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The Star Wars Holiday Special

David Acomba (uncredited)
Steve Binder
George Lucas (stock footage)


Joe Layton
Jeff Starsh
Ken Welch
Mitzie Welch


George Lucas (story)[1]
Pat Proft (screenplay)
Leonard Ripps (screenplay)
Bruce Vilanch (screenplay)
Rod Warren (screenplay)
Mitzie Welch (screenplay)


Mark Hamill
Harrison Ford
Carrie Fisher
Anthony Daniels
Peter Mayhew




November 17, 1978


97 min.


$1,000,000+ ?




Rebellion era

Preceded by

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

Followed by

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

"Well, I know that George Lucas doesn't like it at all—when I was working on The Illustrated Star Wars Universe, he told me that he would be happy if every copy could be tracked down and burned..."
Kevin J. Anderson

The Star Wars Holiday Special was a two-hour television special (including commercials) set in the Star Wars galaxy. It was broadcast on Friday, November 17, 1978 on CBS-TV from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST), but was so poorly received that it has never been re-aired. The main storyline of the film (set in 0 ABY) transpires on the Wookiee home planet of Kashyyyk. During the course of the film, scenes also take place in outer space and in spacecraft such as the Millennium Falcon and an Imperial Star Destroyer. The variety-show segments and cartoon introduce a few other locales, such as a cantina on the desert planet of Tatooine and a water planet known as Panna. Chewbacca and Han Solo visit Kashyyyk, Chewbacca's home world, to celebrate the Wookiee holiday Life Day. Along the way, they are pursued by agents of the Galactic Empire who are searching the planet for Rebel agents. The special introduces three members of Chewbacca's family: his father, Itchy, his wife, Malla, and his son Lumpy. The program also features cameos (although the cameo actors are listed as stars) by other Star Wars characters, including Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, R2-D2, Darth Vader, and Princess Leia (who sings the film's "theme song", set to the music of John Williams's Star Wars theme, near the end). The program is probably best known for an animated cartoon produced by Toronto-based Nelvana that introduces, for the first official time in the Star Wars universe, the bounty hunter Boba Fett. Though the program received excellent ratings for its one-time airing, Star Wars creator George Lucas's involvement in the special's production was limited, and he was unhappy with the results. He reportedly removed his story credit from the special, despite creating the original story material for it. It has never been re-aired or officially released on video, but has been widely bootlegged by fans, many of whom consider it ironically hilarious or kitschy. Despite disagreements over its quality, this film is considered the first canonical sequel to A New Hope. It was the first film produced, in a total of four Star Wars spin-off films.

The Holiday Special is important for being the first film-length Star Wars story to appear following the release of Episode IV, as well as for showing an expanded look at parts of that universe. The main focus of the film, which is intended to tie together the stories of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, is the Blockade of Kashyyyk. For the most part, though, the plot serves as little more than a means to string together a series of musical numbers, celebrity cameo appearances, and other variety-show acts, including songs and comedy routines by such 1970s celebrities as Jefferson Starship, Diahann Carroll, Art Carney, Harvey Korman, and Beatrice Arthur.



Han and Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon, on the run from the Empire

It is Life Day. Chewbacca, accompanied by his friend, Han Solo, is on his way home to see his family and to celebrate the holiday. Not long after departing Tatooine, the pair find themselves being chased by two Star Destroyers, which Han collectively refers to as an "Imperial garbage scow". After a short argument as to whether they should abort the mission, the decision is made to move forward. Han pulls back the hyperspace controls, and as the stars streak before the Falcon, Han and Chewbacca escape the grasp of the Empire, once again.

A long time ago
in a galaxy far,
far away…

On Kashyyyk, Chewbacca's family are anxiously awaiting and preparing for his return. The three, for the most part, are going about their everyday lives. Itchy is carving an X-wing toy for Lumpy, Malla is working in the kitchen, and Lumpy is playing with an already-complete X-wing toy that his grandfather had already apparently made for him. On the family table, Malla has prepared a bowl of Wookiee-ookiees. Lumpy attempts to sneak one before dinner, but Malla catches him and asks him to take out the day's garbage. Upon arriving at the outer rail of the house, on the outside deck, he looks down into the great depths of the forests of Kashyyyk. After setting down the garbage, he decides to take the dangerous move of climbing up on the railing, and walking along it for a bit; Malla and Itchy are unaware.

Back inside the tree house, Malla and Itchy are worried, as Chewbacca has not arrived yet. Malla takes down a framed picture of Chewbacca and Itchy notices her worries. he reassures her that Chewbacca is safe, and she then returns the picture. Lumpy comes back into the house. Malla and Itchy are ignorant to what has just done outside.


Acrobatics segment

Itchy reaches into a cabinet and gets down some sort of activity capsule. He shows it to Lumpy. Malla, however, sees this, and objects. Itchy convinces her otherwise, and inserts the capsule into a round table-machine, similar to the Dejarik one seen on board the Millennium Falcon in A New Hope. After switching on the device, Itchy urges Lumpy to sit down. Lumpy does, and begins to view a 3D-computer generated group of circus performers, who perform many unique acts. At the conclusion of the performance, Lumpy applauds the acts, and switches the machine off. Malla now needs him to help wash the dishes. He resists and complains, and even tries to get Itchy to side with him. Itchy is not as sympathetic this time, however. He agrees with Malla, and Lumpy proceeds to wash the dishes.

Luke and R2-D2

Luke and R2-D2 working on Luke's X-wing

Malla and Itchy begin to worry again. Malla switches on a viewscreen-computer, and runs a search for any starships in the area. She is hoping the Falcon will be found in the scan. However, the computer returns the result of "no starships in the area." She is deeply disappointed, and switches off the viewscreen. They then contact Luke Skywalker (apparently via the HoloNet), who, along with his faithful droid, R2-D2, is working on his X-wing starfighter. Malla retrieves a hidden communication device from within a cabinet that allows her to communicate with Chewbacca and presumably other Rebels. Luke does not know what has happened and suggests that, knowing Han and Chewbacca, they probably stopped off somewhere, and would arrive soon. Luke begins to have a few problems of his own when the part he is working on begins to emit a large amount of steam. Seeing that he is busy, Malla shuts off the communication viewscreen, still with no luck in finding the whereabouts of Han and Chewbacca.

Saun Dann segment

Saun Dann in his shop

Next, Malla contacts Saun Dann, a local Human trader on the planet. Saun Dann, a middle-aged, gray haired man, is in the middle of a deal when Malla contacts him, so he must deal with it first. The shop of Saun Dann's appears in a style similar to the living quarters on Tatooine. As he is doing the deal, Malla views everything going on. An Imperial guard has let himself into Saun Dann's shop to look around. Saun Dann suggests a few items, for which the guard expresses no interest. In the middle of the deal, when the guard is still looking at things, Saun Dann initiates conversation with Malla, after he notices her on the viewscreen. He lets her know through a carefully-worded message that Han and Chewbacca are on their way, and should be arriving soon. He does not, however, know of their current whereabouts. After shutting off the viewscreen, he suggests an item to the guard that interests him. Saun Dann shows him a groomer that is multi-functional. The guard takes the item, giving Saun Dann nothing in return. Saun Dann has no choice but to let him take it, and he sarcastically says that he considers it a gift.

Darth Vader and an unknown Chief, discussing the blockade of Kashyyyk

Orbiting Tatooine is Darth Vader's Star Destroyer. Vader has been alerted to the escape of the Falcon from the grasp of the Empire. He was not ready to let them escape a second time. Vader had been on the search for the rebels who had destroyed the first Death Star in A New Hope, not long ago, and was obsessed with locating the ones responsible. The Empire wanted the rebels gone in general. On the Star Destroyer, Chief Bast, one of the few to escape the destruction of the first Death Star, informs Vader that a blockade has been set up around Kashyyyk, and a search had been started on the planet. Vader is pleased, and informs him to continue the search, even if it takes searching every household in the system.

Bantha Rump segment

Malla watching the viewscreen while cooking

Back on Kashyyyk, Malla is preparing part of the dinner for the night's feast for her family. She is preparing Bantha rump, with the help of Chef Gormaanda, a four-armed alien, which Malla watches on the kitchen HoloNet viewscreen. This cook, a female with four arms, is shown to enjoy her cooking very much. When she gets out of control, speeding up with her four arms, Malla can't keep up, and switches the viewscreen off. She resorts to cooking the Bantha Rump herself.

On the Falcon, Chewbacca and Han had just come out of hyperspace not far from Kashyyyk, which was their destination. Unaware of the blockade, they find quite a surprise, four TIE fighters, blocking their way. After taking out a few using remote controls from the cockpit, Han resorts to going down into the quad cannons to use them manually; Chewbacca takes the main controls.

"This Minute Now" segment

Meanwhile, on Kashyyyk, Itchy is resting in his chair, while Malla is walking around. Suddenly, an Imperial officer announces on the viewscreen that a blockade has been set up around the planet, and that the Empire has declared martial law. Immediately after the announcement, they get a knock at the door. Frightened, Itchy goes to open it. To their relief, rather than the empire at the door, it is Saun Dann, the trader with whom Malla had earlier conversed. He brings them all Life Day gifts. To Malla, he gives a music box. To Lumpy, he hands a box, with an unknown present in it. And, finally, after Malla and Lumpy had went to enjoy their presents, he gives Itchy his present. To Itchy, he gives a memory chip, which he inserts into Itchy's virtual-reality chair. It is Mermeia, apparently a humanoid female, whom Itchy seems to have an interest in. Itchy excitedly watches her perform a song, while making suggestive comments and body language.

Leia and C-3PO

Leia and C-3PO at the Rebel base

Following this "experience" of Itchy's, the focus shifts to the Rebel base, where Princess Leia and C-3PO are hard at work on something. Malla contacts them via viewscreen to alert them of the lateness of Han and Chewbacca. Like before with the others, she can offer no help. However, she does ask if Malla is alone, and she is relieved that someone is there to protect everyone, Saun Dann. With little help from Leia, Malla switches off the communication device. Saun Dann then smells Wookiee-ookiees baking, and he and Malla go to get some.

Han and Chewbacca approaching Kashyyyk in the Falcon

Back on the Falcon, Han and Chewbacca are approaching Kashyyyk. They are glad to finally almost be there. Han notices the abundance of Imperials in the area, so they decide to land on a safe section of the planet, on the north side. However, this is far the Wookiee household, and will be a long walk. After a protest from Chewbacca, they finally decide to land the ship. As they enter the atmosphere of Kashyyyk, Lumpy hears the roaring of the ship. Everyone in the Wookiee house gets excited, and all run to the door. They believe Han and Chewbacca might be at it. But they are in for quite the surprise. As Malla opens the door, two stormtroopers hold their blaster pistols at her, with two Imperial officers of different ranks behind them.

"Light the Sky on Fire" segment

Imperial officers questioning Chewbacca's family

Malla roars in horror, but the Imperials force their way in anyway. The head officer checks the house for the residents. He finds that the male Wookiee, Chewbacca, is missing. He orders a search. The officers rudely look through the house, nearly discovering the hidden communication device in the house, which would have spelled certain doom for the family and exposed them as allies with the Rebellion. To try to distract the attention of the Empire, Saun Dann suggests for he and Malla to prepare some food for everyone in the kitchen. While they are doing this, Saun Dann turns on Malla's music box for one of the officers, who seems to be more interested in the music than his duties.

The holographic band performing for one of the Imperial officers

A rock band comes on the box, and sings a song called Light the Sky on Fire. While all of this is going on, the Imperial officers are searching the house. When the video finishes, the head officer orders the search to continue, and for the officer who viewed the music band to get back to work. Saun Dann leaves, as he sees he cannot help further. The head officer tells Malla to keep Lumpy busy while they search, so Lumpy sits down to watch a cartoon on a viewscreen of one of his father's many adventures. The Imperials begin to search Lumpy's room.

Cartoon segment

Boba Fett on Panna

The cartoon dealt with Luke, Han, and Leia's first encounter with Boba Fett. During a search for talisman, the Millennium Falcon crashes on a water planet, known as Panna. Luke and the gang go after them, when they dispatch from the rebel base in a Y-Wing. Upon landing, they run into Fett, who wants to help them. They all board the Falcon, where Han has been infected by some mysterious sleeping virus caused by the talisman. Upon entering, Luke immediately contracts the virus as well. Boba and Chewbacca go into Panna City to get the cure for Han's condition. Once they get into the city, which is occupied by Imperials, Boba instructs Chewbacca to stay behind while he gets the cure. Once away from Chewbacca, Boba contacts Darth Vader to inform him of the situation. He reveals that he and Vader are in a plan to reveal the location of the Rebels so that Vader can stop them, like he tried and failed to in A New Hope. At this point in the cartoon, Lumpy shouts out in horror at the events in the cartoon. It alerts the main Imperial officer. He comes over to see what is wrong, but Lumpy acts like it was nothing, and he hides the cartoon, presumably as it shows members of the Rebel Alliance and one of their missions.. He then resumes the cartoon. Back on the Falcon, as C-3PO is caring for Han and Luke, he and R2-D2 intercept the message between Vader and Fett on their viewscreen. After evading the Imperials, Boba and Chewbacca return to the Falcon with the cure. After giving it to them, and they recover, everyone learns of Boba's true allegiances. Boba ignites his jet pack, and blasts away, promising that he will meet them all again. Everyone leaves the planet, going back to the rebel base on board the Falcon. Lumpy shuts off the monitor and applauds it.

Amorphian Being segment

The Amorphian Being Lumpy watches on his instructional video

Up in Lumpy's room, the Imperials have trashed everything. One even rips the head off his stuffed ransacked bantha. Lumpy comes up there after they have gone to another part of the house. He is very saddened over what they have done to his treasured toy. He lays it down on his bed in a moment of sadness. But then he creates a plan for revenge. He remembers the gadget Saun Dann gave him earlier for his Life Day present. Though Wookiees are known to be naturally good with technology, Lumpy puts in the instruction video to completely teach him how to put together the device. His plan is apparently to create a communication device that will fool the Imperials into returning to their base by emulating the voice of one of their superiors in the empire. The instruction video comes on. A humanoid described as an "Amorphian Being from the planet Amorphia" comes on the video. He explains to Lumpy all of the technical details of assembly. The problem with Amorphians, however, is that their body functions frequently temporarily stop working. Throughout the program, this Amorphian does just that. After instructing Lumpy of the basics, the Amorphian shuts down almost completely and falls in the floor. Lumpy shuts off the video with happiness, knowing how to properly put together the device.

Tatooine Cantina segment

Ackmena in her cantina

Downstairs of the tree house, while the Imperials are still searching, a video comes on the living room viewscreen, which is advertised as "required viewing by all Imperial personnel." So, all the Imperials in the house turn their immediate attention to the viewscreen. The program appears to be a reality-TV type program entitled "Life on Tatooine." After the announcer goes off, people are seen walking the streets of Mos Eisley on the viewscreen, then the focus shifts to inside a Cantina. In the cantina, a band is playing, creatures are talking, and things are going pretty well. The bartender, Ackmena, is in the process of serving drinks, when a humanoid walks in named Krelman, who seems very interested and attracted to her. They are in the process of discussion, when an Imperial guard comes on a viewscreen announcing that now Tatooine is being put under a curfew by the Empire. His reason is "due to subversive forces." This will force everyone to return to theirs homes immediately. Ackmena is deeply shocked, and asks her customers to please leave the Cantina, due to the strict orders of the Empire. When they all refuse to leave, she suggests one more round of drinks for everyone, and puts everyone's bill on her own tab. She then proceeds to usher them out via singing and dancing. Everyone eventually leaves, albeit with opposition. Ackmena then continues a personal discussion with Krelman. The video then goes off.

The remaining stormtrooper approaches Lumpy's room

Immediately after the video finishes, Lumpy's plan goes into effect. The Imperials get a call on their radios to "return to base." This message continues repeatedly. They decide to leave, but the head officer instructs one of the stormtroopers to stay behind. After the other Imperials leave, the stormtrooper still hears the radio call to "return to base." He immediately sees that something is wrong because there are no more radios around. He listens in, and determines that the sound is actually coming from the upstairs, which is where Lumpy's room is. He runs upstairs to find Lumpy speaking into a box, the one which he had constructed earlier. His voice was being translated and amplified to be more Human and deeper. The stormtrooper walks into the room. This startles Lumpy, who immediately jumps up. The stormtrooper grabs the box, and thrusts it quickly and hard towards the ground, shattering it. Lumpy is frightened. He runs down the stairs, out onto the deck, followed closely by the stormtrooper.

Han confronts the stormtrooper

At exactly the same time both Lumpy and the stormtrooper arrive out onto the deck, Han and Chewbacca are walking up to the door. Chewbacca growls, and Han prepares for battle. Chewbacca runs around the stormtrooper, to protect Lumpy. The stormtrooper points his gun at both of them. Secretly, Han is backing against the wall, ready to attack. The stormtrooper does not see him, and Han sneaks up and hits him. The two get ready to fight, then Han suddenly trips the stormtrooper, and makes him fall off the deck, breaking the railing, to his death in the deep forests below. Relieved, Han picks up Lumpy and hands him to his father.

The celebration

Han is greeted by Chewbacca's family

They all go inside, where Malla and Itchy are waiting. Han lets them know he has taken care of the threat. Everyone is glad to be safe and back together at last. Chewbacca and Han hug everyone, and it is clear that there is a feeling of love and family among everyone present. They want Han to stay, but he says he has to get back to the Falcon before someone finds it where he has hidden it. After bidding everyone a heartfelt goodbye, he leaves and wishes everyone a happy Life Day. After he leaves, they hear yet another knock at the door. It is Saun Dann, apparently on his way to a delivery, with bags in his hands. He sets them down. Suddenly, the Imperial officer on the viewscreen appears. He gives a general alert asking if anyone in the area has seen a missing stormtrooper. When he gives the exact identification number, everyone in the house knows this is the one Han recently tripped off the deck and killed. Realizing the trouble they could get in, Saun Dann quickly thinks of a lie that will work on the officer. He claims the stormtrooper was left by the others, and after they had left, had stolen a lot of food from his house and left without a trace. The excuse works; the officer has no suspicions. He says he will send out a search party to find the missing trooper. He goes off the viewscreen, and everyone is relieved. Before he goes, Saun Dann wishes the entire family a happy Life Day, just as Han did. After he leaves, the family prepares to go the festival at the Tree of Life. They gather their crystals together and join them above their heads.

Wookiees celebrating Life Day at the Tree of Life

Magically, the entire family, along with many other Wookiees, are next seen in space, traveling toward a bright star of some type. They are walking into it. By doing this, they apparently arrive at the great Tree of Life, where many Wookiees dressed in red robes are gathered. Chewbacca takes the stage. Suddenly, C-3PO and R2-D2 appear. Then Luke, Leia, and finally, Han. Han has a surprise for everyone; he has brought the whole gang back for the celebration. Everyone was glad to be together.

The Wookiee family sitting at the table for the night's feast

To begin, Leia gives a short speech on the meaning of Life Day and they all sing a song in celebration. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Chewbacca remembers the group's adventures from A New Hope, such as when he first met Luke and Leia, when they all escaped the Death Star, playing dejarik with R2-D2, and the award ceremony, after he and Han had helped Luke destroy the Death Star. The Wookiees begin to file out of the ceremony as his memories cease.

That night, the Wookiee family, Chewbacca, Mallatobuck, Lumpawarrump, and Attichitcuk sit at the family table. It was a great feast to celebrate the day, and everyone is glad to be back together again.




A producer stands on the set of the Wookiee home



Produced by:

Original Music by:

Cinematography by:

Film Editing by:

Art Direction by:

Set Decoration by:

Costume Design by:

Makeup Department:

Art Department:

Sound Department:

Visual Effects by:

Camera and Electrical Department:

Animation Department:

Costume and Wardrobe Department:

Transportation Department:

Other crew:


By type
Characters Creatures Droid models Events Locations
Organizations and titles Sentient species Vehicles and vessels Weapons and technology Miscellanea



Droid models



Organizations and titles

Sentient species

Vehicles and vessels

Weapons and technology


Behind the scenes


Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, as the producers stand by

In May 1978, the Star Wars phenomenon was at its height. That month, someone at the 20th Century Fox studios suggested to Lucasfilm that they allow the creation of a Star Wars-themed Holiday Special. At the time, according to a Star Wars license manager, Lucasfilm had been receiving requests of these types for many different tie-in type ideas, most of which they had turned down. However, George Lucas liked the idea, and green-lighted the production with the idea that it would keep Star Wars alive in the minds of the fans and the general public. So, he sat down with the show's producers and penned a basic story outline of what he wanted to happen in the show.

The story was basically to focus on Chewbacca returning home to his family for Life Day. That it did. Lucas supervised the initial draft of the script. He also attended a few production meetings and supervised work on the animated segment. He had little involvement with it due to his concentration on producing The Empire Strikes Back. This didn't help the Holiday Special.

In later drafts of the Holiday Special's script, the show's producers, Ken and Mitzie Welch intervened, and rewrote much of what Lucas had intended the script to be. The story remained, but the content was vastly different than what Lucas explained. After five drafts of the script, and many additions, subtractions, and changes to Lucas's original vision for the film, the script was completed sometime in October of 1978.

A Gary Smith-Dwight Hemion Production in association with 20th Century Fox Television, The Star Wars Holiday Special was produced with a budget of a little over a million dollars. Taping began in October, and ended sometime in November. The original director hired for the show, David Acomba, was an old roommate of Lucas's from his years at USC and knew his film-making style quite well. Acomba had only managed to shoot the entire Cantina sequence of the Holiday Special before he was fired by the producers, due to "creative differences." A new director was hired, Steve Binder, who was much less familiar with Lucas's work, or Star Wars apparently. The film was shot over the course of an entire month. Lucas, who had had very little to do with production since the initial plot outline, was given a private screening of the completed film before it aired.

According to reports, he was disgusted with what the producers had done to his story, and greatly disliked the special. Rumor has it that he had signed an agreement for it to air at least once, and after seeing it, decided that it would never again be shown on any network after its first airing. The show was greatly hyped, however, on broadcast TV, prior to its debut. It made its debut on November 17 to allegedly excellent ratings, due to the hype. On that night, and since the airing, many have considered it a general disappointment, and even an insult to the Star Wars saga.


Prior to its airing, CBS aired a commercial advertising both the special and the television show Flying High.[3][4]

Airing dates and locations:
The special reportedly aired in:

  • Canada in 1978 on November 17, 1978 (the same day of the US airing, most likely on the CTV Television Network, since a black and white still from the show has that network's logo on it). CED later showed clips from the special in 2004.[5][6]
  • United Kingdom in 1978 on BBC One
  • Mexico in December 1978 on Televisa XHGC Channel 5
  • Argentina around Christmas 1978
  • France (dubbed in French, under the name "Au Temps de la Guerre des Etoiles" which means "In the Time of Star Wars")
  • New Zealand sometime in 1979
  • Belgium in 1979 and/or 1980 (in English, with Dutch subtitles); the French dubbed version was aired in the French-speaking part of the country
  • Australia in 1980 or 1981 (possibly also in 1982 or 1983 on the WIN Network), and again in 1983 & 1984 on Channel Ten Victoria (reportedly). It was reportedly broadcast once again in the late 1990s as part of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's youth series, Recovery.
  • Malaysia in late January/early February 1981 or 1982 (in English, with no subtitles)
  • Norway as Stjernekrigens helligdags-spesial, a direct translation of the English title.
  • Sweden (Sweden's public television) on May 31, 1979 on SVT TV 2 in English, under the name "Stjärnornas Krig Och Fred" (Star Wars and Peace), with Swedish subtitles.
  • The special was screened at the Library of Congress in the 1990s.
  • Unofficially, the special was screened at a private Canadian theater, around the holiday season, several years in a row, from 2001-2004. The theater owners charged a small amount of money to view the special.
  • Unofficially, the special has been screened privately in many homes through bootleg or original recordings.
  • Unofficially, the special has been screened at the Star Wars 10th anniversary festival in Berlin, Germany at Sputnik Theatre (May 1987). In the early 1990's the special was shown to TV cable station SAT 1 to get a possible broadcast along with the trilogy.

It most assuredly aired in other countries too (It is unknown exactly what or how many countries the special aired in, this list was compiled from reports by people from those countries who saw it when it aired). Screen captures from the various known versions of it that have survived from 1978 VHS tapes can be found here.


The opening logo for The Star Wars Holiday Special

There has been some dispute since the airing of the special, what the correct name of it was. The correct title is “The Star Wars Holiday Special”, though it is often mislabeled “The Star Wars Christmas Special.” Even Star Wars creator, George Lucas, once called it that. It has also been called “A Very Wookiee Christmas” and “A Wookiee Holiday.”

In France, the official title was "Au Temps de la Guerre des Etoiles" which means "In the Time of Star Wars".

In Sweden, the official title was "Stjärnornas Krig Och Fred" which literally means "The Stars' War and Peace".

In Norway, the official title was "Stjernekrigens helligdags-spesial" which means the same as the English title.

The products advertised during commercial breaks on The Star Wars Holiday Special include (in order of appearance, on the Baltimore broadcast):

  • General Motors
  • Trailtracker (from Kenner)
  • CBS Sunday Night programming (60 Minutes, All In The Family, Alice, Lucy Comes To Nashville, Dallas)
  • Comtrex (from Bristol-Myers)
  • International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU)
  • Bell Systems
  • CBS Saturday Night Movies (The Bible)
  • Reggie candy bar
  • Local programming (Dolly)
  • General Motors
  • Pillsbury Plus baking mix
  • Hungry Jack biscuits
  • CBS News report
  • Contac
  • CBS Monday programming (Bobby Vinton's Rock 'N Rollers)
  • The Wild Geese in theaters
  • Gladding Chevrolet (a local dealer)
  • The Consumer Information Catalog
  • Local programming (Hot City)
  • Tobor (from Kenner)
  • Revlon Cream-On Blush
  • Whirlpool
  • Anacin
  • Woolite
  • Sheer Indulgence pantyhose
  • McDonald's Egg McMuffin
  • Next on CBS (Flying High)
  • Ford-Mercury-Lincoln dealers
  • The Wiz in theaters
  • Local news teaser
  • FTD Wishing Well Bouquet
  • Fruit Of The Loom
  • Bell Systems
  • No Nonsense pantyhose
  • Twice As Fresh bathroom cleaner
  • The Star Wars Collection (from Kenner)
  • Colony cabernet sauvignon
  • Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk returning to regular airtimes on select CBS stations

Versions and availability today:

The original TV Guide magazine ad for the special

The Star Wars Holiday Special was lost to the world and mostly forgotten after its only airing in 1978. There was very little evidence of its existence until sometime in the early-to-mid-1990s when individuals came forward, who had in their possession original VHS recordings of the TV airing. Some of them began to copy the show and sell it illegally as a bootleg VHS or DVD at conventions.

It soon became a cult classic and a legend among Star Wars fans despite (or perhaps because of) its criticisms. File sharing technologies have made the special more widely available to curious fans to see for themselves. To this day, though, the Special has still not been made officially available.

Most viewers (including Lucas himself) revile The Star Wars Holiday Special for its meager plot and low production values, but some enjoy it for its wackiness and novelty, and many Star Wars fans have a copy in their collection. Some fans hope for an official release, if only as a comedic novelty.

Some facts about copies of the Holiday Special:

  • The original print likely rests in the Lucasfilm archives. Animation-cel merchandise sold in the mid-1990s mentions no source, but probably comes from the special's animated Boba Fett segment. Segments of the cartoon appear in the 2002 Attack of the Clones web documentary "Bucket Head." Boba Fett actor Jeremy Bulloch introduces the segment as coming from the Holiday Special.
  • The copies that were distributed in 1978 to CBS and its major broadcasting stations are most likely also in the Lucasfilm Archives with the original print.
  • Some who watched the program's single airing recorded it to videotape. These have since been duplicated and reduplicated so that most copies of the special available today (and since 1978) are second to sixth generation on DVD and VHS. Some of these fan-made copies include the original commercials that aired during the show, while others have had these edited out.
  • In 2001 or 2002, an anonymous video professional digitally remastered a second-generation recording of the original special with Dolby Digital technology. Though this "remastered" version does exist, the term "digitally remastered" is often times just used as a slogan to sell illegal copies on eBay and at conventions.
  • There is an isolated version of the Boba Fett cartoon that contains a few extra seconds of material that was either edited or not included in the Holiday Special.
  • At some locations on the internet, individual clips from the special are available for download. In other places, such as many BitTorrent or file sharing sites, the entire special is available for download, in varying quality.
  • The special has yet to be officially released on DVD, despite recent rumors of a possible release (see DVD release section below).

DVD release:
The Star Wars Holiday Special has yet to be given an official DVD release by Lucasfilm Ltd. If there are any plans to officially release the Star Wars Holiday Special on DVD, those plans have never been stated by Lucasfilm and there has never been any announcement suggesting such a release either on Lucasfilm's site, or the site. However, an eventual release is expected by many fans. (A so-called "Platinum Edition" DVD mentioned in a review by Lawrence Person on Locus Online was an April Fool's Day Hoax.[7]). In 2005, placed an entry for the Holiday Special on its site.[8]. This led to rumors in summer 2005 that a DVD was to come out soon, but in fact that is something the company does for nearly all movies and television shows that have not yet been released on DVD, to find popular titles and measure the interest of the public. has also posted a page on their site, with the same information about the show.

The only official comment made on the possibility of a DVD release was by Lucasfilm head of fan relations Steve Sansweet. When asked by the IESB if George Lucas has the intention to ever release the holiday special, he replied:

"No. It's a very simple answer. George hates the uh, Star Wars, uh, Holiday Special, and um, it's, it's, just something that he doesn't like..."[9]

VIP Paul Ens has voiced his support for the release of the complete special on DVD,[10] and VIP Pete Vilmur has publicly stated his support for the inclusion of the animated segment from the special on some future DVD.[11] On September 21, 2004, Star Wars DVD producer Van Ling held a Q&A session with the Washington Post, in which he was asked about the possibility of a DVD release of the special. He replied "I seriously doubt it, given that it has never even been shown again after its initial broadcast, let alone released on home video... but as I always say, never say never."[12]

A number of unofficial fan releases designed to be burned to DVD-R discs have been created in place of an official release and are distributed online. They vary in quality and contents, with the one of the better-known versions distributed under the moniker "The Angrysun Edition", supposedly having been transferred from an actual video tape sent in 1978 for broadcast to a TV station.


"The Star Wars Holiday Special IS the Dark Side. And nothing, nothing can prepare you."
Abel G. Peña
"I can't imagine anything more boring than sitting there watching a hundred hours of raw footage—now, I realize that there are some Star Wars fans out there who would say 'No! No! We'd watch it all!'. But, you know, believe me, it's like having to sit down and watch The Star Wars Holiday Special twenty-four times in a row."
Steve Sansweet on the unused footage from the Star Wars films

For the most part, The Star Wars Holiday Special has received a large amount of criticism, both from Star Wars fans and the general public. David Hofstede, author of What Were They Thinking?: The 100 Dumbest Events In Television History, ranked the holiday special at number one, calling it "the worst two hours of television ever." Shepard Smith, a news anchor for the Fox News Channel, referred to it as a "'70s train wreck, combining the worst of Star Wars with the utter worst of variety television." Actor Phillip Bloch explained on a TV Land special entitled "The 100 Most Unexpected TV moments," that the special "just wasn't working. It was just so surreal." On the same program, Ralph Garman, a voice actor for the show Family Guy, explained that "The Star Wars Holiday Special is one of the most infamous television programs in history. And it's so bad that it actually comes around to good again." Most critics have expressed similar views of the special. Generally, it has never been well-received by fans, who often see it as silly, with some even viewing it as an insult to the Star Wars series.

Among some fans, however, it has reached a cult status. Some enjoy the special for its (unintended) campiness or as an artifact of '70s pop culture, or hold certain feelings of nostalgia for the special's original airing. It has become one of the most widely bootlegged programs in history, averaging around 30-60 copies available on any given day on eBay.

The only aspect of the special which has been generally well-received is the animated segment which introduces the bounty hunter Boba Fett, who would later become a popular character when he appeared in the Star Wars theatrical films.

George Lucas himself, who wrote the basic story for the special but otherwise had very little to do with it, has rarely commented on or even acknowledged its existence except to friends and co-workers. Generally, however, he holds a very low opinion of it. For instance, Tom Burman, one of the costume designers for the holiday special, has said that Lucas once told him that he was very disappointed with the final product.

Starlog interviewed Lucas at the Star Wars 10th anniversary convention at the LA Concourse Hotel on Memorial Day 1987. Starlog asked him "Will we ever see the Wookiee TV special again?"[13] To this, he replied:

"I believe it will be released on videotape. I'm not sure if they're going to rerun it on television or not."[14]

He has very negative opinions of the show; at one Australian fan convention he reportedly said:

"If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it."

In an online chat with fans, he reportedly said:

"The holiday special does not represent my vision for Star Wars."[15]

In an interview with Maxim magazine in May 2002, Maxim asks the question: Any plans for a Special Edition of the Holiday Special?

(hangs head) "Right. That's one of those things that happened, and I just have to live with it."

Later, in a May 2005 interview with, Lucas was asked if the film had soured him on working in television:

"The special from 1978 really didn't have much to do with us, you know. I can't remember what network it was on, but it was a thing that they did. We kind of let them do it. It was done by... I can't even remember who the group was, but they were variety TV guys. We let them use the characters and stuff and that probably wasn't the smartest thing to do, but you learn from those experiences. I had a wonderful time on Young Indiana Jones. It was a great series. We did it for four years. I spent those four or five years actually working on it. That's really all I did during those years. It was really a great experience and I love television."[16]

The official Star Wars site states that the holiday special "delivered mixed results," but explains that the highlight of the special was the Boba Fett animated segment.[17] The official site also says, when referring to the fan interest in seeing the Wookiees on screen, "the 1978 Holiday Special didn't cut it."[18] When asked at a fan convention, "So, you don't like it (the holiday special) either?", Lucasfilm head of content and fan relations, Steve Sansweet replied "No. I mean, I like the ten minute introduction of Boba Fett, but that's about it." The official site also refers to the Boba Fett animated segment as "a cult classic."[19]

On February 8, 2006, Harrison Ford made an appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and during the interview, O'Brien brought up the special, and began asking various questions regarding it, such as inquiring whether he remembered making it. Ford made no response and looked away, to which the audience responded with laughter and applause. O'Brien then asked Ford what he would think if he played a clip of the special on the show, which he promptly did. Following the clip (which featured a scene showing Ford as Han Solo telling Chewbacca and his wife that they are "like family" to him), an obviously embarrassed Ford only managed to mutter, "Thank you."

Initially, Carrie Fisher claimed that she didn't remember working in any Star Wars-themed Holiday Special. However, during her first fan discussion at 2007's Celebration IV, she explained that she made a deal with George Lucas that if she recorded a commentary track for the 2004 DVDs of the original trilogy, he would let her borrow a copy of the special. She explained that she regularly holds what she calls "bad movie night" at her house, and wanted to view the special on one of these nights. Fisher then began imitating herself singing "A Day to Celebrate".

On December 20, 2007, ABC's Nightline covered the special on television and on its website.[20]

Throughout November 2008, will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the special, and is offering trading cards based on the special to StarWarsShop customers.[21] kicked off "Life Week" on November 17,2008. Features include interviews, photo galleries, and an animation animatic.[22] On November 16 and 17, the LA Times and NBC respectively reported on the special.[23][24] The Paley Center held a poll from November 10 through December 3, for which the top five holiday specials would be screened at the center between December 10 and 24.[25] The Star Wars Holiday Special placed in the top position, with 59% of the vote.[26]


Beatrice Arthur as Ackmena in the cantina

The special features four songs. The first, "This Minute Now," sung by Diahann Carroll, is best remembered for the bizarre monologue which precedes it in which Carroll—who is supposed to be an image created by a virtual-reality machine—tells Chewbacca's father, Itchy, that she is his "fantasy" and suggestively invites him to "experience" her. The second musical number is the song "Light the Sky on Fire", performed by Jefferson Starship, which is presented as a 3-D music video watched by one of the Imperial guards. Later, Bea Arthur, who plays the bartender in the Mos Eisley cantina, sings a song, "Good Night, But Not Goodbye," to the same set of aliens that were seen in the cantina in A New Hope, including, as the back-up musicians, the cantina's resident group, Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes. Finally, at the end of the special Carrie Fisher sings (somewhat off key) a song in celebration of Life Day to the tune of the Star Wars main title. Harvey Korman provides comedy in three of the special's skits, including the Cantina skit with Bea Arthur. He also performs two solo routines: one as a four-armed parody of Julia Child, whose four arms allow her to work much faster than Malla can keep up with, and one as a malfunctioning Amorphian android in an instruction video watched by Lumpy. Art Carney has a more integral role in the story, playing a trader on the Wookiee planet who is a member of the Rebellion and helps Chewbacca's family. His segments are also largely played for laughs.

In the famous animated segment, Boba Fett makes his first ever appearance

The high point of the special is generally considered to be the animated segment, known as "The Story of the Faithful Wookiee," produced by Nelvana. While the artistic style takes great liberties—R2-D2's body is rubbery and Han's face nearly unrecognizable—the animation is good and the music and sound effects are straight out of the film. With all the main stars from the film doing the voice work for their characters the cartoon sounds like a Star Wars film even if it looks a little odd at times. Not only does the cartoon introduce Boba Fett, but his jet pack and rope gun as well, which do not appear again in the movies until Return of the Jedi 5 years later, are both seen in the cartoon. The cartoon is viewable here.

Nelvana animators returned to the Holiday Special, in a sense, nearly a decade later by using the animations of Threepio and Artoo for the mid-eighties cartoon, Droids. The animated version of Boba Fett would also reappear in the series.

The Holiday Special also includes a circus-style acrobatics routine that includes uneven bars and juggling. All the acts were loosely linked together with material which involves the Wookiees' preparation for Life Day, Han and Chewbacca's attempt to evade the Imperials and make it to Chewbacca's family, and the Imperial garrison's search for rebels.

Deleted scenes

  • There is a deleted scene available for viewing; although many scenes can be considered deleted between the five drafts of the script, this one is one of the few that was actually created on film. The scene is from a small unused portion of the cartoon, originally part of the special as an in-cartoon commercial.[27]
  • Another confirmed deleted scene from the special was one taking place immediately following the Imperial invasion of the Wookiee home. An Imperial stormtrooper stops at the table to sample one of Malla's Wookiee-ookiees, a Wookiee version of cookies.


  • Kenner originally planned to release action figures based on the special, but they never got past the prototype stage.[28][29][30]
  • In 1979, one year after the special's release, Lucasfilm released a children's book called Star Wars: The Wookiee Storybook, which reunited the characters from the special.
  • In 1980, Lucasfilm released a similarly-themed Christmas album, entitled, Christmas in the Stars: Star Wars Christmas Album.
  • A press kit was released prior to the special, to promote its airing.
  • The Jefferson Starship, who had had a song and music video used in the special, proclaimed on their "Light the Sky on Fire" album that it was: "as seen and heard on the CBS-Star Wars Holiday Special."
  • In 2002, Hasbro released a figure based on the cantina alien Zutton. This figure was based on the Zutton from the Holiday Special, making it the first ever Holiday Special figure.
  • The Celebration IV and Celebration Europe stores offered a 4" x 25" luggage tag with an image from the Cantina scene from the holiday special on it for $5. A pdf released by, as well as the Celebration IV program book, specifically states and shows this.[31]
  • The 2007 book The Star Wars Vault includes the complete audio track of Princess Leia's Life Day song "A Day to Celebrate", along with approximately two pages from the script.
  • Several official products have been produced based on the Boba Fett character as portrayed in the holiday special. As part of the 30th anniversary collection, in 2007, Hasbro released the first official action figure from the special—Boba Fett. It uses the character's likeness as he appears in the animated segment.[32][33] The figure is entitled titled "Boba Fett (Animated Debut)".[34] StarWarsShop released a holiday special Boba Fett maquete from Gentle Giant as a Celebration exclusive in 2007.[35] Also Funko is releasing a Star Wars Holiday Special Boba Fett Bobblehead in a special Limited Edition as part of their new Star Wars Bobblehead series. A Bobble Head holiday special Boba Fett was released in November 2007.[36] On December 2007, StarWarsShop released an ACME holiday special Boba Fett character key.[37][38]
  • On December 10, 2007, RiffTrax released an audio commentary for the special, recorded by former MST3K stars Mike Nelson, Bill Corbet, and Kevin Murphy.[39][40] The Official Star Wars Blog later acknowledged this, and posted a YouTube clip giving an example of the track.[41] During the cartoon sequence, Wookieepedia is referenced.


See also: Star Wars continuity and canonicity

The Star Wars Holiday Special is technically in the Star Wars canon, which means that the events depicted are part of the greater continuity that includes the other films, novels, comic books, video games, etc. Generally, it falls in the C-canon in the overall Star Wars continuity.

According to Leland Chee, the keeper of The Holocron, an internal Star Wars continuity database at Lucasfilm (which contains at least 28 individual entries relating to elements of the Holiday Special), most elements from the movie are considered canon. However, there are specific rules as to what is what. First off, any element from the Holiday Special that is referenced in another work is considered C-canon (such as Life Day, Chewbacca's family, etc.). Any element from the Holiday Special that is not referenced in other works is considered S-canon, which means that it's canon, and it "happened," but its canonicity is not set in stone, so to speak. The only element from the Holiday Special that is not considered canon (meaning it is N-canon) is its claim that Chief Bast survived the destruction of the first Death Star from A New Hope. Although the Holiday Special never specifically mentions that the person conversing with Darth Vader is Bast, it is generally implied. However, the Star Wars Encyclopedia, by Steve Sansweet, which is considered C-canon (which would be higher than the at-the-time S-level canon issue with Bast), says that Bast died in the Death Star's explosion. This makes Bast's appearance in the Holiday Special confirmed to not be canon. It is not known exactly who the man in the Holiday Special talking to Vader was. However, it has been speculated that it may have simply been a person looking similar to Bast, or even a clone of him.

Since The Star Wars Holiday Special was released, it has received an extreme amount of criticism and dislike by both fans and official sources. Despite the relative unpopularity of the elements of the special, those at Lucasfilm responsible for licensing have kept the special in continuity, due to their canon policies. In many cases, they have in fact expanded on elements from the special in several different media, including novels, comic books, video games, children's books, and even in a Star Wars-themed cookbook. Indeed the phrase from the special's opening "introducing Chewbacca's family" meant more than originally envisioned.

Several of the characters in The Star Wars Holiday Special appear in other Star Wars works. Chewbacca's family are featured in various stories, including:

  • The Kashyyyk Depths (1979) was a newspaper comic strip by Russ Manning which featured another venture by Han, Luke, Leia, and Chewbacca to Kashyyyk for Life Day. As of March 2006, this is the only Star Wars newspaper comic strip that has not been reprinted either by Dark Horse Comics or in the Webstrips feature of Hyperspace.
  • The Wookiee Storybook (1979) features Chewbacca's family in a situation very similar of that to the Holiday Special. Except in the book, Lumpy, wishing to be brave like his father, goes to the lower levels of Kashyyyk to get a type of fruit in preparation for the return of Chewbacca for Life Day. Trouble arises when Lumpy doesn't return, and Chewbacca must rescue his son.
  • Wookiee World (1985) was issue #91 of the Marvel comics Star Wars run. It featured Chewbacca's family in another adventure on Kashyyyk.
  • Tyrant's Test (1996) was the third and final book of The Black Fleet Crisis trilogy, by Michael P. Kube-McDowell. It featured Lumpy and his rites of passage into Lumpawaroo.
  • Rebel Dawn (1997) was the third book in The Han Solo Trilogy of novels by A.C. Crispin. It dealt with the younger years of Han, in relation to Chewbacca and his family. Malla and Chewbacca's marriage is shown in the third book.
  • Star Wars: Yoda Stories (1997). This video game included the characters from the special who would later be identified as Myhr Rho, Cebann Veekan, and Unknown Y'bith—whose species were later identified as Cathar, Hamadryas and Y'bith, respectively.
  • The Star Wars Cookbook: Wookiee Cookiees and Other Galactic Treats (1998) gives an official recipe for "Wookiee cookiees," a different name for "Wookiee-ookiees" from the special.
  • The Star Wars Encyclopedia (1998). This reference book detailed elements from the special.
  • Chewbacca (2000) was a four-issue comic book series by Darko Mecan, which featured Itchy and Malla recalling stories of Chewbacca's history.
  • Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds (2001) was a game released by LucasArts, which explored the past of Chewbacca's father, Itchy. As seen in the game, Itchy was a great warrior in his younger days, who fought many battles.
  • The Unifying Force (2003) was the final book of the New Jedi Order series, it features Chewbacca's son Lumpy, along with Lowbacca, who hold a pivotal role of taking up Chewbacca's life debt to Han.
  • Star Wars Galaxies (2003) was a popular MMORPG game that allowed the player to visit and explore Kashyyyk. While there, the player can explore the customs of Life Day, as there are several Wookiees dressed in red robes, as in the special. Also in the game, Lumpy's stuffed bantha from the special can be seen. The official site for Star Wars: Galaxies even has a web page dedicated to explaining these features in the game, and the customs of Life Day here.
  • A Forest Apart (2003) was an e-book by Troy Denning released also in print as a supplement to his main book Tatooine Ghost. A Forest Apart focuses on the exploits of Lumpy, after Malla allows him to go to Coruscant with Chewbacca.
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) was a film which, in addition to introducing Kashyyyk to the big screen, involved Itchy. According to the Revenge of the Sith Incredible Cross-sections by Dr. Curtis Saxton, and according to the film's visual dictionary, Itchy was involved in the Battle of Kashyyyk in Revenge of the Sith. As the Clone Wars erupted and Kashyyyk fell under siege, Attichitcuk joined in the defense of his homeworld. Too old to fight alongside the younger Wookiee warriors, Attichitcuk served as a gunner aboard an Oevvaor jet catamaran in the defense of Kachirho during the Battle of Kashyyyk. It is unknown at this point whether or not he actually can be physically seen in the film, although he has been confirmed to have technically been in it, since he was in one of the Oevvaor jet catamarans.
  • Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith Incredible Cross-sections-The Definitive Guide to Spaceships and Vehicles (2005) (see above)
  • Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith-Visual Dictionary (2005) (see above)
  • Star Wars: Complete Locations (2005) Mentions that while Luke, Obi-Wan, and the droids are in the cantina in A New Hope, Ackmena is in a nearby room negotiating for a raise in her pay.
  • The 2006 reference book Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary gave a previously unnamed Aqualish from the special a name: Teak Sidbam.
  • On September 28, 2006, as part of its What's The Story? contest, published two Databank entries naming and detailing two characters from the special: Myhr Rho and Cebann Veekan, as well as a species from the special: the Y'bith.[42]
  • The 2007 novel Sacrifice subsequently referenced Cebann Veekan's species, the Hamadryas.
  • In 2007, Ackmena was added as an entry to the Databnk.

Chef Gormaanda later was featured in an issue of the HoloNet. She explained a new recipe, and it was explained that she had won a cooking award. The issue was HoloNet News Volume 531 #50 13:4:4, under "Life" section.[43]

Chief Bast went on to appear in the Star Wars Customizable Card Game, in which Bast's early life was briefly elaborated on. In addition to this, his card hints that he escaped and survived the destruction of the first Death Star, as seen in the Holiday Special. The card can be viewed here.

Boba Fett returns in The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Attack of the Clones, and in many Expanded Universe books, comics, and video games (not to mention numerous official and unofficial fan films).

The Wookiee planet of Kashyyyk features in various novels, comic books, and video games, including Revenge of the Sith, the animated television micro-series known as Star Wars: Clone Wars, and video games such as Star Wars: Battlefront, Star Wars: Battlefront II, Star Wars: Republic Commando, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. An entire city from the planet was even elaborated on in Timothy Zahn's popular 1991 novel Heir to the Empire, which was the first in his Thrawn trilogy.

It is believed that at one point, West End Games considered publishing a Wookiee Sourcebook, which would have covered the Wookiees and their culture in great detail, including detailed entries on each member of Chewbacca's family.

Sequels's fake image of what Darth Tyranus would have looked like in the sequel

Rumors of a follow-up special called A Very Star Wars Christmas have spread in recent years, but are an April Fool's prank. The special's plot was said, according to its creator, the people at, to go something like this: Rebellion forces abandoned Hoth after the Empire invaded the base, and some Rebels were left behind. The story follows two such soldiers, Coren and Vila. Forced to survive on the barren surface of Hoth, we are told, Coren and Vila have learned to live with the wampas, who are not so much evil as misunderstood. Vila is particularly fond of one young wampa whom she has dubbed "Christmas" after her favorite holiday. When Darth Tyranus comes to Hoth in search for the young wampa, trouble begins, as Tyranus and the Rebels go on a chase leading them all the way to Coruscant and back to Hoth, where the Rebels attempt an escape. For the record, fans will note that part of this is impossible: Tyranus was killed by Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith, which takes place before the Rebellion even existed.


The Wookiee household in the high treetops of Kashyyyk

Lucasfilm/media uses and statements:

  • In summer, 1979, in its fifth issue, the official Star Wars fan club's newsletter, entitled Bantha Tracks, mentioned Boba Fett's first appearance as an animated character in the Holiday Special. The issue reads:
"Boba Fett first appeared on The Star Wars Holiday Special late last year, in the employ of Darth Vader. He will be returning in The Empire Strikes Back, still in Darth Vader's employ, and still after Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and the leaders of the Rebellion."[44]
  • In 1996, Lucasfilm released animation cells from the Holiday Special Boba Fett cartoon segment. These were combined with new artwork to create slightly different images than what is seen in the special. Copies of the cells were sold publicly that year.
  • In February of 2000, held a poll asking its users what their worst Star Wars memory was. The holiday special was among the choices.[45]
  • In 2002, released, as part of their Attack of the Clones web documentaries, a documentary entitled, "Bucket Head." The documentary was meant to explain the origins of the Fett family and the fascination with Boba Fett. The first video appearing in the documentary was scenes from the Boba Fett animated segment from the special. Jeremy Bulloch, the actor who originally played Boba Fett in the Star Wars films, appears right after, and notes that the video originated in the Holiday Special, and that was where Boba Fett made his first appearance. This documentary, later on, was released on the 2002 DVD set of Attack of the Clones, and featured on's main page on December 5, 2007.
  • In 2002, around the holiday of Thanksgiving, the official Star Wars website acknowledged an element of the special by wishing its viewers "Happy Life Day," as seen here.
  • To aid in designing the sets and look of the planet Kashyyyk for Revenge of the Sith, the Lucasfilm art department reported on the official site that they first viewed the Holiday Special and based their designs partly on what had already been created there. The look of the planet, the environment of the Wookiees, and the types of houses and technology they use was all based partly on ideas from the Holiday Special.
  • On November 17, 2003, at around 7:00 p.m. EST, which was exactly 25 years from the airing of the special, Shephard Smith of the FOX News Channel played a few of the opening clips from the special on his G Block segment. After calling this announcement a "nerd alert," he announced that that day was the 25th anniversary of the one-time airing. He even announced the availability of the special on the internet. The quality of the video shown on FOX news appears to be of a bootleg from an original recording, rather than footage obtained from the Lucasfilm archives. The clip can be found here.
  • The official Star Wars site reported in September 2004 on the Kevin Burns-directed Star Wars documentary "Empire of Dreams", which had already been previewed on A&E in abbreviated form, and which was included on the Star Wars Original Trilogy DVD set on the 21st of that later month. Originally there was to be some coverage of the Holiday Special, but it wound up being cut to help shorten the already lengthy documentary. Here's a relevant quote from the article:
The little footage that was cut from the finished documentary included a reference to the infamous "Star Wars Holiday Special," the 1978 television extravaganza featuring the unlikely cast of Bea Arthur, Art Carney, Diahann Carroll, and Harvey Korman, in addition to A New Hope actors Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, and Peter Mayhew.
"I wanted it in the documentary to show early on how the studio could easily take control and make poor decisions once a film has proven to be a success," Burns explains. "It showed how Star Wars could have been if mishandled. George didn't want Star Wars to become burlesqued or treated like a kiddie show. And we wanted to make a point in the documentary that this was what George was petrified would happen to Star Wars if he hadn't had taken full control."
But the footage didn't quite fit with the overall premise of the documentary and instead ended up on the cutting room floor, "until I can make a director's cut of Empire of Dreams," Burns jokes.
  • On a similar note, reported that at the debut of the Star Wars Trilogy DVD at the Silent Movie Theater in Los Angeles, various names who worked on the DVD were in attendance. Kevin Burns was at the roll-out. Here's another quote from "Empire of Dreams" documentary director Kevin Burns regarding the Holiday Special:
So was this a "warts and all" telling of the making of Star Wars? Kevin replied, "Actually, that was our mandate. I do tell the dirty little story that the only thing we couldn't put into this documentary was the Star Wars Holiday Special. (laughter). You know, it truly didn't fit in the cut. We did have it in an earlier cut, I will tell you, and I was, 'Gosh, I really wanted [to] put that Star Wars Holiday Special [in]!' But it just didn't work in the context of the cut.
Shortly after, a certain other guest interrupted:
At that point a very familiar voice in the back yelled out, "I think the Holiday Special is severely underrated!!!" It was Mark Hamill himself who had sneaked into the back of the theater. His impromptu comment generated a lot of laughter in the audience to which Kevin added, "We're gonna screen that after this!"
  • Revenge of the Sith featured the big-screen debut of the Wookiee planet of Kashyyyk, along with many of the native Wookiees. The Wookiee houses seen in the film were closely modeled after the ones seen in the Holiday Special, but were much more detailed, and more elaborate.
  • The 2005 Revenge of the Sith scrapbook contained two pages in its section on the planet of Kashyyyk, explaining the origins of the planet. One of the pages displayed the original concept art image of the Wookiee family treehouse, used in the special. The other page indicated that Kashyyyk first appeared in the special, and gave its full name. The book explained why it was never re-aired due to its production values not being up to George Lucas's standards.
  • On his Hyperspace commentary for Star Wars: Clone Wars which was available on the official site and later on the Clone Wars Volume I DVD, Clone Wars director Genndy Tartakovsky noted that he paid homage to the Holiday Special when designing C-3PO.
  • One of the recent 2005 additions to Hyperspace, the paid membership section on, was the video clip "Animation Sizzle", which was shown at Comic-Con International 2005 in San Diego. The clip is a run-down of all the Star Wars animation projects over the years, and naturally it starts out with a segment from the 1978 animated Boba Fett cartoon used in the Holiday Special. This and the "Bucket Head" documentary are some of the few occasions when a part of the Holiday Special has been shown officially.
  • A 2005 issue of the official Star Wars magazine, Star Wars: Insider discusses the Holiday Special as one of the 5 strangest moments in the Star Wars expanded universe.
  • The book Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide contains a small section on the Holiday Special on an Expanded Universe page. It explains that it was "regrettable," and explains that, although it has never been officially released on home video, is available on bootlegs, and has now achieved the status of a cult film.
  • Some Holiday Special enthusiasts believed that 2007 could be a likely release period for the special, due to several factors. 2007 will be the year of the 30th anniversary of Star Wars, when Lucasfilm is likely to do many celebratory events and releases. The Holiday Special could be one of these. Also, Star Wars prequel producer, Rick McCallum has stated that he and Lucasfilm would like to see all of the obscure productions of Star Wars, including all of the making-of, released after the completion of the prequels. There is no more likely date for this, than around 2007.
  • TV Guide and TV Land ranked The Star Wars Holiday Special at number 59 on their top 100 Unexpected Television Moments. The 5 - Part special aired December 5-9, 2005. The entire 1 minute 32 second clip on the holiday special can be found here.
  • calls the special "silly."[46]
  • In David Hofstede's book What Were They Thinking?: The 100 Dumbest Events In Television History, he puts the holiday special at #1. He calls the special "the worst two hours of television ever."[47]
The December 3, 2005 issue of Sally Forth, which is one of the many pop culture references to the holiday special.
  • On its December 3, 2005 issue, the comic strip Sally Forth referenced the holiday special in saying: "Nothing says 'tis the season' like Wookiees, Jefferson Starship and Bea Arthur bartending in space."[48]
  • For Bravo's 2005 television program "Greatest Things about the Holidays", out of 100 greatest things, The Star Wars Holiday Special ranked #5.
  • The animated segment from the special has been shown at Celebration III and IV as part of the "Star Wars in Pop Culture" exhibit.
  • In a commercial for the Robot Chicken: Star Wars special dedicated to Star Wars, creator George Lucas is driven to a therapist's chair over his hatred of the special.[49] The segment was shown at Celebration IV, and was featured on the site's main page for a few days, as well as on Adult Swim's official site for the Robot Chicken: Star Wars special.. Creator Seth Green has stated that that was one of his favorite sequences of the Robot Chicken: Star Wars special to work on.[50]
  • During Anthony Daniels's event at Celebration IV, he showed some clips of his career as C-3PO—ranging from The Star Wars Holiday Special to his Sesame Street episodes and The Muppet Show episode, to a C-3POs cereal commercial. Daniels gave insight into these appearances, and told some stories of his experiences working on them.
  • held a Father's Day poll from June 12 to June 19 of 2007 asking "Which relationship best matches the one with your father?". One of the choices was "Chewbacca and Lumpy".[51]
  • John B. Field, cinematographer for the special, later served as a technical director for the 2005 AFI Tribute to George Lucas, which also aired on television.

Pop culture references:

  • Despite his rather unwelcome three roles in The Star Wars Holiday Special, and George Lucas's dislike of the special, Harvey Korman appeared in Lucas's 1994 film, Radioland Murders, as Jules Cogley.
  • Genndy Tartakovsky, director and animator of the Star Wars: Clone Wars micro-series, states that he paid homage to Nelvana's animation in the Holiday Special segment, particularly the design of C-3PO. He says that he animated Threepio's eyes to move in a similar way to Nelvana's, and made the droid's overall look similar to theirs.
  • The Star Wars Holiday Special was spoofed in the 1988 movie, Scrooged.
  • Dr. Orpheus makes reference to the Wookiees' Life Day in the Venture Brothers holiday special.
  • "Fighting the frizzies" - Among the more widely circulating recordings of TSWHS is one made of the broadcast on WCBS-TV (channel 2) in New York City. At several commercial breaks in the show, a "teaser" for the station's 11 p.m. newscast is aired in which news anchor Rolland Smith simply says "Fighting the frizzies, at 11." (Other circulating versions of TSWHS were originally taped from other CBS affiliates, including WMAR-TV in Baltimore, and lack the frizzies reference, and still others have had all the commercials edited out.)
    On one particular episode of the animated television series South Park, entitled "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics" during every commercial break, an announcer (dressed-up to look exactly like Rolland Smith) would come on as part of the program and say "fighting the frizzies at 11.", or a variation of the phrase. The reference is quite obscure in origin, since not only would you have had to have watched the holiday special on its one time airing on WCBS or have seen the WCBS broadcast copy, and remember the commercial to get the reference. Nonetheless, it quickly became a catch phrase among both Star Wars and South Park fans.
    More information about this clip can be found at this site. History has not recorded what the "frizzies" were, though most likely the news story referred to hair care.[52]
  • South Park similarly spoofed the same bootlegged edition again in the episode entitled "Freak Strike" wherein the freak union puts out a commercial promoting the use of real freaks in talkshows. This commercial is almost identical to one shown during the special by the International Ladies Garmet Workers Union, complete with song.
  • Also relating to South Park, in the DVD episode commentaries, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have made several references to the special themselves.
  • A prototype for Chewbacca's father Attichitcuk (Itchy) first appeared in an early form as Chewbacca's father "Auzituck" as far back as the May 1973 Rough Draft of Star Wars. In scene 135 in the Wookee [sic] camp on Yavin (Yavin being an early version of Kashyyyk), it says "Chewbacca enters the largest of the lodges. He is greeted by his father, AUZITUCK, Chief of the KAAPAUKU tribe; an old and feeble Wookee [sic] dressed in royal skins and headdress."
  • When asked about his involvement with the special, Mark Hamill has reported that the producers asked him to sing a song for one scene. He refused.
  • Despite his introduction in The Holiday Special, Boba Fett has gone on to become one of the most popular Star Wars characters.
  • Peter Mayhew has reportedly said that the most common question asked of him at fan conventions was something along the lines of "Do you remember working on the Holiday Special?" His response, he says, is always, "of course I do."[53]
  • Lucas's original screenplay for Star Wars spelled the Wookiee planet's name as "Kazhyyyk." The Holiday Special refers to it as "Kazook," and many other Expanded Universe novels and games refer to it as "Kashyyyk." Kashyyyk has become the G-Canon name of the planet now, as Lucas used that spelling when the planet made its theatrical debut in Revenge of the Sith.
  • Footage featuring Leslie Schofield (Chief Bast) in the Holiday Special was actually from an unused scene from the original Star Wars film, A New Hope. In A New Hope, Bast was stationed on the Death Star. Since the Holiday Special happens not long after the end of A New Hope, and features Bast serving under Vader, further official sources (including Decipher) state that Bast left the Death Star before its destruction, to avoid contradictions between A New Hope and the Holiday Special.
  • The opening announcer who introduces the cast specifies "James Earl Jones as the voice of Darth Vader," but does not mention David Prowse, the actor who was under the suit. Ironically, in the first two Star Wars theatrical films (including The Empire Strikes Back, which was filmed after the Holiday Special), Prowse was credited as Vader, but Jones specifically requested not to be credited.
  • Stan Winston, a special effects master known for his work on The Terminator (1984) and its sequels, created the Wookiee costumes for the Holiday Special. He even briefly mentions his work on it, in the Fangoria Blood Drive Volume I DVD. He explains that the Holiday Special was one of the first projects he worked on.
  • Originally a very minor detail, the Wookiee food of "Wookiee-ookiees" became a cult symbol in the Star Wars fan universe, spawning plays on its name such as Wookiee-cookies (a Star Wars-themed dessert) and the term Wookiee-Hooky (the act of skipping school to see a Star Wars film, particularly if it has just been released).
  • Up until the release of Revenge of the Sith (which introduced Luke and Leia as infants), the Holiday Special was the only other live-action production, outside of the Original Trilogy, which featured any of the "big three" (Han, Luke, and Leia).
  • In the scene where Malla and Itchy contact Luke when he is working on his X-wing with R2-D2, R2 opens a metal flap from his robot body. This is only the second time, chronologically, in the Star Wars live-action productions, that he has been shown to do this. The first time was in Revenge of the Sith, when he contacts Obi-Wan Kenobi near the beginning.
  • The Holiday Special featured a M'shento'su'Nikto, named Kelbo, a subspecies of Nikto not seen in any of the six main films.
  • In the film Without a Paddle, in a possible reference to a line spoken by Ackmena in the special, Burt Reynolds' character says "Come back soon, I'll be waiting!"
  • Part of Boba Fett's dialogue was sampled by UNKLE and may be heard on the Psyence Fiction album between tracks 3 and 4.
  • The magazine ToyFare has referred to the Star Wars Holiday Special and how it has presented many horrors to the viewer. Such as that Malla appears simply as Chewbacca in an apron and that this brings such confusion that Chewbacca ends up hugging himself. Also that Chewbacca must hate his son because he gave him a name such as Lumpy. One issue of the magazine also spoofed the Holiday Special by making a multiple-page spread on action figures, stating that figures from the special were next.
  • The Star Wars based MMORPG, Star Wars: Galaxies, has several items and in-game storylines relating loosely to Wookiee Life Day.
  • A quick mention of The Star Wars Holiday Special was made on Adult Swim's The Venture Brothers- A Very Venture Christmas when Dr. Orpheus argues that Christmas is as real a holiday as Kwanzaa or Wookiee Life Day.
  • Weird Al Yankovic's music video for his song "White and Nerdy" (parody of Ridin' by Chammilionaire) features Al (dressed like a nerd) paying for and receiving a paper bag from a "gangster", which gives the viewer a perspective that he is buying drugs. Al opens the paper bag to reveal a videotape of "The Star Wars Holiday Special".
  • Famous people who are fans of the holiday special: Conan O'Brien, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and "Weird Al" Yankovic.
  • The holiday special was mentioned in the background of the 2005 ABC Family movie Chasing Christmas.
  • A 2005 issue of the official Star Wars magazine, Star Wars: Insider discusses the holiday special as one of the five strangest moments in the Star Wars expanded universe.
  • Mark Hamill recalled his experiences on and gave his opinion on the special in a Hyperspace celebrity chat.[54][55]
  • An image of Beatrice Arthur, the actress who portrayed Ackmena in the special, was present on some behind the scenes images on the 1993 laserdisc "definitive" box set of the original trilogy.
  • On the 1993 laserdiscs, Lucasfilm archivist Don Bies gave an archive tour that revealed that the Lumpy mask from the special resides in the archives. Additionally, in a 2005 interview with Bies, he confirmed that several props from the holiday special were saved by Lucasfilm and are present in the archives, including two "wood carved" X-Wing models, the yellow control panel where Lumpy watches the cartoon, Itchy and Lumpy's suits and masks, and Malla's suit (the mask is missing).[5]
  • Writer/Director Kevin Smith, a well-known Star Wars fan, named one of his comics Clerks: The Holiday Special, in a reference to The Star Wars Holiday Special.
  • In a Hyperspace fan chat, Anthony Daniels, who portrayed C-3PO in the special, was jokingly asked "Thinking about doing another Holiday Special?", to which he replied "You could be terminated for even suggesting such a thing. Mind you, I had fun working on the original, but as a safety measure, I didn't actually watch it."[56]
  • The Squid Lake sequence of Revenge of the Sith seems to resemble parts of the Mermeia sequence from the special.
  • The fan film IG-88: The Dancing Robot, which was shown in the fan film theater at Celebration IV, parodies the holographic band and acrobatic sequences from the special, and also shows Krelman. Since this was posted at the official site, it marks yet another official acknowledgement of the special.[57]
  • G4TV has mentioned the special on the "DVDuesday" segment of its Attack of the Show program (when Chris Gore showcased a group of lesser-known Star Wars DVDs)[58], and on its "Star Wars at 30" program (in reference to the productions in which Peter Mayhew has portrayed Chewbacca).
  • Rated number 3 in 'The Five Goofiest Moments Of The Star Wars Mythos', in the UKs Star Wars Magazine #62.
  • The Holiday Special is one of the few non-wrestling inductions into the Wrestlecrap archives, normally dedicated to the worst of professional wresstling.
  • The "reunion" scene between Chewbacca and Malla is reminiscent of a similar scene in the 1945 film The Best Years of Our Lives.
  • In Issue #121 of ToyFare magazine, the "Twisted Toyfare Theater" section is devoted exclusively to the special, with Lumpy questioning Chewbacca about Life Day, and Chewbacca responding that he should look it up on Wookieepedia.[59]
  • The song "Goodnight, But Not Goodbye" may be a reference to Mollie E. Moore's poem of the same name ("Good-night, but not Good-bye").
  • Pete Vilmur published an article on entitled "Checklist: 10 Strange Star Wars Magazine Covers". Starlog #19's Holiday Special cover came in at #7.[60]
  • Bonnie Burton listed Ackmena as #2 on her list of "10 Unlikely Unleashed Figures",[61] though she jokingly gave her support to such a figure.[62]

Notes and references

  1. Mythmaker: The Life and Work of George Lucas by John Baxter, Avon Books: New York, NY (1999), p. 264
  5. [1]
  6. [2]
  13. Starlog #19
  14. Starlog #127 (February 1988), p. 49
  17. Episode II Video: Part Nine - Bucket Head on (backup link on
  18. Star Wars: The Best of 2004 on (backup link on
  19. You must be a member of Star Wars Hyperspace to view this linkStar Wars Animation Collectibles on Hyperspace
  20. [3]
  21. "Star Wars Holiday Special" Topps Cards at StarWarsShop on (backup link on
  22. Happy 30th "Star Wars Holiday Special"! on (backup link on
  23. "'The Star Wars Holiday Special': May the farce be with you."
  24. "Wookiees 'n Wreaths: "The Star Wars Holiday Special" Turns 30"
  25. "Vote for the “Star Wars Holiday Special”"
  26. [4]
  31. Celebration Store: An Entire Hall of Star Wars Treasures on (backup link on
  34. Photo Archive: Boba Fett (Animated Debut)
  37. Holiday Special Boba Fett Character Key Now at StarWarsShop on (backup link on
  42.  the Story, Round 7/index.html {{{3}}} in the Databank
  43.  Gormaanda's Culinary Corner: Glowblue Noodles & ChavHoloNet News Vol. 531 50
  44. You must be a member of Star Wars Hyperspace to view this linkBantha Tracks #5: Boba Fett and Barry Tribute on Hyperspace
  49. Robot Chicken: Star Wars: On the Couch on (backup link on
  50. 'Robot Chicken' Gets Its Claws In 'Star Wars' — And Seth Green Couldn't Be Happier - Article at
  51. Which relationship best matches the one with your father? on (backup link on
  57. IG-88: The Dancing Robot on (backup link on
  60. Checklist: 10 Strange Star Wars Magazine Covers on (backup link on
  • The Star Wars Holiday Special, original CBS airing, November 17, 1978. Steve Binder, George Lucas.
  • Complete cast and crew listing at the IMDb - [6]


  • You must be a member of Star Wars Hyperspace to view this linkBantha Tracks #5: Boba Fett and Barry Tribute on Hyperspace
  • You must be a member of Star Wars Hyperspace to view this linkBantha Tracks #7: Interview: Anthony Daniels on Hyperspace
  • You must be a member of Star Wars Hyperspace to view this linkBantha Tracks #35: Star Wars, The First Ten Years: 1977-1978 on Hyperspace
  • Homing Beacon #97 on (backup link on
  • Homing Beacon #116: Kashyyyk Revisited on (backup link on
  • You must be a member of Star Wars Hyperspace to view this linkStar Wars Insider #79 online supplement: Wookiees: No Trivia Too Small on Hyperspace
  • You must be a member of Star Wars Hyperspace to view this linkStar Wars Insider #80 online supplement: Behind the Mandalorians on Hyperspace
  • You must be a member of Star Wars Hyperspace to view this linkOf Star Wars Docs and Inoculations: Peter Shillingford on Hyperspace
  • You must be a member of Star Wars Hyperspace to view this linkStar Wars Animation Collectibles on Hyperspace
  • Cantina Roll-Call: Shedding Light on Some Alien Aliases - Article at
  • Star's article "The Forest of Gargantuans.," which details all early appearances of Kashyyyk and the Wookiee family in the EU.
  • wishes its viewers "Happy Life Day," a rare acknowledgment of an element of the special.
  • The official Star Wars: Galaxies website elaborates on the customs of Life Day, and what the player will see of it in the game.
  •  Chewbacca in the Databank
  •  Kashyyyk in the Databank
  •  Wookiee in the Databank
  •  Snivvian in the Databank (February 27, 2002)
  •  Abyssin in the Databank (April 22, 2003)
  •  Dashade in the Databank (April 22, 2003)
  •  Bantha in the Databank
  • Das Offizielle Magazin #36 on (backup link on
  • Celebration III Pop Culture and Fan Film Rooms on (backup link on
  • Q&A - February 1, 2003 Episode VI lore question on (backup link on
  • Q&A: July 20, 2006 on (backup link on
  • "Weird Al" -- Nerdy Something - Article at
  • Silversun Pickups' Love of Ewoks Will Endor - Article at
  • "Gentle Giant Toons Out the Original Trilogy" - Article at
  • Star Wars 30th Anniversary Action Figure Case Pack Wave 4 - Article at
  • New Exclusives and a Big Toy Sale at StarWarsShop on (backup link on
  • Q & A with Conan O'Brien on (backup link on
  • Star Wars: 30 Years In the Galaxy... and on the Tube on (backup link on
  • Collector Panels and More at Celebration IV on (backup link on
  • Celebration Store: An Entire Hall of Star Wars Treasures on (backup link on
  • Holiday Special Boba Fett Character Key Now at StarWarsShop on (backup link on</
  • Since the debut of's polls section in 2000, the site has held a poll every November (except for 2006) that either deals with or references the holiday special.[7]


Mythmaker: The Life and Work of George Lucas

Articles: Magazines with Holiday Special photos/articles:

  • TV Guide - Nov. 11-17, 1978 (USA)
    "Close Up: Science Fiction - Plus Music and Comedy"
    Small article with photo, plus advertisement.
  • Ledger TV Weekly - Nov. 12 to Nov. 18, 1978 (USA)
    "The Star Wars Holiday Special"
    Cover story with photos.
  • The New York Times - Nov. 17 1978: C29. (USA)
  • Starlog #19 - February 1979 (USA)
    "'Star Wars' Invades TV", by Natalie Millar
    Article and photos: details about the recently aired TV special.
  • Star Wars Insider #23 - 1994 (USA)
    "The Star Wars Holiday Special", by Jon Bradley Snyder
    Small article and photos: looking back at the Holiday Special.
  • Overstreet's Fan #5 - October 1995 (USA)
    (title unknown), by Joe Cesaro
    Article exploring some of the history behind the making of the HS animated featurette.
  • Star Wars Insider #27 - 1995 (USA)
    "A Star Wars CELibration", by Jon Bradley Snyder
    Article mentioning the Holiday Special in regards to Ewoks/Droids animation, no HS photos.
  • Tomart's Action Figure Digest #27 - December/January 1996 (USA)
    (title unknown)
    Article and photos: details on Kenner's unproduced Wookiee figures for the Holiday Special.
  • Ultra Filmfax #69-70 - Oct. 1998/Jan. 1999 (USA)
    "The Star Wars Holiday Special", by Ross Plesset
    Black and white photos and very detailed article on the SWHS with interviews.
  • Flashback TV #0 - 2000 (France)
    "Au temps de la guerre des étoiles (le téléfilm méconnu de l'univers Star Wars)"
    Article: ?
  • SFX #67 - August 2000 (UK)
    ("Star Wars Revealed!"), by Ross Plesset
    Photos and detailed article on the SWHS with interviews.
  • Tomart's Action Figure Digest #81 - November 2000 (USA)
    (title unknown)
    Photos and article on the unproduced Boba Fett Sea Serpent toy from the SWHS.
  • Bild & Bubbla #153 - June 2001 (Sweden)
    "Star Wars", by David Haglund, pg. 29, 30-39
    Article: ?
  • ToyFare #53 - January 2002 (USA)
    "The Nightmare Before Empire", by Rob Bricken
    Article and photos: humorous review of fictitious (fan-made) Holiday Special figures.
  • Star Wars Magazin #24 - January 2002 (Germany)
    "TV-Mission - Das Star Wars Holiday Special", by Marco Frömter
    Article and photos: summary and details on the Holiday Special.
  • Entertainment Weekly #795 - December 3, 2004 (USA)
    "Buried Treasure", by Tim Carvell
    Paragraph and photo featuring the Holiday Special as a "lost treasure" from 1978.
  • Star Wars Magazin #36 - January 2005 (Germany)
    "Erinnerungen Durch Wookiee Augen", by Marco Frömter
    Article and photos: interview with Patty Maloney (Lumpy), behind the scenes info.
  • Film Review Special #56 (Star Wars Special) - February 2005 (UK)
    "The Lost Episode - Attack of the Holiday Special", by Grant Kempster
    Article and photos: details of the Holiday Special and animated segment.
  • Stardust #6 - June 2005 (Sweden)
    "Den stoppade Star Wars filmen", by Alf Sallander and Georg Madisson
    Article and photos: details of the Holiday Special.

See also

Wookieepedia has a collection of images related to The Star Wars Holiday Special.

External links

  • The Star Wars Holiday Special [TDE] - Thread at the message boards
  • "Star Wars Holiday Special": Script and Directors on (backup link on
  • The Han Solo Comedy Hour! - Vanity Fair

Fan sites:

  • Star Wars Holiday Special comprehensive fan site
  • Star Wars Holiday Special original fan site
  • Star Wars Holiday Special German fan site
  • A technical analysis of various aspects of The Star Wars Holiday Special
  • Ewoks, Droids & HS character references/appearances in EU Literature - Thread at TheForce.Net
  • The Characters of Star Wars Television - Thread at TheForce.Net


  • The Star Wars Holiday Special at the Internet Movie Database
  • Movie Criticism for the Retarded takes a look at the special
  • - The Star Wars Holiday Special
  • gives a professional review of the special
  • AOL gives its review of the special
  • Category at ODP
  • When the Force Was a Farce
  • Another fan's review of the special
  • A town's newspaper reports on the special and its availability.
  • A fan site:, reviews the special
  • Link to's article with false claims of a sequel.
  • Site giving a point by point breakdown of the special.
  • Relish Now's December 2004 review of the special
  • "Mutant Reviews" gives its October 2005 review of the special
  • I Viddied It On the Screen - A very in-depth and thoughtful review of the film
  • I-mockery review of Holiday Special
  •'s review of the special
  • "Star Wars: An Animated Galaxy Far, Far Away" – Article at
  • Bad Review
  • Recap with Sarcasm at TarsTarkas.NET
  • Review at The Science Fiction, Horror, & Fantasy Film Review
  • Review at
  • The lost TV episode of 'Star Wars': 'Leave it to Chewbacca'? – Article at
  • 'Star Wars' spinoffs; Videogames, novels, TV keep mythology alive - Article at
  • Gallery: 'Star Wars' toys – Article at
  • Star Wars on TV: From the Holiday Special to Clone Wars, we look back at the television spinoffs set in a galaxy far, far away... – Article at
  • Review – at
  • When the Force was a Farce – Article at

Official opinions:

  • Site with some of George Lucas's comments on the special.
  • Site with various Star Wars authors' opinions about the special.
  • Abel G. Peña's blog at, written on November 17, 2005, the 27th anniversary. Peña is a Star Wars author who goes by the name of "Halagad" on
  • An article from the Star Wars Insider on the series


  • The Star Wars Holiday Special at EOFFTV.
  • Nerf-Herders Anonymous and the Star Wars Actors Database - Covers parts of the EU in the references sections. The Star Wars Actors Database has all the voice actors listed for any video games, which again covers the EU.


  • Link to download the official fourth draft of the script, dated 9/13/78
  • Link to John Haller's transcript of the Holiday Special

Copies of the special:

  • of the special available for sale on eBay
  • A DVD image for the special available for download via BitTorrent
  • One man's recorded video of the show available for download (RAM format, 18MB)

Fan films that reference the special:

  • "Chewbacca's Star Wars Holiday Special"
  • "8 minutes"
The Star Wars Saga
I: The Phantom Menace · II: Attack of the Clones · III: Revenge of the Sith
IV: A New Hope · V: The Empire Strikes Back · VI: Return of the Jedi
Spin-off films:
The Holiday Special . Caravan of Courage · The Battle for Endor
The Great Heep · The Haunted Village · The Pirates and the Prince
Tales from the Endor Woods · Treasure of the Hidden Planet · The Clone Wars
Television series:
Star Wars: Droids · Star Wars: Ewoks · Star Wars: Clone Wars
Star Wars: The Clone Wars · Star Wars animated TV series
Star Wars live-action TV series
Other media:
Audio dramas · Books · Comics · Games · Star Tours · Fan films
Shadows of the Empire · Clone Wars · The Force Unleashed

This article uses material from the "The Star Wars Holiday Special" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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