The franchise may have endured as a monolithic presence in popular culture for over 40 years that continues to acquire new fans on a generational basis, but even the most ardent supporters of Star Wars would fully admit that the Holiday Special is the undoubted low point of the long-running sci-fi series. That is, if they’ve been lucky enough to see it.
George Lucas was so embarrassed by it that the Holiday Special has never been broadcast again or ever released on home video, making it the Holy Grail for Star Wars enthusiasts who’ve trawled the deepest and darkest corners of the internet in the hopes of stumbling across a grainy bootleg copy.
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Mark Hamill even asked for a presidential pardon after being part of the production, but Disney Plus has now leaned into the infamy to create a LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, full of the typical in-jokes and irreverent humor that characterized the toy company’s Star Wars video games and various spinoffs. So far, it seems to have gone down pretty well with fans, and in a recent interview, C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels said that lending his voice talents to the streaming exclusive was a much better option than going back to therapy.
“I’ve re-booked the therapy because I thought that was over but no, it’s awakened those memories, you know? They stay there. I love the irreverence that LEGO has always brought, whatever the product, because you can’t be serious if you’re a dumpy inch-and-a-half doll, you cannot be serious. Even John McEnroe as a doll could not be serious. So intrinsically, a LEGO product is going to be fun, it’s going to be irreverent and it’s going to allow you to places you wouldn’t normally go in a Star Wars movie. And that’s why this one, the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, allows you to go on weird adventures, meeting people you wouldn’t normally meet in the same room with and it works out.”
Daniels is far from the only familiar face to appear in the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, of course, with Billy Dee Williams, Kelly Marie Tran and The Clone Wars veterans Matt Lanter, James Arnold Taylor and Dee Bradley Baker all co-starring. As mentioned above, fans are already getting a kick out of the animated adventure, too, and if Disney and Lucasfilm remain intent on keeping the original Holiday Special under lock and key for the rest of eternity, then it makes for a more than acceptable substitute.