Thirty-Three Years Ago Last Night: The Worst Holiday Special Ever

I was reminded this afternoon on Twitter that it was 33 years ago last night  that The Star Wars Holiday Special aired for the one and only time. It was, well, you’ve probably heard the stories by now.

And here it is, including commercials. I had honestly forgotten the thing was two hours long. Then again, I was ten years old at the time and the selective amnesia was probably my brains way of protecting me.

Watch it, if you dare:

FILED UNDER: Entertainment, Popular Culture, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I did not know of the existence of that, and now that I do I will employ zero brain cells in an effort to remember it.

  2. Neil Hudelson says:

    My favorite part is the full minutes of wookie speak…without subtitles or translations.

  3. @Neil Hudelson:

    Which is actually more tolerable than anything Jar-Jar Binks ever said

  4. Neil Hudelson says:

    I remember my freshman year of college hearing about this. There were copies floating around, but very hard to find. The rumor was that George Lucas tried to destroy any copy he could find (rumors don’t have to be believable).

    Then youtube was invented…

  5. @Neil Hudelson:

    The YouTube version is probably based on one of those copies. You’ll notice that they’ve never released that thing on video.

  6. Modulo Myself says:

    I always thought it a joke that Bea Arthur made an appearance.

    Then I watched.

  7. This is why I don’t take it seriously when people say George Lucas has lost his mind. Like it’s something new.

  8. mantis says:

    The only copies in existence come from home recordings of the only broadcast. Tapes of it have been passed around and sold at conventions since before the Web existed.

  9. Jeremy says:

    How did I know this is what you were talking about?

  10. Herb says:

    You guys are crazy. I saw this when I was a kid and and loved it! (Of course, I was 2…)

  11. Gustopher says:

    As a child of 8, I begged my parents to let me stay up late to watch it, and was bored out of my mind.

    A few years ago, as an adult of 37, watching it for the first time since then, I was laughing so hard that I cried.

    I think a few hours of childhood disappointment were worth that. Also, I learned that Chewbacca is an absentee father.

    Also, the wookie sitcom portion was hysterical, but the virtual reality porn disk that Itchy gets is truly a thing of wonder. If you hunt down the script, it says “Itchy is groggy with satisfaction”.

    And Bea Arthur.