The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

TV Movie  |   |  Adventure, Family, Musical  |  17 November 1978 (USA)
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Chewbacca and Han Solo try to get home to Chewie's family to celebrate Life Day, which includes various forms of entertainment.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
R2-D2 (as R2-D2)
Darth Vader (voice)
Ackmena (as Beatrice Arthur)
Saun Dann
Marty Balin ...
Holographic Band Singer (as The Jefferson Starship)
Craig Chaquico ...
Holographic Band Member (as The Jefferson Starship)
David Freiberg ...
Holographic Band Singer (as The Jefferson Starship)
Paul Kantner ...
Holographic Band Member (as The Jefferson Starship)
Krelman / Chef Gormaanda / Amorphian instructor


It is Life Day, a holiday that is celebrated on Chewbacca's home planet Kashyyyk. Chewie and Han Solo are trying to get to the planet where Chewie's family is waiting for him, but the Empire is out searching for the Rebels, giving everyone a hard time. While we are waiting we get a look at the everyday life of a Wookiee family. We meet all the familiar characters from Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) and we are introduced to Boba Fett during a short cartoon. We also pay a visit to the Cantina and meet all the monsters again. Written by Kynde

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Luke Skywalker and Han Solo battle evil Imperial forces to help Chewbacca reach his imperiled family on the Wookiee planet - in time for Life Day, their most important day of the year!

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

17 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The 'Star Wars' Christmas Special  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| | (re-cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Harrison Ford was interviewed about "Cowboys and Aliens", he admitted that he had not seen it. See more »


Saundan: Don't worry Malla. I know just why you're calling. You're wondering when that shaggy carpet you ordered will arrive at your home.
See more »

Crazy Credits

R2-D2 as R2-D2 See more »


Referenced in Christmas in South Park (2000) See more »


Star Wars Themes
by John Williams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Of course you want to watch it.....
12 August 2003 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

...seriously, what Star Wars fan *wouldn't* want to watch this? Well, maybe a few - I remember when this first aired, this young kid was totally psyched, and got all my snacks ready and sat at the TV -- and after 15 minutes, I turned if OFF. I am going to try to give a different take towards this one than the other reviewers, because of course they are all correct, this is an amazingly bad piece of garbage.

First off, yep, I and no one else who is a Star Wars fan who has seen this will ever disagree it is complete and total crap. But you know the old saying about train wrecks, you just *have* to watch them, this is that. Because as unbelievably horrible as it is, and as totally unfathomably bad every scene is, as a Star Wars fan you wanna see these characters in new scenes.

It IS cool seeing "new" footage of Han and Chewie in the Falcon's cockpit. It's cool seeing Luke do his thing, Leia, the droids, everyone, although this is nothing but a huge mess, you gotta like seeing these characters again somewhere. Of course, as you watch you may say to yourself that you wish you had NEVER seen this, because it taints the memory of these great Star Wars characters. So was actually seeing this special worth it? If you can keep your feelings about Star Wars in check and dismiss this easily, sure it is.

The Boba Fett appearance in the animated sequence is very cool, best thing about the show probably. It's too short though, especially in such a long show.

But you know, this is one part of the Star Wars universe where I would love some additional information. The special itself we have - but this is the only piece of the Star Wars universe we know almost nothing of the background about. How was this show proposed? What were the creative meetings for this abomination like? Who felt this should be 2 hours long in broadcast time? What did the actors say and feel when they read what they were supposed to do? How did the recording of Carrie Fisher's "Star Wars song" go? Did everyone on screen just think this was a big joke before it was through?

And most importantly...did absolutely no one whatsoever in power have any ability at all to see this final product and realize what a complete piece of garbage this was, and what a blight on the Star Wars universe this would surely become? Were there stipulations that said this HAD to air, and they couldn't even trim it down?

I can't believe after creating such a masterpiece like "Star Wars" that George Lucas didn't have the eyes to see what a total hack job this Star Wars Holiday TV Special was. (Even with "Episode 2" in existence I still have to give George the benefit on this one.)

So c'mon....what is the REAL untold story behind this...this....this thing?

Maybe the "E" network can help?

THAT would make for a much better tale than anything on this special.

But you gotta watch.

One more interesting note -- at a sci-fi con in New Jersey in the later 90's, at the end when the place was clearing out, one dealer that was selling tapes still had his TV on and he had none other than the Star Wars Holiday Special playing, maybe hoping to sell a last copy or two. Then, none other than convention guests Peter Mayhew (Chewie) and Kenny Baker (R2D2), by themselves, passed this dealer's table on their way out, and saw the Special playing, and then they started staring intently at it. Their jaws just dropped. The dealer was shocked when he noticed them (he was packing his stuff) and then he said something like "hi guys," and both Peter and Kenny answered with something along the lines of that they haven't thought about the Special in many years. Then Peter said "c'mon Kenny" and they walked off. Interesting!

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