Star Wars Holiday Special Documentary Sets Release Date
This week's Your Nerd Side Show:
As reported by Variety, the humorous documentary A Disturbance in the Force will release on digital and Blu-ray on December 5, 2023. The film originally premiered at South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) earlier this year, and is scheduled to play in select movie theaters across the U.S., U.K., and Australia to commemorate its home release. The announcement of the documentary’s release date comes on Life Day, an in-universe Star Wars holiday that is meant to mirror Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah.
Released in November 1978, roughly 18 months after the very first Star Wars film hit screens, the Holiday Special aired during the week of Thanksgiving that year on CBS. The special garnered over 13 million viewers, making it a huge event for audiences around the country, especially given the cultural phenomenon of A New Hope a year earlier (which was then just called Star Wars). The bizarre nature of the Holiday Special’s story, such as Chewbacca with his family and some questionable scenes with Luke Skywalker, made this an infamous piece of the franchise’s history. It has famously never been officially shown again on television, nor is it officially sold on physical media or digital, and creator George Lucas has gone on the record to say he wants to bury it entirely. However, the animated segments in the Holiday Special, titled The Story of the Faithful Wookiee, is available to stream on Disney+.
Mark Hamill Isn’t a Fan of the Holiday Special Either
Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, has been honest and open with his thoughts on the Holiday Special over the years. On Life Day in 2022, a Star Wars fan account on Twitter wrote: “On this day in 1978, The Star Wars Holiday Special aired for the first, and only time," the post said. "To date, it has never been released again. Have you seen it? What did you think of it?” Hamill responded with a brief, yet extremely telling response, writing “There's a reason it aired only once.”
Hamill isn’t the only one to have gone on record to mock the Holiday Special. As stated, George Lucas has shown his distaste for the episode several times of the years, and has made it clear that the only reason why he created it in the first place was a huge financial offer from the TV network. Harrison Ford has also made light of the special a few times, as did Carrie Fisher prior to her death in 2016. The Holiday Special has become a talking point among fans ever since, particularly around this time of year, and it still has had some impact on the franchise. For example, the first appearance of Boba Fett was in an animated segment of the episode, and the original design of the character was the basis for Din Djarin’s look in The Mandalorian Season 1.
A Disturbance in the Force is available on digital and Blu-ray on December 5.