The Star Wars Holiday Special (TV Movie 1978) Poster


The first appearance of Boba Fett, in an animated segment produced by Nelvana Studios (which later produced Droids (1985) and Ewoks (1985)).
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."
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).
Harrison Ford was particularly reluctant to appear in this special but eventually was convinced.
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.
Bea Arthur claimed she only appeared in this special because her youngest was a big Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) fan.
Scenes featuring Darth Vader on the Death Star were actually cut footage from Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977).
According to David Acomba, he recommended Robin Williams for the special but the producers turned him down.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The large white rat suit in the Cantina scene was made for The Food of the Gods (1976).
When Harrison Ford was interviewed about "Cowboys and Aliens", he admitted that he had not seen it.
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.
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This special aired in Canada one hour before it aired in the U.S.
Chewbacca's planet is actually referred to during the special as Kazzook, which was one of the names George Lucas considered using for the Wookiee homeworld before it became known officially as Kashyyyk.
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George Lucas has the head of a Stormtrooper and an R2D2 in his office.
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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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