A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away something titled “The Star Wars Holiday Special” aired. It was bad. Thankfully, an upcoming documentary will shed some light on exactly what went wrong with the franchise’s most notorious blunder.
The documentary, titled “A Disturbance in the Force,” and directed by Jeremy Coon (“Napoleon Dynamite”) and Steve Kozak, aims to offer a deep dive into the making-of the special. Coon recently told io9 that he and Kozak interviewed a variety of crew members who worked on the project and aimed to provide greater context to the special beyond just discussing its negative reception.
“Most attention on the ‘Holiday Special’ just focuses on how bad it is and doesn’t go deeper,” Coon told io9. “Our film is not going to be 90 minutes of dumping on it because no one wants to watch that. We’ve 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.”
While “The Star Wars Holiday Special” was a dud, the franchise’s other spinoffs, be they television shows such as “The Mandalorian” and “The Clone Wars,” novels such as the Thrawn trilogy, or video games like “Knights of the Old Republic,” have received a much warmer reception over the decades. “Star Wars” fans received a holiday treat recently in the form of the “Lego Star Wars Holiday Special,” which premiered on Disney+ earlier in November. IndieWire’s Christian Blauvelt praised the new special for its humor, Easter eggs, and affecting plot in his grade A- review. Blauvelt noted that though the original “Star Wars Holiday Special” was poorly received, it nonetheless managed to introduce a handful of classic elements to the franchise.
“George Lucas was so embarrassed by ‘The Star Wars Holiday Special’ that he prevented anyone from seeing it for decades,” Blauvelt said. “But here’s the thing: the two-hour special also introduced Boba Fett to fans, in a stirring cartoon that foretold the saga’s expansive future in animation (and introduced Mando’s pronged weapon on ‘The Mandalorian’); and it introduced the Wookiee homeworld Kashyyyk, as well as Chewbacca’s extended family, hinting that the galaxy you saw in ‘Star Wars” was much bigger than you imagined.’
Check out the trailer for “A Disturbance in the Force” below.