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The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

Chewbacca and Han Solo try to get to the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk to celebrate Life Day, but are impeded by an Imperial blockade. Chewie's family passes the time with various forms of entertainment.

Directors:

Steve Binder, David Acomba (uncredited)
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1,597 ( 223)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Hamill ... Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford ... Han Solo
Carrie Fisher ... Princess Leia Organa
Anthony Daniels ... C-3PO
Peter Mayhew ... Chewbacca
Kenny Baker ... R2-D2 (as R2-D2)
James Earl Jones ... Darth Vader (voice)
Bea Arthur ... Ackmena (as Beatrice Arthur)
Art Carney ... Saun Dann
Diahann Carroll ... Mermeia Holographic Wow
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)
Harvey Korman ... Krelman / Chef Gormaanda / Amorphian Instructor
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Storyline

It is Life Day, a holiday that is celebrated on Chewbacca's home planet of 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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! See more »


Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 November 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The 'Star Wars' Christmas Special See more »

Filming Locations:

Burbank, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (re-cut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Forty years later, almost all of the surviving cast who appeared in this show are still embarrassed by its existence, C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels said that George Lucas has been known to walk out of interviews when an interviewer starts to ask questions about this show, and has said that the show will never be made available again. In the 1990s, Lucas said that he believed the master tapes no longer existed. Harrison Ford has said that he doesn't remember much about appearing in it, and has never seen it, so there's no point in asking him any questions. Mark Hamill has cleverly dodged most of the questions asked of him about it. Only Carrie Fisher talked about it publicly. See more »

Goofs

In the original film, the Millennium Falcon's flight deck had room for five people to be in the same shot together, a back panel of flashing lights, and a distinctive round blue VDU display high above Chewbacca's left shoulder. The flight deck is much smaller in this show, and the backdrop is obviously just a painted wall. The television special was filmed, on video tape, on a soundstage in Burbank, Hollywood, while the original Millennium Falcon set footage was filmed on 35mm film at Elstree film studios in England. See more »

Quotes

Chef Gormaanda: Stir, whip, stir, whip, whip, whip, stir, beat.
See more »

Crazy Credits

R2-D2 as R2-D2 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Escape from the Commercials (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Light the Sky on Fire
(uncredited)
Performed by Jefferson Starship
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Don't talk to me about Episode I until you've seen this unholy mess
20 April 2004 | by The_Film_CricketSee all my reviews

Not long ago I attended a party give by my Star Wars group and as a prize in the trivia contest I received - among other things - a VHS copy of The Star Wars Holiday Special. Having now seen it I have begun to wonder if it wouldn't have best been served as the booby prize. Anyone who obsessively bashes Episode I for being too lame, too mamby pamby or too childish obviously has yet to set eyes of this 1978 hunk of Christmas cow flop strung together on the authority of George Lucas' ex wife Marsha. I know they got divorced sometime after this special aired but I'm guessing that is she had it in mind to ruin him, this was the perfect weapon.

It's been 25 years since CBS hoisted this unholy nightmare on the American public and in that time I had never seen it until last night and oh my lord I could have gone another 25, 40, 50, 300 years without ever having it drilled into my brain a second time.

This is without a doubt the most horrific thing I have ever witnessed on screen and I've seen Howard the Duck! What in the world possessed anyone to soil the Star Wars name with this dreck? My friend assured me that the special was actually pretty good if you got past all the Wookie manure - BUT THE WOOKIES TAKE OVER THE WHOLE SHOW!!!!

The story takes place sometime after Episode IV and finds Chewbacca's family waiting for him to come home for something called Life Day (I dunno, maybe it's a day where they worship board games). The wookies are nothing short of nauseating. Mama bear (Chewie's wife) gushes over a picture of her beloved and is forever scolding Chewie's son Lumpy. Lumpy (yes, Lumpy) whines, disobeys and aggravates the stew out of his mother. Sadly, he becomes the central character.

The most curious character is Itchy, the grandfather (where's Scratchy?) a gray haired old codger with a serious under bite and a strange fixation on Diahann Carroll. She plays a character credited as "Holographic Wow". He's given a gift for Life Day that looks something like a hair dryer, the kind you might have found in a beauty parlor when segregation was in effect. This strange device offers gramps a vision of Carroll superimposed on something that looks like a dirty bathtub drain. He gets so excited at one point that he begins beating the chair arm rapidly with his fist. And that's all I have to say about that.

Chewie's family isn't the most repulsive thing in this mess. No, the fingernails-on-the-blackboard award goes to Harvey Korman who plays three ungainly characters, one more jaw-dropping than the last. First, he plays a rather odd looking female robotic chef who hosts a cooking show and gets a little excited when she gets to the part where she is suppose to stir and whip at the same time (the mixture that is). The second is the most bizarre, a robotic instructor who gives Lumpy instructions on how to put an electronic device together and malfunctions in ways that just shouldn't be seen on public television. The third is a strange creature who drinks through a hole in the top of his head and has a fixation on Bea Arthur (don't ask). Bea Arthur by the way plays the Cantina bartender and has to get everyone out because the Empire has imposed a curfew. How does she clear the place? She sings!

In the midst of all the guest star hooey are Mark Hamill smacked with so much eye make-up that he looks like his own action figure. And then there's Harrison "what in the heck am I doing here" Ford and a hopped-up, glassy-eyed Carrie Fisher looking like . . . well there is a Betty Ford joke here but it's just too easy.

I will say that the day is almost saved by an odd but kind of fun animated sequence involving Luke and the droids befriending Boba Fett who is secretly leading them to Vader. It's cute and I would like to have seen more but I have yet to understand why Han's animated face looks like a Clone Trooper helmet (shrug).

3PO appears briefly in this special for recognition sake and truthfully when it was all over I was surprised that he didn't once muse "How did we get into this mess?" I would have asked that question myself.


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