Before George Lucas had complete control over the Star Wars franchise, an indelible mark was made on his legacy by the Star Wars Holiday Special. This 197o8 extravaganza featured Art Carney, musical numbers by Jefferson Starship and Bea Arthur performing a cabaret number in the Tatooine cantina. Throughout it all, Wookies roar without any subtitles for what feels like hours.
The entire special is wrapped around Chewbacca getting home in time for ‘Life Day,’ a kind of Wookie holiday centered on a painfully long musical number by Princess Leia. The weirdest part isn’t the goofy wookies or the topical guest-stars, though. No, the weirdest part is the unusually intense emotion with which Harrison Ford delivers his lines as Han Solo. Ordinarily, Ford is distant and restrained… but in the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special he is putting in an award-worthy performance.
Full Holiday Special (do not watch in one sitting)
However there is one bright shining moment of the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special, the first appearance of Boba Fett in the form of a short animated feature. Heavily influenced by Heavy Metal, the ‘toon is very hip for its time. Sadly, Lucas is so outraged and embarrassed by the special that he has denied it ever existed… until now.
Eagle-eyed fans noticed that a special poster was given away to Best Buy customers showing Fett on a creature not unlike the massive one he used to get around in the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special. Theories proved correct and with the release of all six movies on Blu-ray, fans can now watch the Fett cartoon in its entirety.
Here’s how to find it.
The segment is located on the second bonus disc, containing the archives for Episodes IV through VI. To find it from the main menu, click on Episode V, then go to the “Pursued by the Imperial Fleet” section. From there, go into “The Collection” and select the “Boba Fett Prototype Costume.” You’ll see a menu on the right side of the screen with the option “First Look.” When you choose that option, you’ll get a brief introduction and background on the special before it starts playing. Then just sit back and enjoy the weirdness. (Via IGN)
The Boba Fett cartoon is seriously the only part worth watching from the entire 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special. I imagine that it has been touched up as the only version fans could watch up until now is scratchy and difficult to get through (see below):