We all have our opinions on the Star Wars films. Some of us (rightly) love The Last Jedi, some of us (wrongly) despise it. But one release that tends to unify us is the Star Wars Holiday Special. Even George Lucas can’t stand that one, and he’s been vocal about it.
If you’re unaware of this nugget of Star Wars canon, it’s a Christmas movie featuring the Star Wars cast in a slightly hare-brained adventure. Chewbacca and Han Solo are chased by Imperial ships, and while they’re getting away, Stormtroopers threaten Chewie’s family. Eventually, Han and his old buddy find their way home, chase away the Imperial guards, and all your favorite Star Wars characters get together for a sing-song.
It’s weird and really, really bad. There’s a short animated movie that features Boba Fett (though not his introduction, as commonly believed), and Leia leads the sing-along to celebrate Life Day, a galaxy far, far away’s version of Christmas.
Released in 1978, it’s the stuff of infamy, and George Lucas famously despises it. The Holiday Special was designed as a TV one-off, and he had minimal involvement overall. He’s famously quoted as saying, per the Chicago Sun Times: “If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.”
Strong feelings, but then, if your beloved passion project was turned into a commodity only a year after it reshaped the cinematic landscape, you’d probably be made too. The Star Wars Holiday Special developed a cult following since airing the first time, as fans became increasingly fascinated by it.
I mean, given the Star Wars movies that came after, it’s such a singularity, right? None of the Star Wars series ever went back to that tone either. A new movie about the making of the film, A Disturbance in the Force, has arrived to give some context on what happened, featuring insight from people who were there.
Available digitally now, the documentary looks at the making of, and legacy, of the Star Wars Holiday Special. If Lucas has his way, it might be the only way to see what really went on one day, so give it a watch. You can check our guides to the Andor season 2 release date, the Skeleton Crew release date, and the The Acolyte release date for what else is going on within the force.