For decades, it used to be nearly impossible to see the Star Wars Holiday Special and for a good reason. It’s awful. But Star Wars fans have always wanted access to it, either as an artifact for how interest in the film was kept alive before The Empire Strikes Back came out or for the fascinating animated short that features Boba Fett. Now, access to it has never been easier thanks to YouTube. The above version of the special has been on the video sharing site since 2015.
The plot of the Holiday Special isn’t that crazy. It’s the execution of it that makes it so horrible. The story centers on Han Solo (Harrison Ford) trying to get Chewbacca to his home planet of Kashyyyk for the Wookie Life Day. While it could have been fun to spend time with our favorite smugglers, the majority of the movie actually takes place in Chewbacca’s home, where we spend time with his wife Malla, son Lumpy and father Itchy.
Even before Disney bought Lucasfilm, the story wasn’t considered part of the official canon.
George Lucas did come up with the story, but beyond that, he wasn’t involved. Instead, five writers (including comedian Bruce Vilanch) worked on it, along with directors Steve Binder and David Acomba. Jefferson Starship and Diahaann Carroll had performances in it that stalled whatever the plot was, while Art Carney, Harvey Korman and Bea Arthur had weird roles. Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill all took part in making the movie.
The film is most famous for a cartoon halfway through that introduces Boba Fett. It was animated by Nelvana, the same company Lucas would chose to animate the Droids and Ewoks shows in the 1980s. If you want to just watch the cartoon, you can see it here:
For a history of the making of The Star Wars Holiday Special, click below.