Add Mark Hamill to the list of the lucky ones who have never seen the infamous ‘Star Wars Holiday Special’. This legendarily terrible special aired in 1978 and George Lucas (and most everyone else) was so appalled by it that it was thrown into the vault, never to be re-aired or released on home video. But somehow the show has leaked out with bootleg copies readily available at conventions and over the internet, and most of it is actually available on Youtube (sometimes).
When a fan on Twitter asked Hamill if he’d ever seen it, he replied, “Not all the way through.”
Not all the way through. https://t.co/h9D1VJJbcd
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) November 18, 2018
A heavily made-up Hamill reprised his role as Luke Skywalker on the special, along with Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, “R2-D2 as himself” and James Earl Jones as the voice of Darth Vader. Most of their roles were little more than cameos and the story revolved around Chewbacca’s family back on their home planet, Kashyyyk. Since the Wookies were the focus of the two-hour show and none of them spoke English, the showrunners decided not to have subtitles so it’s essentially two hours of them grunting and growling at each other. (TWO HOURS!!!) The ‘Star Wars Holiday Special’ also includes song and dance numbers by Bea Arthur and Jefferson Starship, among others, and marked the first appearance of Boba Fett in an animated short.
Despite its status as one of the worst TV specials ever aired and the absolute low-point of ‘Star Wars’ as a whole, fans have embraced its cheesiness and for many, it is a part of their annual holiday traditions. Many have even made custom action figures of the characters unique to it, like Bea Arthur’s Ackmena, the bartender of the Tattooine Cantina, and Art Carney as Saun Dann, a friend of the Wookie family. Award-winning comedy writer Bruce Vilanch later admitted to being really into cocaine when he co-wrote the script for this event.
Have you seen the ‘Star Wars Holiday Special’? Is it part of your holiday traditions?