everything you always wanted to know about the star wars holiday special but were afraid to ask


My good friend Peter (who writes the best film-buff blog in the business) just sent me this wonderful, in-depth article from Vanity Fair about the making of the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special (for those who don’t remember it, consider yourself lucky).  It’s a great read and full of tantalizing tidbits about the first, official moment in history when Battlestar Galactica was better than Star Wars!

And if after reading that you still hunger for more Holiday Special content (which one fan described as “The great secret of Star Wars; the 3-eyed cousin who lives in the barn attic, humping sheep and eating spiders”)  then head on over to Rifftrax, where the ex-MST3K boys have posted their own iconic commentary on the Holiday Special.  Hilarity ensues.

10 Responses to “everything you always wanted to know about the star wars holiday special but were afraid to ask”

  1. January 13, 2009 at 3:42 am

    Thanks for the tip. I can’t wait to see what the MST3K guys say about this one. (Hopefully it’s Joel and not that other guy, who wasn’t bad but wasn’t Joel.)

  2. 2 Peter von Frosta
    January 13, 2009 at 4:21 am


    I remember watching a very old beta tape of this back in the early 90s. I think I stopped it after 5-10 minutes, it was so bad.

  3. January 13, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Just saw it again this Christmas. With more years under my belt, I think I get what they were trying for (one of those goofy variety shows) but it’s still a bear to sit through.

    OTOH, cartoon Boba is more of a badass than movies Boba.

  4. January 13, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    THANK YOU for both of these links. It will give me something to keep me occupied (read: distracted) until Friday night (BSG w00t!). I have to say my Star Wars fandom has gone way to the wayside lately. Hopefully these won’t give it the final crush – even though I am well aware of TSWHS and actually saw it air on TV when I was a wee lass. Oh the memories (that I partially blocked out).

  5. January 13, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    OMG, I remember watching this on TV in 1978 as a kid.. and in later years, people would look at me like I had grown a third head when I’d mention it. I was beginning to wonder if I’d only imagined it.

    My goodness, its worse than I remember.

  6. January 13, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Oh ya. It is a great RiffTrax indeed.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, Chewbacca’s lifeless stare!”

    And don’t forget, they riff the commercials that were on the Holiday special as well! God, I wish I could have experience those commercials back then!

  7. January 13, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    It does invite one obvious question: Which alien was cunt-face? Because he’s got a proper name and backstory now, and an action figure, as well. [NOTE: I edited this post to put the swear word back in, it references the article I linked to. Besides, I don’t care. – Mojo]

  8. 8 darthmojo
    January 14, 2009 at 1:14 am

    Has anyone noticed yet what happens when you click on Luke?

  9. 9 ety3
    January 14, 2009 at 2:46 am

    I adore the Holiday Special in its own little way, much like one adores “Manos: Hands of Fate” or “Plan 9 From Outer Space.” I, too, saw it in 1978 and for many years thereafter, whenever I’d ask another Star Wars fan about seeing something with Chewie’s family in a treehouse with stormtroopers, I’d get the requisite, “Huh?” response.

    I have two different versions of the Special, primarily so I can see the different commercials and such. I love that kind of period context/trivia. “Fighting the frizzies at 11,” anyone?

    The Rifftrax mp3 is well worth the few bucks it costs to download. Mike, Kevin and Bill seem have lots of fun (well, not really) with the half-hour of pure, untranslated Wookiee dialogue. And the Diahann Carroll holo-porn. And the Harvey Korman alien cooking show. And the Bea Arthur Cantina number.

    As for the Five Reasons list you linked to, Mojo, I disagree a little with number 5. Yes, for a long time, it seemed that trusting the Force pretty much only helped Luke evade Vader’s TIE Fighter for an extended period. But a few years back I came to the realization that it was the Force that also helped both of those large proton torpedoes enter that exhaust port with such an unnatural ease. Surely one may have gone in, but both? Watch it again if you must and you’ll see they neatly kinda bundle up and fly on in … as though SOMETHING was helping them.

  10. 10 jpearse
    January 14, 2009 at 10:50 am

    I like “so bad it’s good” movies and tv shows as much as the next guy, but I honestly couldn’t watch the Holiday Special to the end when a friend gave me it last year. Normally I can ignore the nagging sense that I should be doing something more useful when watching mind numbing tv, but this time I actually gave in, got up and did something more worthwhile. Happy Life Day indeed. :P

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January 2009

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