Yesterday marked the 35th anniversary of a day that continues to live in infamy: the one and only showing of the ridiculously terrible (and incredibly awesome) Star Wars Holiday Special, a variety show set in the galaxy far, far away that George Lucas wants you to forget ever existed.
The special, which Fox News' Shepard Smith referred to as a "70s train wreck" that combined "the worst of Star Wars with the utter worst of variety television," aired in 1978 and centered around Han Solo and Chewbacca returning to the Wookiee homeworld to celebrate Life Day, the galactic equivalent of Christmas. Together, they have to fend off the Empire, find members of the Rebellion, and interact with other Wookiees. All of the major original trilogy actors reprised their roles for the special. The special's most lasting legacy is that, in an animated segment, it was the first introduction to Boba Fett, two years before he graced the silver screen in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
Reactions were outright negative. George Lucas said, "If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of the show and smash it," and he regrets letting the network make the show (Lucas himself was not particularly involved in it). Anthony Daniels, who played C-3PO, jokingly said that watching the Holiday Special actually causes death. Still, it's not without its kind of, sort of defenders. Family Guy's Ralph Garman joked that the Holiday Special is "so bad that it actually comes back around to good again, but passes it right up."
Though the special never aired again, it has existed in pirated form on YouTube and elsewhere for many years. If you've ever seen it, leave us a comment letting us know what you think about The Star Wars Holiday Special!