I recently gathered my family around on a cold December night for some quality time. We cuddled on the couch with fresh baked treats and warm mugs of cocoa and began watching our favorite holiday specials: Frosty, Rudolph, and Charlie Brown. The night suddenly took a turn for the worse. My wife looked to me and said, "I read that their was a Star Wars Christmas show. Do you have it?" I quickly replied, "No." She began to question my fandom by my not owning this historic piece of Star Wars lore. "Well, I do have a copy, but..." "But what? Let's watch it!" My kids began to beg to see it too. You see we are a Star Wars family. We all love the saga and discuss some part of it almost each day. I tried to keep that love alive and separate them from the Holiday Special. I really did.
The Holiday Special is usually panned for it's poor acting, loose story, and horrible transitions from one scene to the next. I would say those critics are spot on. Many other fans agree. So why does this atrocity continue to spark the interest of fans? Well alot of the continued interst has to do with the controversy surrounding the Holiday Special. The show aired only once as a CBS special broadcast on November 17th 1978 and was never officially shown again. Supposedly George Lucas was so disgusted with the outcome that he refused to let it be aired again and then spent the next 30 years or so hunting down and destroying any remaining copies that he could. It was declared as non canon and forgotten by the company that brought us Star Wars.
A few die hard fans were able to dub a copy of the Holiday Special as it aired for its sole showing. Those dubs were copied, then those copies were copied, and so on until most Holiday Special VHS or DVDs were so grainy it was hard to even tell what you were watching. The fans persisted into the digital age, where YouTube is king of connecting fans of the content they have been missing. Every Star Wars fans wants to see the Holiday Special, until they do. Sadly, it can never be unseen.
For all the negative that has been written about the Holiday Special over the years, there is a silver lining to the dark cloud. The Holiday Special introduced us to possibly the most famous bounty hunter in the galaxy, Boba Fett. The short animation segment shows a mercenary who aligns himself with our heroes while still working as an agent of the Empire. This segment is often cited as the sole reason fans seek the Holiday Special. In an attempt to appease some of the fans, this animated short was released to the public in 2011 as part of the Star Wars BluRay Complete Saga edition.
I would like to say that the Holiday Special holds a place in my heart right alongside the other film and television endeavors of the Star Wars universe. I can't do that. I would like to spare you the pain. However, if you would like to watch it I have posted the best, complete version available. Happy Life Day!
For more information visit StarWarsHolidaySpecial.com