The Star Wars Holiday Special (TV Movie 1978) Poster


According to Carrie Fisher, Lucas gave her a copy of the special as a gift for recording the DVD commentary for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). She claims that she plays it at parties when she wants her guests to leave.
George Lucas famously tried (and failed) to buy up all master copies to make sure it was never broadcast again.
The special has never been released on video, but bootleg videos have been circulating for years, and are now all over the internet. George Lucas remarked at an Australian convention that "if I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every bootlegged copy of that program and smash it."
The character played by Art Carney is an early incarnation of Lando, who is described in early drafts (Dec 1978) of The Empire Strikes Back in Lucas' notes as being a gambler who runs a general store on the Wookiee planet, "a guy who trades with the Indians."
Harrison Ford was particularly reluctant to appear in this special but eventually was convinced.
A scene featuring Darth Vader talking to an officer on the Death Star was actually cut footage from Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). In that scene, Leslie Schofield, who portrayed Chief Bast in the original film, is retconned as an unidentified officer (as Bast died on the Death Star). Additionally, an unused scene of stormtroopers searching Tatooine from Episode IV is used.
Bea Arthur claimed she only appeared in this special because her youngest was a big fan of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977).
According to producer Mitzie Welch, the sequence with Diahann Carroll was intended to be "soft-core porno that would pass the censors."
George Lucas came up with the idea of focusing on Chewbacca's family. Writer Bruce Vilanch objected because the dialogue would all be in the Wookiee language but Lucas refused to change it. According to Vilanch, Lucas originally intended for the story of Chewbacca's family to appear somewhere in the "Star Wars" saga.
The Holiday Special is the first time that James Earl Jones was credited with performing the voice of Darth Vader. The next time would be five years later, in 1983, during the end credits of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983).
According to David Acomba, he recommended Robin Williams for the special but the producers turned him down.
The Life Day song Carrie Fisher sings is based on the theme from Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). Fisher demanded that she be allowed to sing in this special but did not like the song.
The Cantina sequence took an entire day to shoot. The actors in alien costumes began to pass out due to lack of oxygen. Oxygen tanks were provided for them to use between takes.
The first appearance of Boba Fett, in an animated segment produced by Nelvana Studios (which later produced Star Wars: Droids (1985) and Ewoks (1985)).
David Acomba was the original director but he quit after a few days of shooting. He directed the musical numbers by Bea Arthur and Jefferson Starship. Acomba also commissioned the animated segment featuring Boba Fett.
The large white rat suit in the Cantina scene was made for The Food of the Gods (1976).
Ben Burtt created the sounds that Malla and Itchy made from recordings of bears and lions at Olympic Game Farm in Sequim, Washington. For Lumpy's sounds, he used a recording of a baby bear at the San Diego Zoo.
WILLHELM SCREAM: When the stormtrooper Han tangles with stumbles and falls from the balcony of Chewbacca's treehouse.
There was talk of a possible spin-off TV series but it never got past that early stage.
Was called "Stjärnornas krig och fred" ("Star Wars and Peace") when it aired in Sweden.
The Wookiee planet is referred to during the special as Kazzook, which was one of the names George Lucas originally considered using before it became known as Kashyyyk.
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Chewbacca's family appeared again in a children's book titled "Star Wars: The Wookiee Storybook", which was published by Random House in 1979.
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This special aired in Canada one hour before it aired in the U.S.
Contrary to some reports, Kenny Baker did not perform as R2-D2 in any segment of the Star Wars Holiday Special. A remote control version was used instead.
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Riffed by the guys from MST3K, Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy and Michael J. Nelson, under the Rifftrax name.
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