Back in 1978 the television event of… well, arguably all time, happened. The biggest movie of all time was still in theaters. The phenomenon that was Star Wars was sweeping the world. As a result, CBS scored a coup and brought brand new, original Star Wars content to the small screen in the form of The Star Wars Holiday Special.
It’s real, and it’s spectacular. Spectacularly bad. It is a legendarily awful show featuring a wookie called Lumpy, Bea Arthur singing, Life Day celebrations, and Carrie Fisher so high as to be practically in orbit. It also introduced Boba Fett for the first time, as a cartoon.
It was such a huge embarrassment that George Lucas ordered it never to be screened again and it is locked securely away in the Lucasfilm vault. If you haven’t seen it, you can savor the awfulness right here.
Now a trailer has been released for A Disturbance in the Force. This is a new documentary about that fateful televisual spectacular. It is written and directed by Jeremy Coon and Steve Kozak. It features interviews with various celebrities, including Seth Green, Weird Al Yankovich, Paul Scheer, Taran Killam, Donny Osmond, Bonnie Burton, Bruce Vilanch, Steve Binder, and the late Gilbert Gottfried. According to the blurb:
“In 1977, ‘Star Wars’ became a cultural phenomenon that single-handedly revitalized a stagnant film industry, and forever changed how films were sold, made, and marketed. Movies would never be the same again.
A year later, neither would television. In 1978, CBS aired the two-hour ‘Star Wars Holiday Special’ during the week of Thanksgiving and was watched by 13 million people. It never re-aired.
While some fans of the franchise are aware of this dark secret, this bizarre two hours of television still remains relatively unknown among the general public. Simply put, we will answer how and why did the Holiday Special get made.”
A Disturbance In The Force will premiere at SXSW in Austin on March 11th. Here is the trailer.
More details are up on their website. In the meantime, over at the website that was formerly Ain’t It Cool News, a certain contributor maintains The Star Wars Holiday Special is a triumph with “top critics” and will ban anyone who disagrees with him using facts and logic.
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