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Official Production Notes

Production Notes, page 1

Twentieth Century-Fox Television
P.O. Box 900
Beverly Hills CA 90213
(213) 277-2211



The first, and one of the most innovative, of the seasons's holiday television specials is a Thanksgiving treat from 20th Century-Fox Television entitled "THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL" to air FRIDAY, NOV. 17 over CBS-TV from 8:00 to 10:00 P.M. (EST).

The two-hour visual and audio delight stars the cast from the hit motion picture, "Star Wars," along with special guest stars in a live-animated-musical-pot pourri of pure entertainment complete with astonishing electronic special effects.

Guest stars from the original motion picture include Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker); Harrison Ford (Han Solo); Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia); Anthony Daniels (C3PO); Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca); R2D2 (played by R2D2); and the voice of James Earl Jones as Darth Vader.

Interplanetary guests are Beatrice Arthur as the proprietor of the wackiest bar out-of-this-world; Art Carney, as an other-worldly door-to-door salesman; The Jefferson Starship; Harvey Korman in variety of weird personalities, including Chef Gormaanda, "The Julia Child of the Milky Way," and Diahann Carroll singing an original composition.

Executive Producers Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion have skillfully blended original animation, music, spectacular electronic effects, live action and the performances of the stars around a story of the famed Wookiee "Chewbacca" returning to his Wookiee home on the space ship piloted by Harrison Ford.

Eagerly awaiting his return are his wife, Malla, his father, the silver-furred Itchy and his mischievious son, Lumpy, who are being given a bad time by Darth Vader's Imperial Forces because of their alleged rebel activities.

Smith and Hemion and Producers Ken and Mitzie Welch and Joe Layton had a veritable treasure trove of background information of "Wookiee" lifestyle garnered from a 40-page "bible" prepared for, but never used, in connection with the original motion picture.

The first thing the producers did when given the assignment from 20th Century-Fox in May was hire Jean DeJoux and Elizabeth Savel, along with Nelvana Limited to begin work immediately on an animated sequence. "The Star Wars Holiday Special" is based on a script by Rod Warren, Bruce Vilanch, Pat Proft, Leonard Ripps and Mitzie Welch, and directed by Steve Binder.

Musical Director Ian Fraser utilized the theme music from the motion picture and added three original songs with music and lyrics by Mitzie and Ken Welch.

In a project as vast as this the costuming and makeup proved an integral factor with Bob Mackie credited with the overall costume design; Stan Winston, Tom Burman and Ellis Burman for the Wookiee costumes; the Chewbacca costume was designed by Stuart Freeborn and Cantina Masks by Rick Baker and Freeborn.

Other credits include: Art Director, Brian Bartholomew; Set Decorator, Garrett Lewis; Choreographer, David Winters; Videotape Editor, Vince Humphrey and Lighting Consultant, John Rook.

Variety acts integrated within the production include Jack Radar, Mike Potter, Yuichi Sugiyama, Stephanie Strommer, The Wazzen Troupe and the Mum Brothers.

October, 1978