Star Wars Holiday Special
|Star Wars Holiday Special|
An advertisement for the special in a 1978 TV Guide
|Written by||Pat Proft
|Directed by||Steve Binder
James Earl Jones
(Star Wars theme)
Ian Fraser (score)
Ken Welch (songs)
Mitzie Welch (songs)
|Country of origin||United States
|Original language(s)||English, Wookiee|
|Executive producer(s)||Gary Smith
|Running time||97 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Smith-Dwight Hemion Productions
Winters Hollywood Entertainment Holdings Corporation
20th Century Fox Television
|Original airing||November 17, 1978|
The Star Wars Holiday Special is a 1978 American television film set in the Star Wars galaxy. It starred Harrison Ford and the film's main cast while introducing the character Boba Fett, who would appear in later films. It was one of the first official Star Wars spin-offs, and was directed by Steve Binder. The show was broadcast in its entirety only once, in the United States, on November 17, 1978, on the U.S. television network CBS from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (EST), pre-empting Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk; and on the Canadian television network CTV from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time. It was also broadcast in New Zealand on TVNZ and in Australia on the Seven Network.
In the storyline that ties the special together, Chewbacca and Han Solo visit Kashyyyk, Chewbacca's home world, to celebrate Life Day. They are pursued by agents of the Galactic Empire, who are searching for members of the Rebel Alliance on the planet. The special introduces three members of Chewbacca's family: his father Itchy, his wife Malla, and his son Lumpy, though these names were later explained to have been nicknames, their full names being Attichitcuk, Mallatobuck, and Lumpawaroo, respectively.
During the special, scenes also take place in outer space and in spacecraft including the Millennium Falcon and an Imperial Star Destroyer. The variety-show segments and cartoon introduce a few other locales, such as a cantina on the desert planet of Tatooine and a gooey, reddish ocean planet known as Panna.
The program also features many other Star Wars characters, including Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, R2-D2, Darth Vader and Princess Leia Organa (who sings the film's "theme song", set to the music of John Williams' Star Wars theme, near the end). The program includes stock footage from Star Wars, and also features a cartoon produced by Toronto-based Nelvana that officially introduces the bounty hunter Boba Fett.
The special is notorious for its extremely negative reception. Anthony Daniels, in a documentary promoting the worldwide tour of Star Wars: In Concert, notes with a laugh that the Star Wars universe includes "The horrible Holiday Special that nobody talks about". Nathan Rabin of the AV Club wrote, "I'm not convinced the special wasn’t ultimately written and directed by a sentient bag of cocaine." George Lucas did not have significant involvement with the film's production, and was reportedly unhappy with the results; however Patty Maloney (who played Lumpy) stated in 2008 that Lucas was sent "dailies" of each day's shooting for approval. David Acomba, a classmate of Lucas at USC film school, had been selected to direct the special, but he chose to leave the project, a decision supported by Lucas.
The Star Wars Holiday Special has never been rebroadcast or officially released on home video. It has therefore become something of a cultural legend, due to the "underground" quality of its existence. It has been viewed and distributed in off-air recordings made from its original telecast by fans, which were later adapted to content-sharing websites via the Internet.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Cast
- 3 Reception
- 4 Segments
- 5 Versions and availability today
- 6 Related media tie-ins
- 7 Role in greater Star Wars continuity
- 8 References
- 9 External links
On Life Day (a Wookiee holiday similar to Christmas), Chewbacca, accompanied by Han Solo, is headed home to see his family. Along the way, the duo are chased by two Star Destroyers, but they escape into hyperspace.
Meanwhile, on Kashyyyk (referred to as Kazook), Chewbacca's family is preparing for his return. Malla attempts (unsuccessfully) to prepare a meal, the instructions of which are being aired via a local cooking show by an eccentric four-armed alien cook, Chef Gormaanda. Hoping to find the Millennium Falcon, she runs a computer scan for starships in the area, but is unsuccessful. Malla contacts Luke Skywalker, who, along with R2-D2, is working on his X-wing starfighter. Luke tells her that he does not know what happened. Malla contacts Saun Dann, a local human trader. He tells her through a carefully worded message that Han and Chewbacca are on their way and should be arriving soon.
Saun Dann arrives with Life Day gifts for everyone. Back on the Falcon, Chewbacca and Han have just come out of hyperspace not far from Kashyyyk. Han notices an increased Imperial presence, so they decide to land in an unguarded area to the north. As they enter the atmosphere, Lumpy hears the roaring of the ship. Believing Han and Chewie might be arriving, Malla opens the door, but instead finds two Stormtroopers and officers.
The Imperials force their way into the house. An officer orders a search for Chewbacca. As they search, Saun Dann and the others attempt to distract them with food and Malla's music video box (which features a video by Jefferson Starship). When the music finishes, the head officer orders the search to continue. The head officer tells Malla to keep Lumpy busy while they search his room, so Lumpy (and the viewing audience) watches a cartoon on a viewscreen of one of his father's many adventures.
The cartoon shows Luke, Han, and Leia's first encounter with Boba Fett. During a search for a talisman, the Millennium Falcon crashes on a water planet known as Panna. Upon landing, they run into Fett, who claims to want to help them after saving Luke from a giant monster that attacks him from behind. They all board the Falcon, where Han has been infected by a mysterious sleeping virus caused by the talisman. Luke then contracts the virus as well.
Fett and Chewie go into Panna City to get the cure. Once they get into the Imperial-occupied city, Fett instructs Chewie to stay behind while he gets the cure. Once away from Chewie, Fett contacts Darth Vader. On the Falcon, as C-3PO is caring for Han and Luke, R2-D2 intercepts the call between Vader and Fett, causing worry for C-3PO. Evading the Imperials, Fett and Chewie return to the Falcon with the cure. After everyone recovers from the virus, they learn of Fett's true allegiances. Fett blasts away in his jet pack, promising that they'll meet again. Everyone then escapes from the planet, and back to the rebel base on board the Falcon.
When the cartoon finishes, Lumpy works to create a translation device from his Amorphian machine that will fool the Imperials into returning to their base by faking their commander's voice. To do so, he first must watch the manual for the device, being presented by a malfunctioning, incompetent robot (Harvey Korman again).
While the Imperials are all searching downstairs, the living room viewscreen activates, announcing that Tatooine is now being put under curfew by the Empire, due to "subversive forces." The video is announced as required viewing for all Imperial forces and much of it features Ackmena running the Mos Eisley Cantina. Part of the scene is shown in the bar. Ackmena is approached by an admirer: Krelman, an amorous alien, who misunderstood something she said to him the other night. When The Empire announces the curfew, Ackmena announces "last drink," and when the creatures ignore her, she sings a song, "Good night, but not goodbye" set to the "Cantina Band" theme. Lumpy uses this opportunity to put his plan into motion, faking a repeated call for the Imperials to "return to base." They leave, but the head officer instructs one of the stormtroopers to stay behind. After the other Imperials leave, the stormtrooper still hears the repeating signal and realizes they were tricked. He finds Lumpy and destroys the machine, then chases Lumpy outside.
As they both run onto the deck, Han and Chewbacca arrive. He says good bye to Han and stays with his family. Chewie protects Lumpy as Han dispatches the stormtrooper. After reuniting with everyone, an Imperial officer appears on the viewscreen, giving a general alert for the missing stormtrooper. Saun Dann quickly says that the trooper stole food and supplies and deserted, and the officer says he will send out a search party. The danger averted, the family prepares to go the festival at the Tree of Life.
The family is seen in space, travelling toward a bright star. They walk into it, arriving at the great Tree of Life, where many Wookiees dressed in red robes are gathered. As Chewbacca takes the stage, C-3PO and R2-D2 suddenly appear, along with Luke, Leia and Han. Leia gives a short speech on the meaning of Life Day and sings a song in celebration, to the tune of the Star Wars theme, missing the high note. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Chewbacca remembers his adventures in the previous film and he will somehow comeback to Luke, Han, Leia, R2 and 3PO.
That night, the Wookiee family sit around the feast table, celebrating the day and being back together again.
- Harrison Ford as Han Solo
- Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca
- Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
- Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia
- Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
- Kenny Baker as R2-D2
- Don Francks as Boba Fett
- James Earl Jones as Darth Vader (voice)
- Bea Arthur as Ackmena
- Art Carney as Trader Saun Dann
- Diahann Carroll as Mermeia Holographic
- Jefferson Starship (Marty Balin, Craig Chaquico, Paul Kantner, Pete Sears, John Barbata) as Holographic Band
- Harvey Korman as Krelman / Chef Gormaanda / Amorphian instructor
- Mickey Morton as Malla
- Paul Gale as Itchy
- Patty Maloney as Lumpy
- Alec Guinness (archive footage) as Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Leslie Schofield (archive footage) as Imperial officer
The Star Wars Holiday Special was critically panned, both by Star Wars fans and the general public. David Hofstede, author of What Were They Thinking?: The 100 Dumbest Events in Television History, ranked the holiday special at number one, calling it "the worst two hours of television ever." Shepard Smith, a news anchor for the Fox News Channel, referred to it as a "'70s train wreck, combining the worst of Star Wars with the utter worst of variety television." Actor Phillip Bloch explained on a TV Land special entitled The 100 Most Unexpected TV Moments, that the special "...just wasn't working. It was just so surreal." On the same program, Ralph Garman, a voice actor for the show Family Guy, explained that "The Star Wars Holiday Special is one of the most infamous television programs in history. And it's so bad that it actually comes around to good again, but passes it right up."
The only aspect of the special which has been generally well received is the animated segment which introduces Boba Fett, who would later become a popular character when he appeared in the Star Wars films.
George Lucas himself has reportedly said, "If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it." In an online chat with fans, he reportedly said: "The Holiday Special does not represent my vision for Star Wars." In an interview in the May 2002 Maxim magazine, when asked if there were plans for a Special Edition of the special, Lucas responded, "Right. That's one of those things that happened, and I just have to live with it."
In a May 2005 interview with StaticMultimedia.com, Lucas was asked if the film had soured him on working in television. He replied,
The special from 1978 really didn't have much to do with us, you know. I can't remember what network it was on, but it was a thing that they did. We kind of let them do it. It was done by... I can't even remember who the group was, but they were variety TV guys. We let them use the characters and stuff and that probably wasn't the smartest thing to do, but you learn from those experiences.
The official Star Wars site states that the holiday special "delivered mixed results," and states that the highlight of the special was the Boba Fett animated segment. The official site also says, when referring to the fan interest in seeing the Wookiees on screen, "the 1978 Holiday Special didn't cut it." When asked at a fan convention, "So, you don't like it (the holiday special) either?", Lucasfilm head of content and fan relations, Steve Sansweet replied "No. I mean, I like the ten minute introduction of Boba Fett, but that's about it." The official site also refers to the Boba Fett animated segment as "a cult classic".
On February 8, 2006, Harrison Ford made an appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien to promote his film, Firewall. During the interview, Conan O'Brien brought up the special, and began asking various questions regarding it, such as inquiring whether he remembered making it. Ford said nothing, but looked away and shook his head nervously, then saying he had no memory of it whatsoever and it, therefore, "doesn't exist." The audience responded with laughter and applause. O'Brien then asked Ford what he would think if he played a clip of the special on the show, Ford jokingly grabbed him, then said that "[he'd] never seen it, maybe it'll be nice." Uncomfortably anxious and distracted, Ford suffered through the clip (which featured a scene showing Ford as Han Solo telling Chewbacca and his wife that they are "like family" to him), and then muttered a gruff, sarcastic "Thank you."
On the 2010 television program Times Talk, New York Times columnist David Carr asked Carrie Fisher about the special; she said that she made George Lucas give her a copy of the special in exchange for recording DVD commentary for the Star Wars films. She added that she shows it at parties, "mainly at the end of the night when I want people to leave."
- The special was ranked at #3 in "The Five Goofiest Moments of the Star Wars Mythos," in the 62nd issue of UK's Star Wars magazine.
- TV Guide ranked this special at number 11 on their "25 Most Hilarious Holiday TV Moments", mentioning that it was "unintentionally hilarious".
- TV Guide and TV Land ranked The Star Wars Holiday Special at number 59 on their "Top 100 Unexpected Television Moments" in a five part special that aired from December 5 until December 9 in 2005.
- In a 2008 online poll on Christmas specials by the Paley Center for Media, The Star Wars Holiday Special was selected to be shown at the Center by 59% of the voters (who selected 5 titles each).[clarification needed] It beat out A Charlie Brown Christmas (34.6%), How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (31.3%), and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (28.4%), among others.
The program was seen in Canada on CTV on the same evening as the CBS broadcast. Toronto CTV station CFTO-TV aired the program at 7 pm, an hour earlier than seen on the nearest American outlet, WIVB-TV in Buffalo, New York. It was also distributed and seen in Australia and New Zealand.
The Star Wars Holiday Special is significant for being the first film-length Star Wars story after the original theatrical film, and for showing an expanded look at parts of that universe. The main focus of the holiday special is the Blockade of Kashyyyk. But for the most part, the plot serves as little more than a means to string together a series of musical numbers, celebrity cameos, and other variety-show acts. These include songs and comedy routines by such 1970s talents as Jefferson Starship, Diahann Carroll, Art Carney, Harvey Korman, and Bea Arthur. Easily the most notable segment is an animated cartoon featuring the pre-Empire Strikes Back debut of Boba Fett.
The special features four songs:
- "This Minute Now" is sung by Diahann Carroll. Carroll – who is supposed to be an image created by a virtual reality machine – tells Chewbacca's father, Itchy, that she is his "fantasy" and suggestively invites him to "experience" her.
- "Light the Sky on Fire", performed by Jefferson Starship, which is presented as a 3D music video watched by one of the Imperial guards; during production the song was given the working title "Cigar-Shaped Object (Vanished Without A Trace)". (The song was included as a bonus 45 RPM single in the Jefferson Starship greatest hits collection Gold.)
- Later, Bea Arthur, who plays a bartender in the Mos Eisley cantina, sings "Good Night, But Not Goodbye" to the same set of aliens that were seen in the Cantina in Star Wars, including, as the back-up musicians, the Cantina's resident group, Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes.
- Finally, at the end of the special, Carrie Fisher sings a song in celebration of Life Day to the tune of the Star Wars main title.
Harvey Korman provides comedy in three of the special's skits, including the Cantina skit with Bea Arthur where he plays a barfly who drinks through a hole in the top of his head. He also performs two solo routines: one as Chef Gormanda, a four-armed parody of Julia Child (the four arms allow her to work much faster than Malla can keep up with), and one as a malfunctioning Amorphian android in an instruction video watched by Lumpy. Art Carney has a more integral role in the story, playing a trader named Saun Dann on Kashyyyk who is a member of the Rebellion and helps Chewie's family. His segments are also largely played for laughs, and at one point includes a scene alluding to his character Ed Norton from The Honeymooners, where an Imperial officer demands that he "get on with it" while Carney dallies with a prop.
The high point of the special is generally considered to be the animated segment known as "The Faithful Wookiee", which was produced by Toronto animation firm Nelvana Ltd. (who would later produce Droids and Ewoks, two Saturday-morning series based on the Star Wars franchise for Lucasfilm in the mid-80s). The music and sound effects are derived from the film, along with the vocal talents of the main cast from the film. The cartoon introduces Boba Fett.
The Holiday Special also includes a circus-style acrobatics routine that includes uneven bars and juggling. All the acts were loosely linked together with material which involves the Wookiees' preparation for Life Day, Han and Chewie's attempt to evade the Imperials and make it to Chewie's family, and the Imperial garrison's search for rebels.
Versions and availability today
The Star Wars Holiday Special was mostly forgotten after its only airing in 1978, until sometime in the early-to-mid-1990s when individuals came forward and offered original videotape recordings of the TV airing. These have since been duplicated and reduplicated so that most copies of the special available today are based on second- to sixth-generation VHS dubs. Some of these fan-made copies include the original commercials that aired during the show, as well as the newsbreaks. (The most notable news item was the sentencing of William Kampiles.) One such recording from WCBS-TV in New York City featured anchor Rolland Smith teasing a story on "fighting the frizzies" for that night's 11 p.m. news, an ID which itself has gained popularity over the years on the Internet and television shows such as South Park.
It soon became a cult classic among Star Wars fans. While originally shared or sold as a bootleg video at conventions or outlets such as eBay, peer-to-peer file sharing networks have made the special more widely available to fans curious to see for themselves. Online video sites such as YouTube have also been known to host clips of the special, but to this day, the special has not officially been made available. (A so-called "Platinum Edition" DVD mentioned in a review by Lawrence Person on Locus Online is an April Fools Hoax.)
Animation cels sold in the mid-1990s came from the special's animated Boba Fett segment. Segments of that cartoon appear in the 2002 Attack of the Clones web documentary "Bucket Head", and Jeremy Bulloch, who portrayed Fett in the original films, introduces the segment as coming from the Holiday Special. In 2004, the official Star Wars site confirmed that documentary filmmaker Kevin Burns was allowed access to the original print for use in his Empire of Dreams documentary; however, the segment using footage from the holiday special was ultimately left out of the final cut.
However, the entire Fett cartoon would see an official home video release as an Easter Egg on the 2011 Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray set, and therefore the only portion of the Holiday Special officially released by Lucasfilm in any home video format.
Related media tie-ins
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2013)|
- In 1979, one year after the special's broadcast, Lucasfilm published Star Wars: The Wookiee Storybook, a children's storybook which reunited characters from the special.
- Prior to the special's airing, the Kenner toy company considered creating a toy line based on the special. While the project was cancelled due to the unpopularity of the special, several prototype versions of the figures are known to have been created. Those depict the Chewbacca family and seem to be simply modifications of Kenner's officially released Chewbacca figure.
- A press kit was released prior to the special to promote its airing.
- Jefferson Starship proclaimed on their single "Light the Sky On Fire" (included as a separate disc with the album Jefferson Starship Gold) that it was "as seen and heard on the CBS Star Wars Holiday Special." It was released before the show aired.
Role in greater Star Wars continuity
Canonicity of the special
The Star Wars Holiday Special is technically in the Star Wars canon, which means that the events depicted are part of the greater continuity that includes the other films, novels, comic books, video games, etc. Generally, it falls in the C-Canon in the overall Star Wars continuity.
According to Leland Chee, the keeper of The Holocron, an internal Star Wars continuity database at Lucasfilm (which contains at least 28 individual entries relating to elements of the holiday special), most elements from the holiday special are definitely considered canon; however, there are specific rules as to what is what. First off, any element from the holiday special that is referenced in another work is considered C-Canon (such as Life Day, Chewbacca's family, etc.). Any element from the holiday special that is not referenced in other works is considered S-Canon, which means that it is canon, and that it "happened," but its canonicity is not set in stone. The only element from the holiday special where the canonicity was disputed was reused footage of Chief Bast, a character who was killed during the destruction of the Death Star from the first film. Despite being portrayed by the same actor, he is intended to be a different character.
Since The Star Wars Holiday Special was broadcast, it has received an extreme amount of criticism and enmity by fans, official sources and George Lucas himself, who does not consider the special to be Canon. Despite the relative unpopularity of the elements of the special, those at Lucasfilm responsible for licensing have kept the special in continuity, due to their canon policies. In many cases, they have expanded on elements from the special in several different media, including novels, comic books, video games, children's books, and even in a Star Wars-themed cookbook.
Several of the characters in The Star Wars Holiday Special appear in other Star Wars works. Chewbacca's family are featured in various stories, including:
- The Kashyyyk Depths (1979) was a newspaper comic strip by Russ Manning which featured another venture by Han, Luke, Leia, and Chewie to Kashyyyk for Life Day. As of March 2012 it is the only Star Wars newspaper comic strip that has not been reprinted by either Dark Horse Comics or the Webstrips feature of Star Wars Hyperspace, though scans can be found on various sites online.
- The Wookiee Storybook (1979) features Chewbacca's family in a situation very similar of that to the holiday special. Except in the book, Lumpy, wishing to be brave like his father, goes to the lower levels of Kashyyyk to get a type of fruit in preparation for the return of Chewbacca for Life Day. Trouble arises when Lumpy doesn't return, and Chewbacca must rescue his son.
- Wookiee World (1985) was issue No. 91 of Marvel Comics' Star Wars run. It featured Chewie's family in another adventure on Kashyyyk.
- Tyrant's Test (1996) was the third and final book of Michael P. Kube-McDowell's "Black Fleet Crisis" trilogy. It featured Lumpy and his rites of passage.
- Rebel Dawn (1997) was the third book in A.C. Crispin's "Han Solo trilogy". It dealt with Solo's early years, and his early relation with Chewbacca and his family. Malla and Chewie's marriage is shown in the third book.
- The Star Wars Cookbook: Wookiee Cookiees and Other Galactic Recipes (1998) gives an official recipe for "Wookiee cookiees," a different name for "Wookiee-ookiees" from the special.
- Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial (2000) was a novel in The New Jedi Order series, in which Malla and Itchy make appearances.
- Chewbacca (2000) was a four-issue comic book series by Darko Macan, which featured Itchy and Malla recalling stories of Chewbacca's history.
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds (2001) was a LucasArts game which explored the past of Chewbacca's father, Itchy. As seen in the game, Itchy was a great warrior in his younger days, who fought many battles.
- The Unifying Force (2003) was the final book of the New Jedi Order series. It features Chewbacca's son Lumpy, along with Lowbacca, who hold a pivotal role of taking up Chewbacca's "life debt" to Han.
- Star Wars: Galaxies (2003) was a popular MMORPG game that allowed the player to visit and explore Kashyyyk. While there, the player can explore the customs of Life Day, as there are several Wookiees dressed in red robes, as in the special. Lumpy's stuffed bantha from the special can also be seen in the game. The official site for Star Wars: Galaxies even has a webpage dedicated to explaining these features in the game, and the customs of Life Day.
- A Forest Apart (2003) was an e-book by Troy Denning, also released in print as a supplement to his book Tatooine Ghost. A Forest Apart focuses on the exploits of Lumpy, after Malla allows him to go to Coruscant with Chewbacca.
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) was a film which, in addition to introducing Kashyyyk to the big screen, involved Itchy. According to the Revenge of the Sith Incredible Cross-sections by Dr. Curtis Saxton, and according to the film's visual dictionary, Itchy was involved in the Battle of Kashyyyk as a gunner aboard an Oevvaor jet catamaran in the defense of Kachirho during the Battle of Kashyyyk. It is unknown at this point whether he actually can be physically seen in the film, but several jet catamarans are shown. The cross-sections book also references the use of a Wookiee mind evaporator for training which was introduced in the Star Wars Holiday Special.
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith Incredible Cross-sections – The Definitive Guide to Spaceships and Vehicles (2005) (see above)
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith-Visual Dictionary (2005) (see above)
- Star Wars: Complete Locations (2005) Mentions that while Luke, Obi-Wan, and the droids are in the cantina in Star Wars, Ackmena is in a nearby room negotiating for a raise in her pay.
Chef Gormaanda later was featured in an issue of Lucasfilm's HoloNet News. She explained a new recipe, and it was explained that she had won a cooking award. The issue was HoloNet News Volume 531 No. 50 13:4:4, under "Life" section.
Chief Bast went on to appear in the Star Wars Customizable Card Game, in which Bast's early life was briefly elaborated on. His card hints that he escaped and survived the destruction of the first Death Star, as seen in the holiday special.
Boba Fett returns in The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and in many Expanded Universe books, comics, Audio Dramas, and video games (not to mention numerous official and unofficial fan-made films). His past is explored in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. A deleted videogame, called Star Wars 1313, was supposed to have him as the main character.
The Wookiee planet of Kashyyyk is featured in various novels, comic books, and video games, including Revenge of the Sith, the cartoon micro-series known as Star Wars: Clone Wars, and video games such as Star Wars: Battlefront, Star Wars: Republic Commando, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. An entire city from the planet was even elaborated on in Timothy Zahn's 1991 novel Heir to the Empire, which was the first in his Thrawn trilogy.
- Berman, John; Ted Gerstein (20 December 2007). "Holiday Specials Gone Bad; The 'Star Wars Holiday Special' Flop Lives On". ABC News.
- Stomp Tokyo: Star Wars Holiday Special
- Pasternack, Alex. "Happy Wookie Life Day: The Star Wars Holiday Special Was the Worst Thing on Television". Vice. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
- Interview with Patty Maloney ("Lumpy")
- S W A D – Francks, Don archived on May 19, 2008, from the original
- Hicks, L. Wayne. "When the Force Was a Farce". TV Party.
- Burke, R. (10 September 2005). "The Greatest Story Ever Told: An Interview With George Lucas". Static Multimedia.
- "Making Episode II, Part 9: Bucket Head". StarWars.com.
- "Star Wars: The Best of 2004 – 8 The Return of Chewbacca". StarWars.com. 22 December 2004.
- "Hyperspace: Kessel Run". StarWars.com. 19 November 2003.
- Poll: Pick Your Holiday Cheer The Paley Center for Media
- Associated Press (17 November 1978). "Star Wars special reunites cast on planet of Kazzook". Globe and Mail (Canada). p. 18.
- [Svensk Mediedatabas http://smdb.kb.se/english/], ["Stjärnonas krig och fred" http://smdb.kb.se/catalog/search?q=%22stj%C3%A4rnornas+krig+och+fred%22+typ%3Atv+datum%3A1978-2013&x=0&y=0]
- YouTube – Bea Arthur sings!
- Taylor, Paul (June 11, 1979). "Toronto's animation houses gain international reputation for expertise". The Globe and Mail (Canada).
- "Boba Fett (Animated Debut)". Star Wars: The 30th Anniversary Collection Photo Archives. Rebelscum.com.
- "DVD review of The Star Wars Holiday Special". Locus Online.
- Leland Chee on Wookieepedia: a Star Wars wiki
- Holocron continuity database on Wookieepedia: a Star Wars wiki
- "Wookiee Life Day". Star Wars Galaxies.
- The Star Wars Holiday Special, original CBS airing, November 17, 1978. Steve Binder, George Lucas.
- Hofstede, David (2004). What Were They Thinking?: The 100 Dumbest Events In Television History. ISBN 0-8230-8441-8.
- Sansweet, Stephen J. (30 June 1998). The Star Wars Encyclopedia. Del Rey. ISBN 0-345-40227-8.
- Empire of Dreams, 2004.
- Ultra Filmfax #69–70 – October 1998/Jan. 1999 (USA) "The Star Wars Holiday Special," by Ross Plesset (Presents black-and-white photos and very detailed article on the SWHS, with interviews.)
- Movie references for Star Wars Holiday Special
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- The Nitpicker's Guide to The Star Wars Holiday Special in depth review with scene-by-scene commentary
- The Star Wars Holiday Special on Wookieepedia: a Star Wars wiki
- Star Wars Holiday Special – TV Party
- Star Wars Holiday Special Page – Lucasfan.com
- Star Wars Holiday Special – RiffTrax version with original commercials!