing universe.
From Imperial stormtroopers appearing at NASCAR events, to Yoda pimping Diet Pepsi, to Chewbacca becoming spokes-Wookiee for Cingular Wireless â€” old-school fans have long said â€śno dealâ€ť to all of it. But now that phrase takes on new meaning when several beloved SW characters turn up on the April 28 episode of NBCâ€™s Deal or No Deal, further diluting any sense of wonder they may have held in the imaginations of fans.
Carrie Fisher, who didnâ€™t learn her lesson from appearing on that holiday special from a long time ago, returns to TV in this episode, and is joined by Chewbacca, R2-D2, and, depressingly, Darth Vader — Dark Lord of the Sith — who fills in as the Banker.
Itâ€™s a two-hour episode that has two die-hard Star Wars fans (though whether they stay fans after this is questionable) competing for nearly $2 million. One promising development, though, is that several of the models will be dressed in the Princess Leia â€śslave girlâ€ť outfit immortalized in Return of the Jedi. On the other extreme, however, several of them are completely covered in stormtrooper costumes.
Whereâ€™s a blast from the Death Star when you need it? You may find my lack of faith disturbing, but for true Star Wars fans … this isnâ€™t the show youâ€™re looking for. Move along.
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Photo credit: Adam Taylor/NBC