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Holiday Special > News

The Book of Face!November 30, 2013

We have a Facebook page!

You can find our counterpart page on Facebook now! It's actually been up for a little while, but it's about time to alert everyone to the fact that we have a Facebook presence.

You can go to the Star Wars Holiday Special Facebook page by clicking on the graphic on the right, or by hitting the link here.

Star Wars Holiday Special burlesque...and why not?

It seems Hotsy Totsy Burlesque had an idea to combine the Holiday Special with burlesque dancing...what could possibly go wrong? This appears to have become an annual event, with the latest show being on December 17th this year. For more details, check out the website article here.


November 17, 2013

35 Years of The Star Wars Holiday Special
10 Years of StarWarsHolidaySpecial.Com

Happy Life Day!

Could it have been that long ago that the Holiday Special aired, one time only, on television? And has this website really been online for 10 years now?

Indeed it's true - the Holiday Special played one time only back in 1978...and this site debuted back in 2003. And we are now here in 2013 to celebrate with some new additions to the site, as well as more items on the News front.

Keep an eye on the site for more new additions through November and December.

StarWarsHolidaySpecial.com on Podcasts

Last week in honor of the Holiday Special's 35th Anniversary, website owner SKot was a guest on two separate podcasts: one for Galaxy of Toys, and the other for TechnoRetro Dads. We chat about various topics relating to the Holiday Special, its strange appeal, its merchandise, how this website came about, and other things. Take a listen!

Galaxy of Toys - Holiday Special podcast
TechnoRetro Dads - Holiday Special podcast "The Lumpy Peanuts Made Me Itchy"


November 16, 2013

It's the eve before the 35th anniversary of the Star Wars Holiday Special...and here's a bit of news to get things rolling:

The Star Wars Holiday Special Action Figure Celebration

The website From 4-LOM to Zuckuss is celebrating the 35th anniversary early by showing all the action figures who were in the Holiday Special, and sharing some great ideas for creating Holiday Special-themed dioramas with both vintage and modern action figures. A fun and entertaining way to celebrate Life Day!

Take a look and see for yourself here.

 


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.

Also 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 2007.

The 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 patrons:

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...
Goodnight, friend.
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, friend
Goodnight but not goodbye.


December 11, 2008

IG-88: The Dancing Robot - featuring some familiar faces!

Who is this band?

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 open...

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 Center

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 online

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. We’ve 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, we’re so bad it’s good."


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 cards

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 site:

"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.

Riffing the Holiday SpecialRiffTrax 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...

Stan Winston combs the Lumpy mask

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 article here.

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 to come.


May 29, 2008

Harvey Korman (aka Gormaanda, Krelman, and Dromboid) dies at 81

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 here.

Harvey as Gormaanda Harvey as Krelman Harvey as Dromboid

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 instructional video.

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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