After all these years, I still have faint memories of seeing the Star Wars Holiday Special when it aired on November 17, 1978. It was the only time this special was ever shown, and George Lucas has said he wishes he could destroy every bootleg copy he could get his hands on with a hammer.
Yet lovers of camp and kitsch like myself have gotten a huge kick out of it, and it’s a very funny pop culture artifact today. As Vanity Fair reported, the Holiday Special was created because it would be several years before the next Star Wars movie was slated to hit theaters, and this would be a good in-between project that would fill the gap for fans, and keep it in the public consciousness.
These days, we know that the fans can wait for a sequel, and three years isn’t too long to wait by today’s standards. Certainly Star Wars didn’t need a variety show with Bea Arthur, Art Carney, and the musical stylings of Carrie Fisher and Jefferson Starship, but it had some cool moments too, like the Boba Fett cartoon.
There have been rumors than an official version of the Holiday Special was going to come out on DVD / BluRay, and it would not only be a nice way to have an official version out there for fans to buy and enjoy, but it would also finally let the boogeyman out of the closet and show Lucas he has nothing to be ashamed of with this show. He’s certainly had his name on far worse…
Psst. Here’s a peek at the original special. Don’t tell George.