Holiday Special > Text > Quotes


Here are some retrospective comments and reminiscences about the Holiday Special from various people who were involved in it, from various sources over time.

Paul Kantner, Jefferson Starship, "Holographic Band"
(from an interview with Eurodisc Agenda magazine conducted in 1984)

EA: Speaking of TV specials, the Jefferson Starship did a TV appearance on a "Star
Wars Christmas Special" back when "Light the Sky On Fire" was released. How did that
come about?

Paul: That was a long time ago. Well, they were just interested in us, and... well, it wasn't very successful, I don't think. It had some good special effects but, it was just... more TV. They opened up a phonograph and there we were. It was supposed to be like a laserdisc.

George Lucas, original concept
(from Starlog #127, February 1988 - taken from the 10th Anniversary Star Wars Convention at the L.A. Concourse Hotel, Memorial Day 1987)

STARLOG: Will we ever see the Wookie TV special again (STARLOG #19)?

LUCAS: I believe it will be released on videotape. I'm not sure if they're going to rerun it on television or not.

Lenny Ripps, co-author of the original script
(from Filmfax magazine #69/70, October 1998/January 1999)

FAX: [The Star Wars Holiday Special] was an eclectic combination of elements: drama, space fantasy, and musical variety.

Ripps: To me, it didn't come together. The ideas were all right but I'm not sure they belonged in the same room.

Bruce Vilanch, co-writer
(from the Combustible Celluloid website, September 10, 1999)

On the 1978 "Star Wars Holiday Special" (Bruce co-wrote the movie):

Bruce: It was hilarious. It was between "Star Wars" and "The Empire Strikes Back" and George Lucas wanted to keep the flame alive. It's hysterically bad. I just saw it. I got it from a collector. I didn't realize how poor. I worked on it with George. That's how I got to know him. And he pulled the story out of the vault. It was like "Episode 32" of the saga, and it was the one that was set on the planet of the Wookiees, and the Wookiees were the central characters. Unfortunately all the Wookiees look like me and sound like fat people having orgasms. So, they're tough to write for. Every line of dialogue is 'oh, ee, ahh'. How do you write that? The Wookiees can't speak, but the Wookiees were the central characters. So I said, 'well we have to load this up with stars who sing and dance and do schtick to cover up that the story is about these walking carpets. It was one nightmare after another, but it's a very funny show. At the Cantina on Tatooine, Bea Arthur is the bargirl. To give you some idea what the show is like. Jefferson Starship is on it. Carrie Fisher sings something. It was Thanksgiving.

Ben Burtt, special dialogue and sound effects
(from SFX magazine #67, August 2000)

Ben: It was a fun thing to work on but it needs re-editing. It could be re-cut and re-released. If you tightened up the story, I think you could have another little episode.

Peter Mayhew, "Chewbacca"
(from SFX magazine #67, August 2000)

Peter: It was a wonderful surprise. At that time, there wasn't that much publicity around [Wookiees]. To suddenly get an invitation to become part of a show that benefited the Wookiee families and showed where they lived was marvellous. What I can't understand is why hasn't it been released more? It was aired once and never put out on video. At practically every convention I go to I get inquiries about the Holiday Special from friends who would love to see it. It's one of those things that Chewie and Star Wars fans would adore.

George Lucas, original concept
(from an interview with Maxim magazine, May 2002)

MAXIM: Any plans for a Special Edition of the Holiday Special?

George: [hangs head] Right. That's one of those things that happened, and I just have to live with it.

Anthony Daniels, "C-3PO"
(from the Star Wars Insider #71, November 2003)

From a 'previous chat' (July 30, 2003): Thinking about doing another Holiday Special?

Anthony: You could be terminated for even suggesting such a thing. Mind you, I had fun working on the original, but as a safety measure I didn't actually watch it.

Steve Schuster, Jefferson Starship, "Holographic Band"
(from an interview by SKot Kirkwood, July 2004)

SKot: Were the band happy with how the "Light the Sky On Fire" video came out? Can you remember problems occurring with the direction of the video?

Steve: I don't think there was great joy, but I doubt anyone thought as badly of it as I did. It made the Carol Burnett Show look like high art.

Bea Arthur, "Ackmena"
(from an interview with The Portland Mercury, Oct 13 - Oct 19, 2005)

MERCURY: How about your role in The Star Wars Holiday Special [also a television special, aired November 17, 1978, where Bea played a barmaid in an intergalactic tavern]?

Bea: You know something... I didn't know what that was about at all. I was asked to be in it by the composer of that song I sang—"Goodnight, But Not Goodbye." It was a wonderful time, but I had no idea it was even a part of the whole Star Wars thing.

MERCURY: Well, that song was great.

Bea: Well, thanks. It's odd. I've gotten so many letters and requests for autographed photos from that thing. I just remember singing to a bunch of people with funny heads.