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
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
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,"
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
You will want to check out the full article here.
September 6, 2004
German Star Wars Magazine reports on Holiday Special panel
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
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
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
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:
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
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
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
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
viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Full Frame, Dolby
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.