Among pop culture fans, the term "holiday special" automatically invokes some eye-rolls, as it often signifies an inorganic opportunity to blend a fantastical world with real-world holidays, with Star Wars actor Mark Hamill finding the perfect opportunity to poke fun at filmmaker James Gunn at the reveal of the script for the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. With Hamill having appeared in 1978's The Star Wars Holiday Special, the bizarre variety show that has largely given all subsequent "holiday specials" a bad name, the reveal of the script was too good an opportunity for a joke to pass up.
"I have a very bad feeling about this..." Hamill tweeted alongside Gunn's tweet featuring the script.
I have a very bad feeling about this... https://t.co/JkZs7hamVA— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) April 23, 2021
Gunn, clearly not taking the joke personally, went on to heighten the joke, as he replied, "These things ALWAYS go well."
Before the emergence of the internet, The Star Wars Holiday Special was a thing of infamy and urban legend. Following the success of Star Wars: A New Hope, everyone wanted to capitalize on the franchise, resulting in CBS' development of the Holiday Special. Despite appearances from Hamill, as well as Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, the Holiday Special was largely a typical variety show that was merely given a Star Wars overhaul, with franchise creator George Lucas being so disappointed with the spectacle, the Holiday Special never aired again and never earned an official release.
Lucasfilm might have hoped to erase the event from existence, but fans who had recorded the Holiday Special had other plans. Over the next two decades, countless bootleg copies of the Holiday Special were made, typically being sold at conventions and flea markets around the world. In the late '90s and early '00s, the internet's popularity resulted in even more copies of the Holiday Special making their way around the globe, only making it more infamous.
Last year, Disney hoped to reclaim the concept of a holiday-themed event, delivering audiences The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, embracing the irreverence of previous LEGO Star Wars specials. Given that Gunn himself is developing the new animated special, we can likely expect a similar amount of self-referential humor.
Interestingly, Hamill and Gunn have had many interactions on Twitter over the years, largely due to how they lived close to one another in California. When they chronicled their meet-up on social media, fans immediately wondered if this could result in Hamill joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. These most recent exchanges will surely have fans speculating once again that Hamill's joke could be a hint that he'll voice a character in the special, a prospect we surely can't rule out at this point.
Stay tuned for details on the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which is set to debut in 2022.
Are you looking forward to the event? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!