Eight Reasons Why I Love The Star Wars Holiday Special

Ok. I get it. Everyone thinks that the Star Wars Holiday Special is a putrid pile of bantha-poodoo. A quick Google search shows a myriad of articles – many of which are written by people who are desperate to prove how cool and edgy they are for slagging the 1978 special.  You won’t be getting that here. Now, before I get into expressing my love for this misunderstood part of Star Wars history, I will make some concessions. Is it campy? Yes. Is it dated? Yes. Does it make you cringe? Yes. Can you see examples of unhappy actors, embarrassed actors and actors who were contractually obligated to be there for the filming? Oh yeah. However, once you get past all of that, you realize that you are watching…well…a really cheesy variety show from 1978.

            Variety shows were a staple of 1970s television. The only thing I can compare it to today, in terms of being such an integral  part of modern television viewing is reality TV. Every channel has some kind of reality programming on at any given time. This was the case with the variety show. Having been around since the dawn of TV, the variety show morphed into a unique animal in the 70’s, as almost anyone with an ounce of fame or recognition had their own show. The Brady Bunch, Sha-Na-Na, Tony Orlando and Dawn and The Muppets all had their own shows with guest stars, musical numbers, comedy and other bits of entertainment that kept folks busy during those prime time hours on any given night. Just to show how crazed the variety show was in the 70s, CBS gave a couple of mimes a prime time spot. MIMES! Go ahead and check out Sheilds and Yarnell on Youtube.  I will be waiting here for you.

            With the variety show being such a huge part of 70s TV, and Star Wars becoming, not only a monstrous, money making hit, but also a world wide phenomenon, the decision was made to bring the franchise to TV to keep it fresh and at the forefront of the public’s mind, while the sequel, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, was being filmed. The end result is the entity we know as THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL.

            Now that we have discussed the how, let us talk about the “why”. That is, “Why I love the Star Wars Holiday Special”. I still remember when I saw it back in 1978. I was 5 ½ years old and devoured any and all things that had to do with Star Wars. I missed the first hour or so of the special. I think I forgot it was on. I remember switching channels to CBS and watching. Some 42 years later, the only part I vividly remember was the scene where Han Solo feints a Stormtrooper into going through a railing and falling off of the walkway of Chewbacca’s palatial estate on Kashyyyk.

            At the time, TSWHS  was the only outlet for Star Wars besides catching the movie at the cinema or drive-in for the umpteenth time. This was a new Star Wars story that we could watch AT HOME. This concept might be lost to you younger folks, where streaming any Star Wars movie or TV show at the drop of a hat is commonplace, but in a world where that didn’t exist, this was huge. 

            So, why do I love the Star Wars Holiday Special? This can only be expressed as a list, because, quite frankly, writing that introduction took a lot out of me.  So, I guess, these are my top eight reasons why I love the Star Wars Holiday Special.


  1. Well, first of all – It is Star Wars. Plain and simple. It is a part of the mythos and deserves the recognition. If you like the made for TV Ewok movies and the cartoons of the 80s, then this should be ranked right along with them. Collectively, they are all some of the earliest examples of Star Wars existing beyond the movies.


  1. Diahann Carroll as Itchy’s Holographic Wow. Even by 1970s standards, this is over the top. Borderline pornographic, Diahann Carroll’s portrayal of Itchy’s holographic fantasy who “feels her creation” is one of the more cringe worthy moments of the special. In a show marketed for children, this, without a doubt, made the parents of us 70s kids do a double take when she twirled her way into Chewy’s father’s mind.
  2. Jefferson Starship. What is a good variety show without a musical number? Several years removed from their appearance at Woodstock as Jefferson Airplane, and several years before their hit single “We Built This City” as Starship, Jefferson Starship provided both a musical interlude and some well deserved Imperial R and R for a lucky Death Star Trooper who was checking in on the Chewbacca household.


  1. Bea Arthur, Harvey Korman and Art Carney all have a role in the tapestry that is the Star Wars universe! Archie Bunker’s sister in law, ¼ of The Honeymooner’s comedic cast, and the greatest, worst straight man ever, have their places in the pantheon of Star Wars actors.

  1. The Boba Fett cartoon. It is what everyone refers to as the best part of the show. Sporting animation from Canada’s Nelvana animation studio, the Boba Fett Cartoon breaks up the camp just long enough to remind everyone that a new threat was going to make his way into theaters with the 1980 release of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.


  1. Mark Hamil’s makeup. Mark Hamill Is wearing more makeup than the members of Kiss, as he and R2-D2 try to repair some part of some ship. Granted, he was in a horrible automobile accident prior to the filming. However, the lengths gone to cover the damage are pretty hideous. He looks like he fell asleep in a tanning booth while someone dyed his hair. A snapshot in time of an iconic character and the actor who played him.

  1. Carrie Fisher. I don’t know if she didn’t want to be at the filming of the special or if she was dealing with her personal demons during the production. It seems that she is very disconnected from her surroundings throughout the show. Regardless, this is the only time, outside of A NEW HOPE that we get to see Carrie Fisher, in full Princess Leia getup, sing. For such a normal activity, it is the most surreal moment of the entire special.


  1. The commercials! My copy, given to me on VHS by a friend of mine back in the early 90’s, is from the legendary WCBS broadcast out of New York. In between the special there are commercials for Star Wars toys, Hungry Jack biscuits, panty hose, make up, cars, the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and the infamous 11 o’clock news teaser with Rolland Smith, who informed the viewers that we all would be “Fighting the frizzies at eleven”. Not only are these commercials reflective of American culture at the time, but they are also a part of the complete experience of the Star Wars Holiday Special.

   Happy Life Day!


Star Wars Wings

Via Gizmodo.com:

Star Wars, at its core, is a very silly franchise. A delightfully silly one, more often than not, fascinated with minutiae and over-explanation in few ways other sagas would be. But one of my favorite, most enduring silly facts about it is the galaxy far, far away’s fascination with starfighters named exclusively after an alphabet that only sort of exists.

The movies gave us the X-Wing and Y-Wing, and then the B-Wing and A-Wing and then, decades later with prequels like Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One, the V-Wing and U-Wing. Star Wars’ Expanded Universe decided that if you were going to make a new starfighter, there’s a good chance it should be awkwardly shaped to try and look like a letter in the Latin alphabet (sorry, sorry, High Galactic). While we never really got up to a full 26 before Disney rebooted the Star Wars canon, we still have a healthy arsenal of Alphabet fighters. So, to celebrate the B-Wing and Y-Wing’s return in The Rise of Skywalker, here’s our very serious judgment of this very specific designation of starship.

A word of clarification going in: While we are dipping back into the old Expanded Universe for a few of these, we’re only going for ships officially referred to as “-Wing” starfighters, and only those that used the Latin/High Galactic alphabet, instead of the equivalent in Star Wars’ more typical written symbology, Aurebesh. No M-Class or G-Types allowed, or Aurek-Classes. No uglies like the Z’ceptor, either! So, without further ado…

Click below to read the full article.

Star Wars Theory: There Were Always Two “Chosen Ones”

Via Screenrant.com:

What if Star Wars always had two Chosen Ones? Ever since The Phantom Menace, it’s been a mostly accepted part of lore that Anakin Skywalker was the Chosen One, a prophecized savior who was supposed to bring balance to the Force, something the Jedi believed meant destroying the Sith. While Anakin fell to the Dark Side, his eventual redemption did lead to the end of the Sith, seemingly confirming him as the Chosen One and fulfilling the prophecy.

However, that wasn’t the end of the Chosen One in Star Wars. Prior to The Last Jedi’s release, it was revealed that Luke believed Ben Solo to be the new Chosen One. Now, with Emperor Palpatine set to return in Episode IX, it means the Sith aren’t really done after all, so the Chosen One prophecy could still be open. Does that mean Anakin wasn’t the Chosen One? Not quite.

Click below to read the full article.

Star Wars Theory: Snoke’s Backstory Is Tied to Yoda – and the Prime Jedi

Via Cbr.com:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi unceremoniously killed Supreme Leader Snoke, who The Force Awakens set up to be the next Emperor Palpatine. This solidified the idea Kylo Ren, not Snoke, is the big bad in the new trilogy. However, it’s not surprising Star Wars fans are still making up Snoke theories to try and explain his unclear background.

On Reddit, speculation began with the cover reveal for Star Wars: Age of Resistance, a comic from Marvel. The new theories don’t turn Snoke into the saga-long big bad fans expected, but they do give him a role in the greater Star Wars lore by speculating he’s actually tied up with Yoda and the Prime Jedi.

Click below to read the full article.

Star Wars 9 Reversing The Last Jedi Would Ruin The Sequel Trilogy

Via Screenrant.com:

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is aiming to course correct Disney’s sequel trilogy and win back the fractured fanbase, but that should not mean undoing The Last Jedi. Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII had an infamously divisive impact upon the Star Wars fandom, and it’ll be tempting for J.J. Abrams to try and appease those fans back by reversing so much of that, but ultimately it’d only serve to make both Episode IX and the entire trilogy worse.

It’s difficult to know right now just what Abrams’ approach has been in this regard, because The Rise of Skywalker still remains shrouded in secrecy. The teaser trailer didn’t give a huge deal away – apart from the surprising return of Emperor Palpatine – but by, say, bringing the Knights of Ren back into the fold, we’re seeing Abrams go back to ideas he first started developing with The Force Awakens.

If he strays too far down that path, then it’s possible Abrams will make a Star Wars 9 that builds more upon where he wanted things to go after Episode VII, rather than where Johnson took them in The Last Jedi, and that would be a serious mistake.

Click below to read the full article.

Star Wars Prequels Need To Be Understood, Not Fixed

Via Screenrant.com:

As Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker quickly approaches to usher in the end of the Skywalker saga and fans are still locked in heated debates over Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it’s time to look back, once again, to another controversial Star Wars debate, the prequels.

Now that we’re 20 years separated from the release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, the debate over whether or not the prequels are good or bad is beyond tiring, but regardless of the actual cinematic quality of the prequels, their importance to the franchise can’t be overstated.

With numerous books and cartoons bringing additional clarity to the prequels in recent years, many people have said Lucasfilm is “fixing” the prequels, and while it’s true this additional canon material has helped fans come to a better understanding of the story of the prequels, saying it “fixes” the prequels suggests they were fundamentally broken in the first place, which just isn’t true.

Since the prequels have come and gone, Star Wars fans have already gone through another cycle of the highs and lows of a Star Wars franchise revival. The Phantom Menace was coming after over a decade and a half without Star Wars movies to tell the story of how the galaxy got to where we find it at the start of Episode IV, Star Wars: A New Hope.

Click below to read the full article.

Star Wars 9 Finally Addresses The Original Trilogy’s Dumbest Moment

Via Screenrant.com:

Fans now know that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will confirm Luke’s legacy in one or way another, but the movie’s main villain now looks to be largely Luke’s fault… having survived due to the dumbest part of The Return of the Jedi’s original ending.

We’re referring to Emperor Palpatine’s return in Star Wars 9, easily one of the most shocking reveals in the new trilogy. But no matter how Emperor Palpatine survived his death, whether it be in physical form or spiritual, it’s not actually difficult to understand why it went undetected. But once fans realize this massive twist is all based on the original trilogy’s most braindead ending, they may view the franchise’s legendary hero a bit differently.

Click below to read the full article.

Star Wars Legends Did The Return Of Luke’s Lightsaber Better Than Disney Canon

Via Screenrant.com:

The classic Star Wars Legends – originally known as the Expanded Universe – handled Luke’s lost lightsaber far better than the new Disney canon. When Disney purchased Lucasfilm back in 2012, they made the decision to designate almost all of the old Expanded Universe – novels, tie-in comics, and so on – as officially non-canon. It freed the House of Mouse up to essentially relaunch the entire franchise, weaving a new continuity that they hoped would be better, simpler, and easier to follow than the old one.

Wile the stories have been abandoned, they’re not dead, and Lucasfilm has raided a number of Legends for ideas they felt worked. A Han Solo prequel, revealing just how the smuggler first met up with Chewbacca? The secret history of the Death Star, and how the plans were first stolen from the Empire? Grand Admiral Thrawn? Darth Maul vs Obi-Wan part 2? Or a future Jedi Order, betrayed when one of their own – a Solo, no less – falls to the Dark Side? All these ideas were originally part of the old Expanded Universe in some form.

Click below to read the full article.

When Will Lucasfilm Announce The Star Wars Episode 9 Title?

Via Screenrant.com:

Some people are speculating Lucasfilm will announce the Star Wars: Episode IX title soon, but it likely won’t be unveiled for a while. Director J.J. Abrams started rolling the cameras on the film at the beginning of August, and fans have been eager to learn anything they can about the Skywalker saga’s grand finale. Plot details are being kept under firm wraps for now, but the studio has been transparent about certain aspects. Viewers know the plan for General Leia Organa in Episode IX, and there mercifully won’t be a “will he or won’t he?” debate about Mark Hamill’s return.

One aspect that remains a mystery is the film’s title, which will no doubt reveal plenty of clues about its narrative. Star Wars titles have a way of being very simplistic in regards to their relation to the movie’s events. For example, The Empire Strikes Back was all about the Empire crushing the Rebels after the Battle of Yavin, and The Force Awakens dealt with Rey discovering her abilities. Since there’s still more than a year until Episode IX releases, Lucasfilm is in no rush to share the title, but there are those convinced the reveal is right around the corner.

The genesis of the hypothesis stems from notorious social media prankster Hamill cryptically tweeting “THE (to be continued).” on September 13, 2018. Since the titles for both Episode VII and Episode VIII began with the word “the,” some believe Hamill is teasing the Star Wars 9 title. While it’s certainly possible Episode IX has another “the” name (it’s like poetry, it rhymes), Lucasfilm isn’t revealing it anytime soon.

Click below to read the full article.