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Holiday Special > News > 2004

December 8, 2004

Canada's ZeD looks at the Holiday Special

This Thursday, December 9th, Canadian TV network CBC's art-attack program ZeD says they will "peek at the wonder that was the Star Wars Christmas Special" (aka the Holiday Special). This should be interesting, as there will most likely be footage aired that hasn't been seen publicly since the original airing of the Special back in 1978 (or possibly 1979 in Canada). If anyone manages to catch the episode, please drop us a line.

Lucasfilm releases Ewoks and Droids DVDs

After a long wait by fans, Lucasfilm has finally released a select number of episodes from Nelvana's Droids and Ewoks cartoon series on DVD. The Droids series in particular is animated in the same style as the cartoon Nelvana did for the Holiday Special, so you can now get a little more of a taste of their take on the animated Star Wars universe. We would like to see at least the rest of the Droids adventures released on DVD sometime, since this current DVD only contains 8 of the 13 episodes and one-hour special that aired back in 1985-86.


September 23, 2004

More director comments on Holiday Special section of documentary

Comingsoon.net has reported on the rollout presentation of the Star Wars Trilogy DVD at the Silent Movie Theater in Los Angeles, where various names who worked on the DVD were in attendance. Here's another quote from "Empire of Dreams" documentary director Kevin Burns regarding the Holiday Special:

So was this a "warts and all" telling of the making of Star Wars? Kevin replied, "Actually, that was our mandate. I do tell the dirty little story that the only thing we couldn't put into this documentary was the Star Wars Holiday Special. (laughter). You know, it truly didn't fit in the cut. We did have it in an earlier cut, I will tell you, and I was, 'Gosh, I really wanted [to] put that Star Wars Holiday Special [in]!' But it just didn't work in the context of the cut.

Shortly after, a certain other guest interrupted:

At that point a very familiar voice in the back yelled out, "I think the Holiday Special is severely underrated!!!" It was Mark Hamill himself who had snuck into the back of the theater. His impromptu comment generated a lot of laughter in the audience to which Kevin added, "We're gonna screen that after this!"

Hats off to Mark for his sense of humor! The full article can be found here.


September 17, 2004

Holiday Special reference cut from DVD documentary

The official site reported today on the Kevin Burns-directed Star Wars documentary "Empire of Dreams", which has already been previewed on A&E in abbreviated form, and which will be included on the Star Wars Original Trilogy DVD set on September 21st. Originally there was to be some coverage of the Holiday Special, but it wound up being cut to help shorten the already lengthy documentary. Here's a relevant quote from the article:

The little footage that was cut from the finished documentary included a reference to the infamous "Star Wars Holiday Special," the 1978 television extravanganza featuring the unlikely cast of Bea Arthur, Art Carney, Diahann Carroll, and Harvey Korman, in addition to A New Hope actors Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, and Peter Mayhew.

"I wanted it in the documentary to show early on how the studio could easily take control and make poor decisions once a film has proven to be a success," Burns explains. "It showed how Star Wars could have been if mishandled. George didn't want Star Wars to become burlesqued or treated like a kiddie show. And we wanted to make a point in the documentary that this was what George was petrified would happen to Star Wars if he hadn't had taken full control."

But the footage didn't quite fit with the overall premise of the documentary and instead ended up on the cutting room floor, "until I can make a director's cut of Empire of Dreams," Burns jokes.

The Holiday Special... always the red-headed stepchild of the Star Wars franchise. Does anybody else out there agree that the extra 10 minutes of documentary would make a fantastic Hyperspace member exclusive?

You will want to check out the full article here.


September 6, 2004

German Star Wars Magazine reports on Holiday Special panel

The crowd is riveted. Photo courtesy Christian Kraus.The latest issue of Star Wars: Das Offizielle Magazin (#34, Summer 2004) has a report on Jedi-Con 2004 in Germany, featuring some choice words regarding our guest appearance there for the Holiday Special panel. Here's an excerpt from the article, which we have translated from German:

Then there was an exclusive peek behind the curtains of the 'Star Wars Holiday Special' with Scott Kirkwood, who had traveled from Texas especially for Jedi-Con. He spoke many facts within that one hour, which have so far hardly ever been published. Some background information astonished even the old dogs among the fans.

Scott presented the 'Holiday Special' so well, that somehow one could almost like it afterwards. All in all there were great background insights, rare photos and clips, like for example the cartoon excerpt with Boba Fett's first appearance in the year 1978. Although the Special is considered the "black sheep" of the Star Wars universe, the crowd was gigantic. No other panel this afternoon had as many people present as were at this one.

Well, from that you'd think more than a few people were interested in the Special, wouldn't you? Judging by the success of the panel (the room was indeed packed), and by how many hits this site has received since opening last year, it seems that one should never underestimate the power... of The Star Wars Holiday Special!


August 21, 2004

Holiday Special DVD? No, says Sansweet

In a video interview conducted by IESB (which you can download from their website), Lucasfilm Director of Content Management Steve Sansweet was asked if the Star Wars Holiday Special will EVER be released, now that the Ewok films and Droids and Ewoks cartoons are headed for DVD... to which Steve's answer was a firm "No." See the interview for yourself, but don't give up hope that some day, in some form, we will see the Holiday Special finally made available... if only just to chuckle at.


July 31, 2004

Episode III Kashyyyk concept artwork revealed

BIG news this week. The official site at www.starwars.com has confirmed the rumors: as revealed at Comic-Con 2004, Kashyyyk (as well as plenty of Wookiees, of course) will feature in Episode III, which is now titled Revenge of the Sith! Not only that, but 43 pieces of concept artwork for Kashyyyk have been made available exclusively to Star Wars Hyperspace members. The fantastic artwork shows Wookiee houses, cities, vehicles and weapons in rich detail. For the most part, the look appears very similar to what was established in the Holiday Special matte paintings, only much more detailed and expanded. It's like the Holiday Special we only wish could have been. We get to see some of the surface of Kashyyyk in the form of a lagoon next to a treehouse village where a big battle will take place. One can only wonder: will we see any evidence of Chewbacca's father Itchy, or perhaps his wife Malla?

Ewok movies, Nelvana's Droids & Ewoks cartoons headed for DVD

Also announced at Comic-Con and confirmed over at The Digital Bits, the two Ewok TV movies "Caravan of Courage: The Ewok Adventure" and "The Battle for Endor" will be released on DVD in November and December of this year, along with the Nelvana-produced animated Droids and Ewoks adventures. Here's hoping that maybe Nelvana's cartoon "The Faithful Wookiee" from the Holiday Special will show up as an extra on the Droids DVD, showcasing the original appearance of Boba Fett! Now, with all these out of the way on DVD, will Lucasfilm finally begin to think about releasing the Holiday Special itself finally? We're not holding our breath, but you never know. However, if you would like to see the Holiday Special released, please let your thoughts be known by writing to:

Lucasfilm
P.O. Box 10228
San Rafael, CA 94912

Light The Web On Fire: Jefferson Starship member speaks

Today, starwarsholidayspecial.com spoke to Steve Schuster, former member of Jefferson Starship who played bass clarinet in the "Light The Sky On Fire" video that appeared in the Holiday Special. See an amusing quote from Steve about the experience under the Feedback/Quotes section of the site.


July 15, 2004

Holiday Special script now online!

Finally after a long delay, we now have the Fourth Draft of the Star Wars Holiday Special script available online in PDF format. The script is very hard to come by, and to our knowledge this is the first and only time it has ever been made available. Check the Text section of the site for more details, and to download a copy of the script for yourself. In the future we will also make the script available in plain text format.


May 5, 2004

Holiday Special DVD: April Fools - just kidding (for now)

Okay, first of all, apologies to anyone who got taken in by the April Fool's joke about the Star Wars Holiday Special 3xDVD set. Believe it or not, there are no current plans to release the Holiday Special in any format in the near future. However, we can still hope that someday, somehow, Lucasfilm will see fit to finally make it available even if only as a novelty or comedy item.

Report from Jedi-Con in Germany

Marco and SKot - Jedi-Con 2004As reported earlier, we attended Jedi-Con 2004 in Düsseldorf, Germany on April 9-11 to present a panel on The Star Wars Holiday Special, as well as to take part in all the fantastic fun! The panel was crowded and by all accounts was very much enjoyed as one of the highlights of the panel series. The presentation featured slides and video clips of the Holiday Special, concentrating on interesting little-known and behind the scenes facts from the show. Thanks again to Marco Frömter for arranging everything, and thanks to Digital Design Team for the photo.


April 1, 2004

Holiday Special hits DVD

We have just been informed that The Star Wars Holiday Special will be released on DVD at last! Thanks to Nicolas Seafort for alerting us to this newsworthy item. Here are the specs for your perusal:

Star Wars Holiday Special

Starring: Beatrice Arthur, Peter Mayhew, Mark Hamill, See more

Directors: David Acomba, Steve Binder (I)

Encoding: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. This DVD will probably NOT be
viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Full Frame, Dolby

Rated: Non-rated
Studio: WowTimes Home Video

DVD Release Date: April 6th, 2004
DVD Features: Commentary by directors David Acomba and Steve Binder, writers Bruce Vilanch, Rod Warren, Pat Proft, Leonard Ripps, Rick McCallum, visual effects coordinators Elizabeth Savel and Jenn de Joux

Five exclusive deleted scenes with introductions: Extended Imperial chase of Millennium Falcon, Lumpy Grounded, Boba Fett meets Mara Jade, Ackmena Interrogated, Saundan Talks To Jabba

"Episode IV and a Half": all-new full-length documentary about the journey the Holiday Special took to reach distribution.

"The Triumph of Life Day": film historians discuss the significance of the Wookiee ritual in today's society.

Five featurettes examining the story line, action scenes, and symbolism of the story through behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and filmmakers.

48-part Web documentary

"All About Lumpy" music video: an original composition by 50 Cent crafted
exclusively for this DVD.

Exclusive production photos

One-sheet posters

International outdoor campaign

Trailers, TV spots, and original commecials from 1978.

Exclusive DVD-ROM content

Full Frame anamorphic format

Number of discs: 3

This is fantastic news. The staff here at starwarsholidayspecial.com have already pre-ordered 5 copies each. Hurry and reserve yours today!


March 28, 2004

Another bit of news that I forgot to mention earlier: this one is from T'bone's Star Wars Universe, where T'bone recently interviewed Paul Ens, the guy in charge of LucasOnline. At the end of the interview, T'bone managed to get a Holiday Special question in for us:

T-bone: Do you know of any plans whatsoever to bring the Holiday Special to mass media?

Paul Ens: There is no official company line on the Holiday Special that I'm aware of. In the past, Rick McCallum has expressed to me that he'd like to see the entire library of all Star Wars works (Making Of's, Cartoons, etc.) on DVD some day. Somehow, though, I wouldn't hold my breath that the Holiday Special is included in that. Speaking only as a fan, and fellow completist, I'd love to see it happen, but the handling would be very tricky. I do try to lobby for it now and again.

So apparently the possibility of the Special's release is way up in the air, but it's good to know there are people on the inside working for it. Thanks to T'bone for asking that question, and thanks to Paul Ens for lobbying for the cause!


March 21, 2004

There have been a couple of news items in the last two months, but due to recent personal losses I haven't had the heart to post them. One of these losses was the sudden and tragic death of my 16-year-old kid brother, Kyle Kirkwood, on January 31st this year. Kyle was my buddy, and he was a big Star Wars fan to boot. He especially loved reading the Young Jedi Knights books. I will miss him very much and try as best I can to carry on without him. May the Force be with you, Kyle.

--SKot Kirkwood

Here's the recent news...

Holiday Special presentation to be given at Germany's Jedi-Con

Starwarsholidayspecial.com will be represented this year at Jedi-Con 2004 in Düsseldorf, Germany on April 9-11, where our own SKot Kirkwood will be attending and giving a presentation on the Holiday Special at 6 pm on Friday, April 9th. Jedi-Con is a Lucasfilm Official Star Wars Fan Club event, and is one of the largest Star Wars gatherings in the world. This is definitely going to be an exciting event, and it will be a great opportunity to unveil some little-known facts about the Holiday Special. If you happen to be in Germany for the convention, come by and say hello. Thanks again to Marco Frömter for coordinating this appearance.

For more information about Jedi-Con, please visit the official site:

Jedi-Con 2004

Mark Hamill chats about the Holiday Special

On February 10th, Mark Hamill appeared on an online celebrity chat in the members-only Hyperspace section of the official site at www.starwars.com. During the chat, Mark Hamill addressed a couple of questions about the Holiday Special in particular. The first Holiday Special question was asked by Phantom_Dennis, and the second was asked by yours truly! :o)

Phantom_Dennis: What was filming the Holiday Special like? Did you sense a disaster in the making or was it just fun to goof around with Bea Arthur, etc.

Mark: I never actually worked with Bea Arthur. We knew it was an... anomoly, that was meant to keep a presence in the fan minds, because the toys weren't ready. But, yeah, we all thought it was totally out of the real continuity, but it was fun to see the players again, and to meet Chewie's family.
It was produced by people who do Bob Hope specials, so you couldn't exactly be surprised by what came out. It wasn't our idea, but we just tried to keep the masters happy.

SKot: Mark, we know the Holiday Special is not the most shining star in the Star Wars galaxy. But it did have some good points, such as the 11 minute cartoon. Was that your first voice acting work for animation, and what did you think of the result?

Mark: I love the idea of an animated series. Like the radio show, I thought it was a very exciting process. It wasn't my first. I had done Wizards for Ralph Bakshi, and Jeanie for Hanna Barbera when I was just a teenager. I remember doing it and thinking, "this is what I want to do!"

For the entire chat transcript as well as access to participate in upcoming chats, become a Hyperspace member and reap the benefits of the elite! One benefit in particular we like is the Photoreceptor feature, where rare and unpublished photos are featured every week, frequently including ones from the Holiday Special.


January 21, 2004

Germany celebrates The Star Wars Holiday Special

In the latest issue of the official German Star Wars magazine "Star Wars - Das Offizielle Magazin" (#32), the Cantina News section on page 5 mentions the 25th anniversary of The Star Wars Holiday Special as of last Fall. In addition to this, the magazine notes that the infamous Special only aired once US TV in 1978, but then subsequently aired in 1980 in France and then in 1984 in Australia. The column ends with a plug for this very site! :)

Many thanks to Marco Frömter, our "foreign correspondent"!


January 4, 2004

The Holiday Special Edition: A Comic Strip By Simon Perrins

We have just added Simon Perrins' humorous 1998 comic strip about the Holiday Special to the Feedback section. It concerns UK artist Simon's own quest for the Holiday Special from the time he heard about its existence as a kid, to the eventual revelation of watching it finally many years later. Enjoy!