The Best Worst Christmas Album Ever Produced AKA The Worst Best Christmas Album Ever Produced

Christmas in the StarsThe odds against Christmas being Christmas

Is 365 to 1

Where to begin… Christmas in the Stars is nothing short of an exhaustive, and thorough disaster. This album makes the destruction of Alderaan look as trivial as spilled blue milk. Released in 1980, this Ishtar-like running gag features Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, a series of random beeps as R2-D2, a full freakin’ orchestra, and of course, John Bongiovi, AKA Jon Bon Jovi on lead vocals, because, you know, nothing says “let’s go save the princess” like Bad Medicine.

Everyone will have a cookie

I brought extra for the Wookie

Christmas CreditsProduced by Meco (yes, THAT Meco), and co-produced by Tony Bongiovi, Jon Bon’s cousin, Christmas in the Stars takes the colorful world of Star Wars (then only two films), coerces it with a shiny piece of candy, and takes it out back to beat it senseless with a pillow case full of D batteries. What Can You Get A Wookie for Christmas (When He Already Owns A Comb?) is not only a genuine track from this album, IT’S ALSO THE SINGLE! Man, would I have LOVED to have been a fly on the wall during these pitch meetings. “Uh, yes Mr. Lucas. Thank you for taking the time to meet with us today. We all loved Empire. Brilliant film. Yes, yes. So, our idea for the Star Wars Christmas album is this… what if we have a series of non-denominational Christmas songs (see the oxymoron there?) narrated by R2 & 3PO? I hear there’s a talented young kid out of New Jersey with a great singing voice, we can get him to do the backing vocals. We could have a full symphony, utilize Ben Burtt’s amazing sound effects, and we can see if Ralph is available to do the cover. The single, are you ready… is titled, What Can You Get A Wookie for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb?). What do you think, George?” “Green lit. Now, pass me that tube of cookie dough. I’m in pre-production on a 2nd chin.”

The ONLY redeemable feature with regards to Christmas in the Stars is the Ralph McQuarrie painted cover (note how the 1980 Kris Kringle looks an awful lot like a 2013 George Lucas).  Christmas in the Stars is like receiving a pair of socks for Christmas every year from each of your relatives and loved ones. The anticipation far exceeds the end result, but at least your feet will be warm.

Planet of the Hoojibs

HoojibsWhat lies beyond the three decades old factory plastic that mummifies this copy of the 24 Page Read-Along Book and Record set, Star Wars The Further Adventures: Planet of the Hoojibs? Lost in a galaxy far, far away are the technical readouts of this planet’s astrological coordinates, as well as why the dragon-beast-falcon with Sarlacc-like tentacles is devouring gentlemen in red jumpsuits. The worried looks on the long-eared moth-creatures suggest that Hoojibs are certainly NOT a species with which to mess, which is surprising because “Hoojibs” is such an adorable name for a razor-horned demon-bird with a scaly-breast and vampire-like fangs.

What resembles an A-wing pilot on the far left looks to be enjoying a leisurely stroll through Griffith Park rather than on a dead sprint for his little Rebel life. Even Princess Leia in her out of place Hoth attire holding a blaster at a mysteriously odd angle looks more like she’s doing a Jillian Michaels routine than fearing her grotesque demise. Lucky for all, 3PO is there to translate the Hoojibs’ demand for better parking and an extended tapas happy hour.

The mystery of the Hoojibs will remain just that… my inner-four-year-old is sobbing with bated breath.

Let’s Begin Now

Not Cleared for BroadcastDistributed in the height of Star Wars sequel anticipation, this 1979 release of a children’s Read-Along book and record set hosts one of my first vivid memories of playing a record. Thanks to my first, pocket-sized (for very large pockets) turntable, I was able to enjoy an insanely abridged version of my favorite story… a story I had been convinced was the greatest ever told.

Original Motion PictureWhen listening to this little memory-harboring 7″ (with all its pop-filled, skip-tastic glory), I can still picture myself reenacting the drama-soaked adventures with my 3¾” Star Wars action figures and thinking, being a kid is the greatest thing on this, or any galaxy, regardless of placement in time and/or location. (A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… was easily replaced with Just a moment ago in a playroom very, very near…)

The ol’ girl has certainly seen better days, but I wouldn’t trade her for all seats on the Imperial Senate.