- A Disturbance in the Force, a documentary exploring the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, has gotten a release date.
- George Lucas reportedly tried to destroy every known copy of the special and disassociate himself from it as quickly as possible.
- Despite its poor reception, the special has been referenced in other formats and has gained notoriety as one of the dumbest events in television history.
The forthcoming Star Wars documentary A Disturbance in the Force celebrating George Lucas’ 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special has gotten a release date. Initially premiering in 1977, this epic space opera today has become one of the biggest media franchises in the world, spawning multiple sequels, prequels, comic books, TV shows, novels, video games, and so much more. The year after the franchise kicked off, Lucas, along with director Steve Binder, created the first spinoff, a holiday television special which was poorly received by many viewers. Following its initial broadcast by CBS, Lucas reportedly tried to destroy every copy of the special, and it was never rebroadcast again, nor was it ever officially released on home video.
Now, according to Variety, a behind-the-scenes documentary about the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, entitled A Disturbance in the Force, will be released on digital and Blu-ray on December 5 after it initially premiered earlier in the year at the SXSW Film Festival. The documentary, which was produced by September Club, will also play in a number of select theaters across the U.S., U.K. and Australia.
Why Did George Lucas Want To Forget The Holiday Special?
The infamous Star Wars Holiday Special spinoff was produced by CBS a year after the groundbreaking success of the original movie, A New Hope. The holiday special was set between the events of the first movie and its 1980 sequel, The Empire Strikes Back. Seeing as the spinoff was coming off the back of the largely successful first installment, many expected Lucas to easily build on the success of the first movie and smartly expand the universe. However, that wasn’t to be the case.
The special aired only once on CBS, after which Lucas was said to have tried to destroy every known copy of the special. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the special holds a franchise-low 25% approval rating. Many viewers and critics considered the movie unwatchable for numerous reasons. For one, the opening sequence which featured Chewbacca in his family home had absolutely no real words or subtitles, just the Wookeie’s grunting for minutes on end.
Despite its poor reception, the Star Wars Holiday Special has been referenced in a variety of other formats, including an official LEGO-style homage set in the sequel trilogy era.
Also, a lot of the costume choices and particularly the acting performances in the special were pretty terrible, with suggestions of some of the actors being intoxicated while shooting. The catastrophic Star Wars special ended up on infamous lists like David Hofstede’s What Were They Thinking?: The 100 Dumbest Events in Television History, coming in first place. Understandably, Lucas, who today is regarded as one of the most notable filmmakers of his generation, wanted to disassociate himself from the special as quickly as possible and with the behind-the-scenes documentary of the special about to release, it’ll be interesting to see the plight that took place while creating this special.