|“||If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that special and smash it.||”|
The Star Wars Holiday Special is a two-hour television special spun off from the Star Wars film franchise. It was broadcast in the United States only once on Friday, November 17, 1978 on CBS at 8:00 p.m. EST. It was the first film-length Star Wars production following the release of the original film, and notably introduced Boba Fett and three members of Chewbacca's family - his father Attichitcuk, his wife Mallatobuck, and his son Lumpawarrump.
Star Wars creator George Lucas's involvement in the special's production was limited, and he was unhappy with the final product. As a result, it has never re-aired in the US nor been officially released on home video, but has been widely bootlegged by fans. The animated segment was, however, included as an Easter Egg on the 2011 Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray set.
Onboard the Millennium Falcon, Chewbacca and Han Solo are on their way to Kashyyyk to be with Chewbacca's family for Life Day, a Wookiee holiday. After departing Tatooine, the pair find themselves being chased by two Star Destroyers. Han wants to turn back, but Chewbacca convinces him to move forward, and they jump to hyperspace.
On Kashyyyk, Chewbacca's family is anxiously awaiting and preparing for his return. Itchy is carving an X-wing toy for Lumpy, Malla is working in the kitchen, and Lumpy is playing with an already-complete X-wing toy. Lumpy tries to eat one of Malla's freshly-prepared Wookiee-ookiees before dinner, but she catches him and has him take out the garbage. She then takes down a picture of Chewbacca, worrying about his safety, but Itchy reassures her that Chewbacca is safe. Itchy then gets an activity capsule out of the cabinet and shows it to Lumpy. Malla objects to this, but Itchy convinces her otherwise and inserts the capsule into a round table-machine. After Itchy switches on the device, Lumpy sits down to watch a computer-generated group of circus performers performing an act.
After the performance concludes, Malla and Itchy start worrying again, so Malla uses a computer to run a search for any starships in the area, but it returns no results. She switches on a hidden viewscreen and contacts Luke Skywalker, who is working on his X-wing starfighter with help from R2-D2. Luke does not know what has happened and suggests that Han and Chewbacca probably stopped off somewhere, and will be there soon. He begins to have a few problems of his own when the part he is working on begins to emit steam. Seeing that he is busy, Malla shuts off the communication viewscreen.
Malla next contacts Saun Dann, a local human trader, who is in the middle of a deal with an Imperial Guard. Saun Dann suggests a few items, for which the guard expresses no interest. While the guard is distracted looking at items, Saun Dann speaks with Malla through a carefully-worded message that Han and Chewbacca are on their way. However, he too does not know of their current whereabouts. He shuts off the viewscreen, and suggests a multifunctional groomer. The guard takes the item, giving Saun Dann nothing in return.
Meanwhile, onboard a Star Destroyer, an Imperial officer informs Darth Vader that a blockade has been set up around Kashyyyk, and a search has begun for the Rebels. Vader tells him to continue searching, even if they must search every household in the system.
Back on Kashyyyk, Malla is preparing dinner. She turns on a viewscreen to view a cooking program with Gormaanda, a four-armed chef who gives instructions on how to prepare the Bantha rump. When she begins to speed up the process, Malla can't keep up and switches the viewscreen off.
In space, the Millennium Falcon approaches Kashyyyk. Unaware of the blockade, Chewbacca and Han are attacked by four TIE fighters. After taking out a few using the cockpit's remote controls, Han resorts to going down into the quad cannons to use them manually; Chewbacca takes the main controls.
Back at Chewbacca's family's house, an Imperial officer announces on the viewscreen that a blockade has been set up around the planet, and that the Empire has declared martial law. Immediately afterward, there is a knock at the door; it is Saun Dann, who has brought each of them Life Day gifts. He gives Malla and Lumpy their presents first, and they go off to open them. Saun Dann then gives Itchy his present - a memory chip, which he inserts into Itchy's mind evaporator. Itchy activates the chip, and sees a human female perform a song.
At a Rebel base, Leia and C-3PO are working on something when Malla contacts them to tell them Chewbacca and Han haven't shown up. Leia asks if Malla is alone, and is relieved that Saun Dann is there to protect her. Saun Dann says that he smells Wookiee-ookiees, and he and Malla go into the kitchen.
Back on the Millennium Falcon, Han notices the abundance of Imperials around Kashyyyk, so they decide to land on the north side of the planet, a safe-section area. He notes that this is far the Wookiee household however, and will be a long walk. After a protest from Chewbacca, they decide to land as planned.
Meanwhile, Lumpy hears a ship landing outside. Believing Han and Chewie have arrived, Malla opens the door, but instead finds two Stormtroopers and two Imperial officers who force their way in. The head officer checks the house for all residents, finds that a male Wookiee is missing, and orders his men to do a full search of the house. The officers look through the house, nearly discovering Malla's hidden communication device. To distract the attention of the Imperials, Saun Dann suggests that he and Malla prepare some food for everyone. Saun Dann turns on Malla's gift — a music box — for one of the officers, and watches with the officer while Malla does the cooking. A holographic band appears on the box and sings a song.
When the video finishes, the head officer orders the search to continue. Saun Dann leaves, believing he cannot help further. The head officer tells Malla to keep Lumpy busy while they search, so Lumpy sits down to watch a cartoon on a viewscreen.
The cartoon features Chewbacca, Han, Luke, Leia, R2-D2 and C-3PO's first encounter with Boba Fett. While searching for a talisman, Chewbacca and Han crash the Millennium Falcon on a moon in the Panna system. At a Rebel base, Luke, Leia and the droids are concerned for their safety, so Luke and the droids take a Y-Wing to the Panna moon. Upon landing, they run into Boba Fett, who claims he wants to help them after saving Luke from a giant monster. C-3PO tells Luke he shouldn't be so quick to trust Fett, but Luke laughs this off. They all find the Falcon, where Han has been infected by a sleeping virus apparently caused by the talisman. Luke immediately contracts the virus as well. Fett and Chewie go into Panna City, which is occupied by Imperials, to get the serum for the virus. Once there, Fett secretly contacts Darth Vader to inform him of the situation, revealing that he and Vader plan to reveal the location of the Rebels so Vader can stop them. C-3PO and R2-D2 intercept the message between Vader and Fett on their viewscreen, however, and C-3PO says that they have to tell Luke. After evading the Imperials, Fett and Chewie return to the ship with the serum. After giving Han and Luke the serum, they recover and everyone learns of Boba Fett's true allegiance. Fett blasts away in his jet pack, promising that they'll meet again. The cartoon ends with everyone leaving the planet on board the Millennium Falcon.
Upstairs, the Imperials search and ransack Lumpy's room, with one of them ripping the head off of Lumpy's stuffed bantha. Lumpy is saddened by what they have done to his treasured toy and tries to put its head back on. He then opens the present Saun Dann gave him and puts in the instruction video, which teaches him how to assemble the device — a mini-transmitter. A humanoid described as an "Amorphian Being from the system Amorphia" appears on the video. The video's announcer explains that Amorphian beings' body functions frequently stop working temporarily; throughout the video, this Amorphian does just that, eventually shutting down completely at the end.
Downstairs, while the Imperials are still searching, a video comes on the living room viewscreen. The program, featuring "Life on Tatooine", is described as "required viewing by all Imperial personnel", so the Imperials turn their attention to the viewscreen. The video showcases happenings inside the Mos Eisley Cantina. The bartender, Ackmena, is in the process of serving drinks, when a humanoid named Krelman walks in and offers her flowers. They begin to talk, but are interrupted by an Imperial announcement; as part of their search for the Rebels, Tatooine is being put under a curfew by the Empire. The Imperial agent orders everyone to return home immediately. Ackmena is shocked and asks her customers to leave. When they all refuse, she suggests one more round of drinks for everyone, which she pays for herself. She then proceeds to usher them out by singing a song and dancing. Everyone eventually leaves except for Krelman, who again offers the flowers to Ackmena.
After the video finishes, Lumpy's plan goes into effect. The Imperials repeatedly get a call to "return to base". They decide to leave, but the head officer instructs one of the stormtroopers to stay behind. After the other Imperials leave, the stormtrooper still hears the radio call to "return to base" and immediately figures something is wrong because there are no more comlinks around. Deducing that the sound is coming from Lumpy's room, the stormtrooper runs upstairs to find Lumpy speaking into the mini-transporter he had constructed earlier. He startles Lumpy and destroys the machine, and then chases Lumpy outside just as Chewbacca and Han arrive. Chewbacca rushes to protect his son, and the stormtrooper points his gun at them. Luckily, Han sneaks up behind the stormtrooper and hits him. The two prepare to fight, but Han suddenly trips the stormtrooper, who breaks the railing and falls to his death in forests below.
Han, Chewbacca, and Lumpy go inside, where Malla and Itchy are waiting. Malla asks Han to stay, but he says he has to get back to the Falcon before someone finds it. After saying his goodbyes, he wishes everyone a happy Life Day and leaves, after which Saun Dann returns with bags in his hands. The Imperial officer from before appears on a viewscreen, asking if anyone in the area has seen a missing stormtrooper. Saun Dann replies, claiming that the stormtrooper stole a lot of food from his house and left without a trace. The excuse works, and the officer says he will send out a search party to find the missing trooper. Everyone is relieved after he disappears from the viewscreen. Saun Dann leaves again, wishing the entire family a happy Life Day. The family then prepares to go the festival at the Tree of Life. They each take a crystal and gather them together above their heads.
Chewbacca's family is transported towards a bright star and arrive at the Tree of Life, where a group of many other Wookiees have gathered at the tree's base. Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2 stand before the other Wookiees, and Luke, Leia and Han soon join them. Leia begins the ceremony with a short speech on the meaning of Life Day and sings a song in celebration. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Chewbacca remembers several of the group's adventures from the first film. Later that night, Chewbacca, Malla, Lumpy and Itchy sit at the family table, where they pray and prepare to eat a Life Day meal.
- "This Minute"
- "Light the Sky on Fire"
- "Good Night, But Not Goodbye"
- "A Day to Celebrate"
- Wookieepedia: The Star Wars Holiday Special
- The Star Wars Holiday Special at the Internet Movie Database
- Star Wars Holiday Special comprehensive fansite
- The Nitpicker's Guide to The Star Wars Holiday Special in-depth review with scene-by-scene commentary
- I-Mockery's review
- The Nostalgia Critic's review
- Wrestlecrap.com's review by site owner R.D. Reynolds