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The Star Wars Holiday Special.


Introduction

I remember watching the Holiday Special back in 1978. My trusty cassette recorder was at the ready. My sister and her then-toddler son, who is my nephew Shawn, came over to visit that evening. Read on for the dire result . . . .

For some reason, I also seem to remember this show being called the Star Wars Wookie Holiday Special or just the Wookie Holiday Special. The announcer doesn't say Wookie. I don't know where I am getting the other title from. I can't find it in any of my sources. Has anyone else heard it offically called something else? Other than "really bad?" Look in my Kenner Toys page where I talk about Boba Fett.

I'd love to have the old TV Guide listing on this. With all of the hype at the time, it might have made the cover. Does anyone out there know? If so, please email me with the details.


Transcript

(Stock footage of Imperial Cruiser pursuing the Millennium 
Falcon.  Chewie growls a warning to Han.  Cruiser fires on the 
Falcon.)

Han:
That's it.  I'm turning back.

(Chewie barks a protest.)

Han:
I know your family's waiting.

(Chewie protests again louder.)

Han:
I know it's an important day!

(Chewie continues to fret as blaster fire explodes outside the 
cockpit.)

Han:
All right, we'll give it a try.  Set short coordinates.  We won't 
jump far.  I'll get you back there in time pal.  Trust me.  Our 
only only hope now is to out-run that Imperial garbage scowl.  Now, 
I'm going to light-speed.

(Chewie barks in agreement as the Cruiser continues to fire)

Han:
That's the spirit, you'll be celebrating Life Day before you know 
it.  Stand by.  Here's where we say good bye to our unpleasant 
friends.

(The Falcon goes into hyperspace. (29.1 KB)
 The main theme sounds.  I don't know if there was a title crawl.  
Probably so.)

Announcer:
(Much too emphatically)
The STAR WARS Holiday Special!  Starring Mark Hamill as Luke 
Skywalker, Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Carrie Fisher as Princess 
Leia.

With Anthony Daniels as C-3P0, Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca, R2-D2 as 
R2-D2 (!), and James Earl Jones as the voice of Darth Vader.

Introducing Chewbacca's family: his wife Mala, his father Itchy, 
his son Lumpy.

With special guest stars: Beatrice Arthur, Art Carney, Diane Carroll, 
The Jefferson Starship . . .

And then, my cassette ends. Actually, my nephew Shawn was babbling right beside me, trying to play with the cassette recorder. He was about 21 months old. I was a little over 10 years old. I just shut it off. It was one battle I knew I wasn't going to win.

Someone out there was kind enough to email me the complete transcript. Thanks! You will eventually be credited and properly thanked again here.


Update

My good friend Ken has a brother (Jason) who has a copy of the SWHS. Jason's copy comes in a plastic video tape box with a decent label that features many different graphics, some of which are here. When I get ahold of a scan of the cover, I'll put it here. One of the label pictures looks like an offical "movie" style poster for the special.

I was able to visit both Ken and Jason in mid-October (1997) and we watched much of the first half of the special. It is actually painful to watch after all these years. I'll admit that right now. The action in the beginning is horribly slow. I think that the audience would have benefited from subtitles. The Wookie language is tolerable, but Lumpy's voice is grating!

One other silly thing is that an Imperial Navy Officer, (the one who gives Art Carney, the Shopkeeper, a hard time) has his helmet up way too high on his head. He's dressed all in black, like the two fellows on the Star Destroyer in TESB who remove all of the choked commanders. Another funny thing, I think he's got those metal "ink pens" visable in the left and right top of his tunic. I don't think any Imperial without visable rank had these on their costume.

However, the cartoon is amazing. The style of animation during some of it reminds me of Heavy Metal. After 19 years, I was dumb-founded when I watched the scene where the Y-Wing carrying Luke and 3PO had two spherical, inflatable "pontoons", which Luke used when the ship landed in water. I actually remembered seeing it all those years ago.

Just imagine: the 20th anniversary of the Holiday Special will be November of 1998. Can't you just see it?


The Star Wars Holiday Special
The Special Edition

A "Special" Special. I don't think that any amount of CGI scenes can improve it!


Pictures:

Included below are some pictures that I've not seen anywhere else. Ryan Silva's Compendium, listed in my links, has more stills. I've not looked much, but there are certainly other sites which have additional pictures from the show.

Another thing I like about the Holiday Special is that the cartoon shows Luke wearing the cool "ceremony" outfit from the end of Star Wars. See the picture of Fett and the Heros below.

Too bad that Mark Hamill didn't appear to wear it in the live action parts of the Holiday Special. Marvel Comics didn't put Luke in that outfit either when they started on original stories after the six-issue adaptation of Star Wars. Luke really needed to out-grow that farm-boy outfit. It must have been kept by Marvel for character recognition.

Click on each picture to load a LARGER copy of the image.

Wookie family (41.8 KB)
Topps Star Wars Galaxy I- #19 Front
Wookie Family
Kashyyyk tree house (36.7 KB)
Topps Star Wars Galaxy I - #19 Back
Kashyyyk tree house
Itchy with an X-Wing Model (44.2 KB)
Starlog #24, p. 56. Credited to CBS and
noted as also being previously printed in issue #19, P. 52
Itchy the Wookie
Boba Fett with Luke, Han & Chewie (51.3 KB)
Topps Star Wars Galaxy I - #20 Front
Fett and Trio
Stromtroopers on a armored speeder (15.9 KB)
Star Wars Insider #31, P C9
Stormtroopers
Boba Fett with Stormtroopers (19.1 KB)
Star Wars Insider #31, P C9
Fett and troops

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Copyright © 1997, Michael A. & Tammy G. Hendershot