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Mark Hamill Offers Essential Star Wars Holiday Special Reality Check

Whether it's how his make-up appeared, the horribly-written script, the project's obvious cash-grab nature, or the show of desperation to ride a successful franchise, there isn't a day that goes by that Mark Hamill ever stops casting shade on the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. Since it was unleashed upon the earth in 1978 on CBS, everyone involved, from Hamill (Luke Skywalker), his co-stars in Harrison Ford (Han Solo) and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia Organa), and creator George Lucas has largely disowned the TV special with the latter swearing it will never see an official re-release. It's not even on Disney+ despite its more recent LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special. When online fan resource Wookieepedia marked the anniversary of its release, Hamill simply quote tweeted, "There's a reason it aired only once."

Star Wars: Mark Hamill Still Raking Over Coals from Holiday Special
Mark Hamill in Star Wars: Holiday Special (1978). Image courtesy of Lucasfilm

The black and white poster highlighted the holdovers involved (much to their chagrin), which also includes Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) had the decency of not participating, but the droid was credited playing himself), and James Earl Jones (voice of Darth Vader). The special guest stars included Bea Arthur, Art Carney, Diahann Carroll, The Jefferson Starship, and Harvey Korman.

The Star Wars Holiday Special follows Chewbacca and Han as they make their way to Kashyyyk for Life Day with the earlier's family waiting for him to celebrate. Lighthearted tones aside, there were no subtitles for any of the Wookies featured. It's one thing if it was Chewie interacting with English-speaking humans, but he had an entire family no one in the audience understood as they interacted with one another. Since it's a special, we had actual musicians featured, not from the Max Rebo Band, but from Carroll and Jefferson Starship in their disco glory…since it was the 70s. The only other consolation from the special is that it introduced fans to Boba Fett before he made his cinematic debut in the 1980s, The Empire Strikes Back.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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