Special > News
December 27, 2012
34 Years and All is Quiet on the Special Front
And another year has passed without much to report...almost.
Actually, this year's news mainly came from Star Wars Celebration
VI, where it was revealed to the public that a number of Holiday
Special props have found their way into a private collection.
During Gus Lopez's prop collector's panel, images were shown of
the costumes for Saun Dann, Gormaanda, Dromboid, as well as the
holographic Ringmaster and a couple holographic performers. More
details on this will be revealed later on in 2013...which, incidentally,
will be THE 35th ANNIVERSARY of the Star Wars Holiday Special!
Stay tuned next year as we bring you some very special updates
to celebrate 35 years of Life Day.
seen at Celebration VI was a fantastic fan interpretation of the
Ringmaster's costume by Philip Glover...well done! Here's Philip
as the Ringmaster, standing next to Rick Rietow as Too-Much-Makeup
Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot.
Always great to see fan-made Holiday Special costumes...keep
'em coming, folks.
Happy Life Day to all once again!
December 27, 2011
It's been a quiet year for Holiday Special news this time around.
The 33rd anniversary of November 17, 1978 has come and gone, but
at least one major and one minor news item came up during the
holidays this year...
Blu-ray Star Wars features Fett cartoon
Yes, it's true...footage from the Star Wars Holiday Special has
finally been made available to the public. Granted, it's only
the animated segment as to be expected, but it's a small victory
all the same. With the release of the Star Wars Saga on Blu-ray
on September 16th came many bonus features, and with those bonus
features the entire 11-minute "The Faithful Wookiee"
cartoon by Nelvana is included. For many people this was the best
part of the Special, so its inclusion is a welcome thing indeed.
And technically...there's a little more than that from the Holiday
Special included as well. Amongst the deleted scene gems in the
bonus features are two clips that were used (and previously only
seen before) in the Special - Vader and Bast talking in the Death
Star hallway, and "Flash Gordon" vs. the Stilt Monster
in a Mos Eisley outtake. Quite nice to see these in widescreen
and hi-def at last. No word on a full-length Holiday Special blu-ray,
though, and don't hold your breath on that one!
Glee pays tribute to the Star Wars Holiday Special
Perhaps the most surprising news in a while was the announcement
that popular musical TV show "Glee" was going to pay
tribute to the Star Wars Holiday Special in their Christmas episode
on December 13th. The episode mentioned the Special specifically,
and had a dream-sequence appearance from Chewbacca. The credits
to the holiday film that the "Glee" characters produce
feature a credit sequence that spoofs the Star Wars Holiday Special's
own credits. Sadly, none of the original songs from the Holiday
Special were covered as musical numbers...a fantastic opportunity
missed! Maybe next time, Gleeks.
December 28, 2010
32 Years Already?
So this year marks the 32nd anniversary of the Holiday Special's
airing. It's been a quiet year, but there have been a few small
bits of news. Be sure to check out the previously unseen May 1978
story treatment for the Special, revealed to the public for the
first time at Star Wars Celebration 5 back in August. Take a look.
TV Guide's 25 Most Hilarious Holiday TV Moments
What guide to the most hilarious holiday TV moments would be
complete without a mention of the Holiday Special? TV Guide has
been showing a segment detailing their Top 25, which naturally
includes our beloved Star Wars Holiday Special...which made #11,
incidentally. The segment airs on TVGN from the holidays on through
to early January - check listings here.
The 1982 TRON Holiday Special
Defintely inspired by the Star Wars Holiday Special, Funny Or
Die! has done a fantastically funny "what if?" commercial
for an imagined 1982 TRON Holiday Special. See the video here,
it's worth a look!
TIME 10 Questions with Carrie Fisher
TIME Magazine recently did an interview with Carrie Fisher where
she addresses her work on the Holiday Special - see the video
on YouTube here,
with the Holiday Special question at the 3:10 mark.
Bea Arthur talks about the Holiday Special
Bea Arthur, who passed away last year, was interviewed in 2001
for the Archive of American Television regarding her life's work.
Included in this is a brief and rare mention of the Star Wars
Holiday Special. Main link for the entire interview is here,
with a link to the section regarding the Holiday Special here.
Note: the interviewer is a bit confused here, attempting to ask
about a rumored (but confirmed to be false) appearance by Bea
in a Star Trek episode; Bea assumes the interviewer is talking
about the Star Wars Holiday Special and goes on to talk about
that. It is safe to say the interviewer probably never heard of
Bea's appearance in anything Star Wars-related.
November 17, 2009
31 Years of The Star Wars Holiday Special
Happy Life Day, everyone!
Another year gone by, and it's now 31 years since the Holiday
Special originally aired. It almost seems like yesterday
that it was showing on the small screen...but not quite. Maybe
a few yesterdays ago.
The last couple of years were big years for the Holiday Special
in terms of media attention and related merchandise, especially
with the 30th anniversary in 2008. But with 2009, not so much.
However, there was one exception this year...
Medicom Releases Holiday Special Boba Fett Kubrick Figure
Medicom, makers of the tiny Kubrick action figures, released their
second Holiday Special-related figure in June (the first being
the red Snaggletooth back in 2005). This time it was a completely
official Holiday Special version of Boba Fett, complete with pistol
and forked weapon as seen in the original cartoon. This figure
is very similar to Hasbro's regular action figure version from
Holiday Special Fett was released initially as part of a 6-pack
set featuring all the different variations of Boba Fett from concept
to final version. The limited edition set had all 6 of the figures
packaged on individual cards paying tribute to the original Kenner
action figure releases.
The Holiday Special Boba Fett was also available individually
packaged in a small box, similar to other Kubrick figure releases.
Hooray for more Holiday Special merchandise!
April 27, 2009
Bea Arthur: Goodnight, But Not Goodbye...
It is with heavy heart that we report Bea Arthur passed away
on Saturday, April 25th. She was 86. Bea was best known for her
portrayal of Maude Finley on "All In The Family" and
"Maude", and as Dorothy Zbornak on "Golden Girls".
But around here she will forever be remembered as Ackmena, the
cantankerous singing bartender from the cantina featured in The
Star Wars Holiday Special... a role which mirrored a time in her
early career when she worked in a night spot singing and pushing
drinks on customers.
And so we bid farewell with the words Ackmena sang to her bar
Just one more round, friend
Then homeward bound, friend
Don't forget me in your dreams
Just one more song, friend
And then so long, friend
The nights get shorter it seems
Just one more rhyme, friend
Yes, it's a crime, friend
But you know time, friend
Time can fly
Now it's goodnight, friend
Goodnight, but not goodbye
Just one more drop, friend
Before we stop, friend
One more moment face to face
Next time you're dry, friend
Try stopping by, friend
If there's a light in the place
We may not thrive, friend
But we survive, friend
Look, we're alive, friend
You and I
So say goodnight, friend
Goodnight, but not goodbye
Just one more dance, friend
Just one more chance, friend
One more chorus, one more tune
It's not the end, friend
If you're a friend, friend
Then you'll come back to me soon
But it's too late, pal
To celebrate, pal
You'll have to wait, pal
Don't you cry
So it's goodnight friend...
You're such a dear, friend
You know I'm here, friend
Is that a tear, friend
In your eye?
So say goodnight, friend
Goodnight but not goodbye.
December 11, 2008
IG-88: The Dancing Robot - featuring some familiar faces!
Here's one that we forgot to mention previously... filmmaker
Anton Bogaty created an excellent and hilarious animated piece
called "IG-88: The Dancing Robot". Not only did it win
the Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge Best Animated Movie award for
2007, but it also features a number of cameo appearances by characters
from The Star Wars Holiday Special! Check out our Fan Creations
section here for more details,
still images, and a link to watch the film.
December 5, 2008
Well, the 30th anniversary of the Star Wars Holiday Special has
turned out to be the biggest milestone so far. StarWars.com did
a week-long series of articles on it showcasing a reprint of the
Filmfax interviews from 1998, a look at all the surviving props
and materials from it in the Lucasfilm archives, a list of the
top collectibles, a couple of kids' articles detailing how to
draw Chewbacca's family and create your own stuffed Bantha, and
finally an interview with yours truly regarding this very website!
You can get to this and all the other new Holiday Special-related
articles by following the links from here.
In the meantime, we've been adding our own content here with
interviews and new photos that include some exclusive, never-before-seen
material. And there's still some more to come, so keep your eyes
Holiday Special takes #1 at the Paley Center, screening to follow
Hooray! Following the survey for which holiday special to show
at the Paley Center in New York and Los Angeles, the Star Wars
Holiday Special took the definite #1 spot at 59% of the vote.
Considering it's only ever been shown once and is not available
anywhere, this shouldn't be too surprising. Screenings will commence
next week - check the Paley Center website here
for details. Fans in New York will not want to miss the screening
there - we've been told it will be digitally projected and includes
the original commercials! You've never seen it in detail like
this, nor are you likely to anytime soon.
New Star Wars Encyclopedia to include Holiday Special info
The latest all-inclusive 3-volume set of The Complete Star Wars
Encyclopedia will be released December 9th, according to the official
site. It is a major update on the original Star Wars Encyclopedia
of 1997, which contained some entries on characters from the Holiday
Special. StarWars.com confirms the Holiday Special will be represented
this time around as well - Ackmena has her own photo-illustrated
entry! Hopefully coverage will be expanded a bit, so we'll have
to wait and see.
You can see the announcement and find more details here.
November 15, 2008
Vote for The Star Wars Holiday Special to screen at the Paley
You can help get The Star Wars Holiday Special shown at the Paley
Center in NYC and Los Angeles - here's a quote:
"The Paley Center wants to know which holiday specials you
cherish the most. We have compiled a list of 30 of the best--and
best-known--from the Paley Center collection. Cast your vote between
November 10 and December 3 for your top five, and share a brief
comment about why each program means something special to you."
The Star Wars Holiday Special is on that list, and is currently
in the lead (even beating out classics like "The Grinch That
Stole Christmas" and "A Charlie Brown Christmas"!).
Make sure it stays up there!
Cast your vote today at their website, found here.
November 13, 2008
Interview with Lev Mailer, "Imperial Guard #1" now
The second exclusive interview in honor of the 30th anniversary
of the Holiday Special is now online. This time it's Lev Mailer,
who played the moustached Imperial Guard with the growling voice,
back to menace us again! You can find the interview here.
Robot Chicken Star Wars and the Holiday Special connection
This is one piece of news we missed mentioning before, but with
the recent promos for the upcoming second chapter of the hilarious
Robot Chicken Star Wars, we thought it might be worth bringing
up the original teaser trailer for the first one, which featured
a big reference to the Holiday Special. In it, George Lucas (with
the real George Lucas providing the voice!) talks to his shrink
about his awful experience with the Holiday Special. This special
teaser was shown to fans at Star Wars Celebration 4 last May,
and starwarsholidayspecial.com was there for the occasion! You
can watch the video online at the official Star Wars site here.
November 12, 2008
New content unveiled: exclusive Patty Maloney interview
As part of our 30th anniversary celebration, we bring you a new,
exclusive interview with the actress behind the star of the Holiday
Special itself... Patty Maloney, who played Chewbacca's son Lumpy!
Check out the interview here,
and keep an eye out for more interviews and other new content
coming up soon.
RiffTrax to do all-day Holiday Special feature on November 17th
We've just received word from RiffTrax (see below) that they
too are celebrating the Holiday Special's 30th anniversary on
November 17th with a special all-day feature of their Holiday
Special riff, found here.
Some more information from RiffTrax about their work:
"RiffTrax is the internet continuation of the cult-hit TV
show Mystery Science Theater 3000. At the end of the show's television
run, star Mike Nelson and his comedic cohorts (Satellite of Love
partners Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot) reunited to riff
(comedic commentary made during a film) the latest and greatest
Hollywood blockbusters and duds, including most of the Star Wars
lexicon. This is accomplished through the release of MP3 tracks
(the RiffTrax) that synchronize with the playback of a given film
to reproduce the MST3K experience. Weve also developed a
free software player that makes synchronization effortless. True
to MST3K form, these riffs add endless hilarity and value to even
the worst of films. Put another way, were so bad its
November 6, 2008
30 Years of The Star Wars Holiday Special, 5 years of this website!
Yes, folks... only 11 more days before the actual date of the
30th anniversary of The Star Wars Holiday Special is upon us.
And as we celebrate 30 years of the Holiday Special, we also celebrate
our 5th anniversary of being online! Stay tuned in the coming
days for big updates and special features as we lead up to November
17th. In the meantime, here's some recent news...
StarWars.com officially celebrates with 30th anniversary Topps
StarWars.com is officially celebrating the Star Wars Holiday
Special's 30th anniversary, starting with a series of collector's
cards with images from the animated portion of the show. Topps
and StarWarsShop.com have come together to present a special limited
edition set of 11 Star Wars Holiday Special animated cartoon trading
cards. They are not available for sale, but one random card will
be included free with each order placed online through the shop.
You can read about it on the official site here
and see some more details at StarWarsShop.com here.
And more is on the way, as evidenced by this quote from the official
"Stay tuned to StarWars.com this month as we celebrate the
30th anniversary of "The Star Wars Holiday Special"
with more rare content and features coming soon!"
We'll definitely be looking forward to this as we post our own
updates and features here.
riffs the Holiday Special for your enjoyment
Remember Mystery Science Theater 3000? Ever wished you could
hear what they had to say about the Holiday Special? Well, the
MST3K spinoff group RiffTrax has created an audio commentary track
for the Holiday Special that you can get from their site and listen
to while you watch your own copy of the film. What better way
to have a 30th anniversary viewing? See the RiffTrax site here
for more details. And would somebody please light the sky on fire
for that guy already?!
30th Anniversary Holiday Special screening in Minneapolis
Wednesday Nov. 19th at 9:00 pm there will be a screening of the
Holiday Special at a bowling alley (so appropriate!) in Minneapolis,
MN. See this
page for more details.
UPDATE: There is a Facebook invite for this screening, which
is a benefit for Toys For Tots. If you are in the area and wish
to go, check out the invite here.
June 23, 2008
Stan Winston, rest in peace...
This year we've seen a number of losses of folks who were involved
with the Holiday Special. Most recently Stan Winston, creature
and makeup effects master extraordinaire is no longer with us.
Stan died on June 15th, 2008 at the age of 62 after battling multiple
myeloma for 7 years. You can find more details at an L.A. Times
Stan Winston and his studio have been responsible for some of
the most amazing and memorable robotics and alien effects over
the last couple decades, including work on milestone films like
Aliens, Jurassic Park, and the Terminator series. But where did
it all begin? Way back in 1978, on a certain TV movie called The
Star Wars Holiday Special--this was where Stan first got started
(see our interview
about this with Tom Burman, Stan's partner on the project at the
time). Stan created the animatronic Wookiee masks, which were
very impressive, but often glossed over or forgotten by negative
reviews of the show itself. Above you can see a photo of Stan
combing out the fur on the Lumpy mask.
It was hoped previously that we would have been able to bring
you an exclusive interview with Stan Winston regarding his work
on the Holiday Special, but unfortunately it is not to be. Once
again, our condolences go out to Stan's friends and loved ones.
His handiwork will be seen and remembered for countless generations
May 29, 2008
Harvey Korman (aka Gormaanda, Krelman, and Dromboid) dies at
Well, it's time for sad news again...Harvey Korman, the most
versatile actor in the Holiday Special (he played 3 different
parts), died today at age 81 of complications from an aortic aneurysm
he suffered 4 months earlier. MSNBC has a detailed news article
In the Star Wars Holiday Special, Harvey played the part of Gormaanda,
the four-armed feminine chef on an intergalactic cooking show
who teaches Chewbacca's wife Malla how frustrating cooking with
only two arms can be. He also played Krelman, the nervous humanoid
at bartender Ackmena's cantina who drinks from the top of his
head and tries unsuccessfully to hit on her. Lastly, Korman played
the glitch-prone android called Dromboid, an Amorphiian Being
who teaches Chewbacca's son Lumpy how to assemble a mini-transmitter
kit...while breaking down continually in the process during the
Harvey Korman's portrayal of Gormaanda was the most memorable
and funny part of the Special for me from the first time I saw
it in 1978, and Gormaanda wound up being my favorite character
from the show to this day.
Our condolences go out to Harvey's family and friends.
May 19, 2008
We've been quiet for a while here, but there are plenty of things
brewing! This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Star Wars
Holiday Special, and we plan to celebrate with all-new articles,
photos, interviews, and more. Keep your eyes open for updates.
Sadly, we missed posting a very significant news update back
in January, and so here is our long overdue announcement...
Holiday Special producer Dwight Hemion passses away
Dwight Hemion, one half of the Smith-Hemion production group
that produced the Star Wars Holiday Special (as well and many
more fondly-remembered TV specials and musical specials) died
January 28th at age 81.
Dwight was definitely one of the major forces behind the Holiday
Special turning out the way it did, for better or for worse. We'd
like to remember him for giving Star Wars its first shot at television,
and for giving us something so bizarrely amusing to talk about
all these years.
You can find a Washington Post article about it here,
which mentions the Holiday Special as a not-so-crowning achievement,
but also goes into more detail about all the other shows that
he worked on throughout his life.
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