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.