“Star Wars Holiday Special” was ridiculous marriage of the future of filmmaking and the past of TV variety shows. As kids we were so excited to get more Star Wars at our own home! Now that I think of it, we went from seeing the movie in theater to watching the seeing the special on a little black and white TV!
Here’s the special and below an oral history and more background.
You’ve been warned.It’s the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. It made us all sad. Watch it here.
Mental Floss has a great oral history of how the special came to be. Very worth reading. Here are a couple of highlights of the special’s low lights…
With a budget of roughly $1 million—the 1977 film cost $11 million—The Star Wars Holiday Special began filming in Burbank, California in the summer of 1978 with a script that had been heavily revised by variety show veterans Bruce Vilanch, Rod Warren, and Mitzie Welch to reflect the Smith-Hemion style of bombastic musical numbers and kitsch. Chewbacca was now trying to race home in time for “Life Day,” with his family watching interstellar musical interludes and comedic sketches—like a four-armed Julia Child parody—on a video screen.