16 Bewildering Facts About The Star Wars Holiday Special

If you exist in the proximity of anything with a screen, you don’t need to be told what the Star Wars Holiday Special is. It might be harder to explain why it is, or how in Hell -- but the what is a matter of baffling common knowledge. It’s even possible that you love Star Wars and/or hate yourself enough to have sat through it. But even if you experience it yourself, those wasted two hours doesn’t fully convey how utterly bonkers that lost piece of television actually is, or all the ways in which it changed the world -- amazingly, not always for the worse.

16

GEORGE LUCAS WASN'T INVOLVED IN THE PRODUCTION.
Lucas was busy working on The Empire Strikes Back. Still, it was all based on his ideas and he approveSource: Vanity Fair

15

IT WASN'T A CHRISTMAS SPECIAL.
Life Day is a Wookiee version of Thanksgiving, not Christmas. The show was broadcast in November 1978, a few days beforSource: Vanity Fair, StarWars.com (archived)

14

VARIETY SHOWS WERE A DYING GENRE.
By the late ’70s, the kind of musical variety shows the Holiday Special was trying to be were on its last legs. StilSource: Vanity Fair

13

IT WAS LONGER THAN IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE.
According to director David Acomba, the special was only supposed to be one hour long. The network, however,Source: StarWars.com (archived)

12

CARRIE FISHER INSISTED THAT SHE SHOULD GET TO SING.
Fisher appeared on the condition that she be allowed to showcase her singing skills. In the end, eSource: Vanity Fair

11

HARRISON FORD HAD TO BE BEGGED TO APPEAR.
At the time, actors thought of TV as a step down from movies, and Ford didn’t want to be involved with any aSource: Vanity Fair

10

MARK HAMILL WAS HIGH ON PAINKILLERS.
Hamill had been in a car accident in early ‘77, and surgeons had had to rebuild part of his face. His upsetting lSource: The Telegraph

9

THE SPECIAL HELPED DEFINE BOBA FETT’S ROUGHED-UP LOOK.
The makers of the animated segment thought Boba Fett (making his first appearance!) looked too Source: StarWars.com (archived)

8

THE MANDALORIAN HAS INCLUDED A FEW SHOUT-OUTS TO IT.
The rifle the Mandalorian uses never appears in the movies, and it wasn’t created for the show --Sources: The Bonkers Easter Egg Hiding in the New 'Star Wars' TV Show, Inverse

7

IT WAS JAMES EARL JONES’ FIRST CREDIT AS DARTH VADER.
Jones declined any credit for his work in the original movie. The Holiday Special was the first Sources: USA Today, Force Material

6

THE DIRECTOR LEFT EARLY INTO PRODUCTION.
Director David Acomba quit after shooting the Jefferson Starship number (or was fired; accounts differ). His Source: Vanity Fair, StarWars.com (archived)

5

ONE OF THE WRITERS WENT ON TO WORK ON THE NAKED GUN AND SCARY MOVIE.
Source: Vanity Fair

4

BEA ARTHUR IS CANON IN THE STAR WARS UNIVERSE.
Her character, the bartender Ackmena, shows up in the official tie-in anthology From a Certain Point ofSource: Wookieepedia

3

ROBIN WILLIAMS COULD HAVE HAD A PART. The original director recommended the then-unknown Robin Williams, after seeing him perform at a comedSource: Vanity Fair

2

THE ENDING LOOKS CHEAP BECAUSE THEY RUN OUT OF MONEY.
When the time came to shoot the Life Day ceremony, the production had run over budget. The soluSource: SlashFilm

1

IT WASN’T THE RESULT OF HACK WORK.
Despite what it might look, everyone involved had a proven track record. “Everybody was good,” said writer Lenny RiSource: Vanity Fair

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