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.
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."
George Lucas famously tried (and failed) to buy up all master copies to make sure it was never broadcast again.
Mark Hamill had been in a near-fatal car accident a few weeks earlier, and had just had reconstructive facial surgery.
According to David Acomba, he recommended Robin Williams for the special but the producers turned him down.
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 - The Return of the Jedi (1983).
The 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.
George Lucas came up with the idea of focusing on Chewbacca's family. Writer Bruce Vilanch objected because the dialogue would all be in Wookie 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.
According to producer Mitzie Welch, the sequence with Diahann Carroll was intended to be "soft-core porno that would pass the censors."
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.
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.
Harrison Ford was particularly reluctant to appear in this special but eventually was convinced.
There was talk of a possible spin-off TV series but it never got past that early stage.
Bea Arthur claimed she only appeared in this special because her youngest was a big Star Wars fan.
This special aired in Canada one hour before it aired in the U.S.
The first appearance of Boba Fett, in an animated segment produced by Nelvana Studios (which later produced Droids (1985) and Ewoks (1985)).
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 Han Solo shoots a storm trooper off of a balcony in Chewbacca's home.
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The large white rat suit in the Cantina scene was made for The Food of the Gods (1976).
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