Even if you’ve never seen the Star Wars Holiday Special, you likely know what it is. It’s an infamous 1978 TV special featuring the cast of Star Wars coked-up out of their minds, celebrating “Life Day,” which is the Star Wars equivalent of Christmas. It was such a disaster that George Lucas, who didn’t have much to do with the special to begin with, wanted it blinked out of existence. And while there are bootleg copies floating around, there’s never been an official release. Now, the documentary A Disturbance in the Force will tell the behind-the-scenes story of how this thing got made.
A Disturbance in the Force Trailer
If you’ve ever wondered just how the hell the Star Wars Holiday Special came about, directors Jeremy Coon and Steve Koza are here to help. Their documentary A Disturbance in the Force will examine the making of the special, with Coon telling io9: “Most attention on the Holiday Special just focuses on how bad it is and doesn’t go deeper. Our film is not going to be 90 minutes of dumping on it because no one wants to watch that. We’re gone really deep in the research and like an onion, there are a lot more layers as to how the Special happened than you would expect.”
The film is still being edited, but the directors claim they’ve spoken to every living crew member involved with the special. “Most of the crew are proud not only of the special but of the TV variety genre that so few know about today, so they enjoy reminiscing about it,” Kozak said, with Coon adding: “We were also able to find a never before released audio interview with Peter Mayhew talking about the Special along with over 15 hours of audio interviews recorded over twenty years ago with over a dozen people who worked on the Holiday Special. The recordings include others who passed away that we thought we’d never be able to give a voice in the film.”
Beyond that, the filmmakers promise that the documentary will be filled with big surprises for fans. For example: Leonard Ripps, one of the writers of the special (there are a total of five credited writers, if you can believe that) says that George Lucas told him that Han Solo was married to a Wookiee at one point. I’ll just leave that there for you to think about.
There’s no official release date yet, but the filmmakers hope to have A Disturbance in the Force ready for next year. In the meantime, you can watch the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special that’s out now on Disney+, and apparently it’s a lot of fun.
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