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."
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.
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.
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.