A Disturbance in the Force: How and Why the Star Wars Holiday Special Happened
Bea Arthur as the owner of the Mos Eisley Cantina. Long scenes entirely of Wookies bleating at each other, without subtitles. Harvey Korman, in drag, as a four-armed Space Julia Child. Six minutes of Jefferson Starship performing for Art Carney and a bored Imperial Guard. Mark Hamill, fresh from his near-fatal motorcycle accident, slathered in pancake makeup. Even by the standards of the 1970s, the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special is a peerlessly cringeworthy pop-culture artifact. Just how on earth did this thing ever see the light of day? To answer that question, as Steven Kozak shows in this fascinating and often hilarious inside look into the making of the Special, you have to understand the cultural moment in which it appeared-a long, long time ago when cheesy variety shows were a staple of network television and Star Wars was not yet the billion-dollar multimedia behemoth that it is today. Packed with memorable anecdotes, drawing on extensive new interviews with countless people involved in the production, and told with mingled affection and bewilderment, this never-before-told story gives a fascinating look at a strange moment in pop-culture history that remains an object of fascination even today.
Media Tie Ins, Prose, Reference