By Mike Streeter, © 1996, 7, 8, 9; 2000, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
Star Wars Holiday Special is a 2-hour long television special that aired on CBS on November
17, 1978. It starred all of the original cast of Star Wars except for
Alec Guinness. Excluding commercials, the program ran about 90 minutes.
The entire show is live-action, but there is an 11 minute animated segment, that is most popular as Boba Fett's first appearance in the Star Wars universe.
George Lucas wrote the story for the program, but because of preparations for Empire Strikes Back he had hardly any further involvement.
The program is about Chewbacca trying to fly home to his family on Kashyyyk. His family consists of his father, wife, and son. The show also has several special guest and musical appearances including the Jefferson Starship, Diahann Carroll, Bea Arthur, Art Carney, and Harvey Korman.
The show did well ratings-wise but it was very boring, corny, and altogether awful. By no means is it a worthy chapter in the Star Wars universe. George Lucas hated it so much, that he made sure that it never aired again and was never released on home video. When I asked author Kevin J. Anderson about his opinion about this program, he told me that he asked George Lucas about it once. Lucas told him that he would like to see every single surviving copy of that program destroyed. However, The Star Wars Holiday Special is still considered canon in the official Star Wars timeline.
Over twenty years after its initial airdate, the Holiday Special has become a much-treasured bootleg video that most die-hard fans have in their collection. Most fans find it to be a hard two hours to sit through. I believe the contrary: Where else are you going to see the real Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker together outside of the Star Wars trilogy? In fact, I enjoy going back to The Star Wars Holiday Special whenever I am tired of watching the original Star Wars movies and I am in the mood for seeing Han, Luke and Leia together in something else.
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