A Disturbance In The Force: How The Star Wars Holiday Special Was Made is the definitive documentary on the Holiday Special which has been in the works for a number of years. Earlier this year, the film premiered at SXSW 2023 in Austin and then proceeded to play film festivals around the US and across the world. It’s now getting a regular theatrical release this month in select theaters across the US, and even a couple in the UK and Australia! You can check out the complete schedule at the A Disturbance In The Force website.
In addition to the film, Director/Producer Steve Kozak has also written a book on the subject called A Disturbance in the Force: How and Why the Star Wars Holiday Special Happened. Steve’s book can be pre-ordered on Amazon here (paid link).
Yesterday, Raquel Welch passed away. She was a star in her own right, but she actually had a connection to The Star Wars Holiday Special that is not commonly known.
Back in early 1978 when the Holiday Special was being planned, a 5 page story treatment was written up that detailed a very different version of the story than the one we eventually saw. In it, there was a character meant to be an Imperial spy, who the treatment suggest could be played by Raquel. Excerpt from the story treatment:
“An Imperial base. The Imperial Commander is tracking the progress of the Starship Musica, and tells his aides that the ship must not be allowed to reach the Wookiee planet. Someone must go aboard and sabotage the ship. Guest Star (Raquel Welch?) volunteers for the job, and leaves to intercept the Starship.”
Shortly after this, the story treatment continues:
“Raquel has arrived on board the Starship Musica, and in the midst of the final preparations, she starts vamping the Starship commander, to gain his confidence. R2 and 3PO observe this, and since they are not programmed to know about what she’s up to, they tell the commander they must report it to Luke. The commander, who rather enjoyed Raquel’s attention, reminds them that they know nothing about the ways of a man and a woman.”
It all culminates in Raquel finally fulfilling her mission – though it is unclear what happens to her afterwards:
“On board the Starship, something indeed is afoot. Raquel under the guise of telling Lumpy a story, with dance and gestures, about what drives a spaceship, dances her way into the power-supply room and screws everything up.”
Would this version of the Holiday Special have been better…or worse…than what we ended up with? Hard to say! In any case, Raquel never became a part of the cast.
Seen here is the November 28, 1978 issue of US magazine, showing Raquel Welch as she would have looked around the time the Holiday Special was being filmed. Had she been in the cast, she might have looked a bit like this.
This video quietly showed up on the Star Wars YouTube channel. Some lovely animation to this Star Wars Lofi music!
Celebrating 42 Years of The Star Wars Holiday Special
The Star Wars Holiday Special aired one time only on November 17, 1978…and it never aired again, some would say for good reason. But people are still talking about it today, and despite its flaws there’s a certain charm to it that is certainly a thing of its time.
This site, StarWarsHolidaySpecial.com, went live November 2003 and has been live ever since. And we’ve continued our celebration of this show that was intended to be shown, forgotten, and probably never seen again.
Here’s what the original opening text from our page said in 2003:
The first question on everyone’s mind is probably, “Why?!”
The answer to that is, “Because no one else would.”
This site was created as a labor of love in homage to the 25th anniversary of The Star Wars Holiday Special, which aired one time only on November 17th, 1978 and has been virtually lost ever since. The intent was to gather as much as there is to possibly know about the Holiday Special and document it in great detail, since this has never really been done before.
Most websites that cover the Holiday Special can’t seem to get past how awful they thought it was. We are well aware here that this particular film is not the brightest star in the Star Wars galaxy; however, we feel that there are a lot of good or enjoyable aspects about the Holiday Special that are often overlooked. Additionally, for those of us who saw the show during its original airing in 1978, there is a certain feeling of nostalgia attached to it that is trapped in that time period, and the Holiday Special is part of that.
Take a look around the site, and whether you like or hate the Holiday Special, we hope that you will enjoy what we’ve put together here.
Happy Life Day, everyone!
That still sums up how we feel about The Star Wars Holiday Special today. And now it’s become even more talked about than ever. Elements from the show have appeared in video games, new Holiday Special-related merchandise continues to be created all the time, part of the Holiday Special is available on digital formats, The fantastic and groundbreaking series The Mandalorian has referenced it many times over. A documentary is in the works about the making of the original program. And on November 17, 2020, The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special aired on Disney+ in homage to the original show from 1978.
You can still view the old site where you can find additional content by clicking below:
The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special trailer!
40 Years of Star Wars Holiday Special Collecting
Celebration Chicago 2019
with Scott Kirkwood, Gus Lopez, Pete Vilmur and Scott Horne
40 Years of The Star Wars Holiday Special
with Tom Spina, Pablo Hidalgo, and Scott Kirkwood
FanX Salt Lake Comic Con 2018