Following the release of the original Star Wars in 1978, CBS aired the now infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. The two-hour variety show was considered one of the biggest blunders in television history and, according to one critic, appeared to be “written by a bag of cocaine.” George Lucas regretted the special so much he wanted to take a year off and drive around destroying every VHS copy in America. Of course, he never did that, but he did spend much of the next three decades trying to keep the special buried forever, until the internet happened.
The new Hypothetical Star Wars Special attempts to repeat the blunder-filled magic of the first special, but updated for next week’s release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Unfortunately, J.J. Abrams and friends have been less than forthcoming with details about the film, so much of it is based solely on rumor and conjecture. And while the special is almost surely filled with spoilers, there’s also a near-100% chance that it’s entirely spoiler-free. SPOILER ALERT: A new character, Constable Zuvio, plays a key role in the program … although they’ve already released a toy for that character so, again, not technically a spoiler.
So how do these two specials stack up exactly and what else should you look out for?
- The original special focused on Chewbacca and his family around a fictional holiday called “Life Day.“
- The Hypothetical Special focuses on BB8 and his family, for a fictional holiday we made up called "Droid Day.”
- Art Carney plays a goods trader in the original.
- We got Jason Alexander to play a robot bartender.
- Both specials feature cartoon segments, because what good’s a holiday special without some bare-bones animation?
- In the original, the legendary band Jefferson Starship perform the song “Light the Sky on Fire.”
- For this new special, the even more legendary band Train wrote and perform an original song called ”Droid Day,” which is sure to be an instant holiday classic.
- Of course, both specials have zany, cameo-filled intro-sequences which you can now see by watching both versions below. Happy Droid Day to all, and to all … May the Force be with you!