Amazingly, The Star Wars Holiday Special has remained fresh in people’s minds thanks to the memory banks of old nerds, grainy uploads on the internet, and a passionate cult following. For years, people have clamored for an official re-release of the incredi-bad oddity, but despite the potential for financial gain, Star Wars creator George Lucas has protected his brand and refused. Now we know why.
According to Salon, Lucas would love to violently destroy every last copy of the special.
George Lucas never talks about about the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, except for this quote, obtained at a Star Wars convention: “If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.”
Harsh, telling words, never acted upon. Still, Lucas’ attempts to eradicate this blight on his legacy were significant. After its one CBS airing on Friday, November 17th, 1978, at 8 PM, he forbade future broadcasts of The Star Wars Holiday Special, and never allowed an official VHS or DVD release. Neither he nor the cast has ever discussed it at length.
This isn’t really surprising considering Lucas’ penchant for tinkering with the original trilogy. This is a man who can judge his past works harshly, but it is interesting to hear Lucas speak with a fanboy’s flare for the dramatic. It’s also worth noting that, since Lucas sold the Star Wars property to Disney for a boatload of money, he might actually have the time and he certainly has the resources to finance his slow walk across the country to smash and bash every copy of the special that he can find. So, look out for that if you’re holding, I suppose.
Speaking of Disney, it’s worth wondering if they might someday officially sanction a re-release of the special in an effort to collect a few dollars while giving the people what they want. But I’ve been wondering the same thing about an un-altered theatrical cut special edition Blu Ray/DVD release of the original trilogy since Lucas stepped aside, so I’m not holding my breath on this one.