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The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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R2-D2 (as R2-D2)
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Darth Vader (voice)
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Ackmena (as Beatrice Arthur)
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Marty Balin ...
Holographic Band Singer (as The Jefferson Starship)
Craig Chaquico ...
Holographic Band Member (as The Jefferson Starship)
David Freiberg ...
Holographic Band Singer (as The Jefferson Starship)
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Holographic Band Member (as The Jefferson Starship)
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Storyline

It is Life Day, a holiday that is celebrated on Chewbacca's home planet Kashyyyk. Chewie and Han Solo are trying to get to the planet where Chewie's family is waiting for him, but the Empire is out searching for the rebels, giving everyone a hard time. While we are waiting we get a look at the everyday life of a Wookiee family. We meet all the familiar characters from Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) and we are introduced to Boba Fett during a short cartoon. We also pay a visit to the Cantina and meet all the monsters again. Written by Kynde

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Luke Skywalker and Han Solo battle evil Imperial forces to help Chewbacca reach his imperiled family on the Wookiee planet - in time for Life Day, their most important day of the year! See more »


Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Star Wars Holiday Special  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Mark Hamill, this one-off TV show was devised by George Lucas as a way to keep the unexpected success of the original 1977 release fresh in the mind of the fans and help keep the merchandise selling in shops. In 1978 the script was still being written for the sequel (The Empire Strikes Back) and Lucas was concerned that as filming wouldn't start until 1979 and the final film wouldn't be released until the summer of1980, the Star Wars brand would quickly be forgotten about so this TV special was hastily devised to keep the concept alive until the sequel would hit the cinemas 18 months later. However when Lucas watched the final production he was horrified at the resulting show and felt it wasn't just badly executed but could easily be seen as an attempt at a cheap cash-in as well as cheapening the Star Wars brand. Whilst he was too late to stop it getting a television airing in North America & Canada, he was at least able to prevent the show being aired in most other territories where Star Wars had also proven to be a massive success. See more »

Goofs

The flight deck of the Millennium Falcon is quite obviously not the same as the one used in the original film. In the original film the flight deck had room for five people to all be in the same shot together, a back panel of flashing lights, and a distinctive round blue VDU display behind and high above Chewbacca's left shoulder. The flight deck shown here is much smaller than in the original film and the backdrop is quite obviously just a painted wall. This was because this television special was filmed on a soundstage in Burbank, Hollywood (on video tape) whilst the original Millennium Falcon set footage was filmed on 35mm film at Elstree film studios in England. See more »

Quotes

Chef Gormaanda: Stir, whip, stir, whip, whip, whip, stir, beat.
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Crazy Credits

R2-D2 as R2-D2 See more »

Connections

Featured in Bring Back... Star Wars (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Star Wars Themes
by John Williams
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One word: Misguided
16 December 2001 | by See all my reviews

I don't know whose idea this thing was, but it was a bad one. The "Star Wars Holiday Special" took place in between the two movies, and is famous amongst Star Wars fans for featuring the first appearance of Boba Fett, and completely forgotten by everyone else. Why so forgotten? Because, simply, the show is absolutely terrible.

The "special" (and I use that term as loosely as possible) is about Chewbacca's family, who await his return for the celebration of the holiday "Life Day." Far as I can gather, the holiday involves Christmas ornament-like globes and wearing red robes and being Wookies. The special is basically two hours of waiting, and along the way there are cameos by all the major stars of the original film (Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, etc.) It's shocking they appear at all, I have to believe the mob was involved for them to show up. They don't do much, and look thoroughly ashamed of themselves. And they should be; after all, all the action is given to Art Carney (Don't ask me), who plays a trader who's friends with the, uh, Baccas. Action hero Art Carney, ladies and gentlemen.

The show has more asides than a Shakespearian play. There is no plot, there are only little goofy tidbits. None of it is very Star Warsish. Harvey Korman plays a few roles, including an alien version of Julia Childs, and a robot explaining how to set up a communication device. Bea Arthur works in the infamous Cantina, which on a tv budget looks a lot like a diner with some guys with alien masks. She gets a very lengthy musical number and so do Jefferson Starship, and others.

Why would you make a Star Wars special that had nothing to do with Star Wars? It's mostly musical numbers, third rate celebrities (Way older than Star Wars' target audience I should mention), and Wookies who can't speak English. There's a good twenty minute period where no English is spoken since it's just the three Wookies goofing off. If this is genius stuff, then so's "Freddy Got Fingered."

The important Boba Fett apperanace is also one of the few truly entertaining moments of the show; a cartoon about Luke and co. meeting Boba for the first time. It's exciting and well voiced and animated. It's also just a little doo-dad that Lumpy (Yes, when you're named Chewie you name your son Lumpy) watches on a little video screen while waiting for his dad to come home.

It's funny to watch, and painful to watch, and annoying to watch, and mind-boggling to watch. It has to be seen to be believed, but do you really even want to?


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