Earlier this month, Donald Trump's former campaign chairman for the 2016 presidential election was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for eight criminal counts, including bank fraud, tax fraud, and failing to file a foreign bank account report. Star Wars icon Mark Hamill, who regularly mocks Trump on social media, used a quote from Manafort to mock his own involvement in The Star Wars Holiday Special.
Hamill posted the quote, "To say I feel humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement. I ask you to be compassionate. I have lived an otherwise blameless life," alongside images from the 1978 special, which only aired once and has never earned an official release. Manafort shared these comments with the press following his sentencing.
The actor also added an image of George Lucas, claiming the filmmaker shared the quote, "If I had time and a hammer, I'd track down every bootleg copy and smash it." Interestingly, despite Hamill sharing the supposed quote from Lucas, there's no official citation of when and where he said it, with the quote serving as more of an urban legend related to the filmmaker's disappointment with the special.
Much like the quote from Lucas, the Holiday Special itself is a thing of legend.
After the debut of Star Wars: A New Hope on May 25, 1977, the film became one of the biggest pop culture sensations of all time, permeating every corner of society. A new film wasn't slated to hit theaters until 1980, leading CBS to approach George Lucas about the idea of creating a holiday special to tide fans over.
The promotional tagline of the special read, "Luke Skywalker and Han Solo battle Imperial forces to help Chewbacca reach his imperiled family on the Wookiee planet—in time for Life Day—their most important day of the year!" What fans actually got, however, was something far more bizarre.
CBS tapped a number of writers behind their more successful variety specials to craft the program, which ultimately focused on Chewbacca's family waiting for him on Kashyyyk to get back from his adventures with Han Solo in time to celebrate Life Day. The special featured Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, James Earl Jones, and Anthony Daniels, which added legitimacy to the endeavor. To fill its running time, the special also included multiple musical numbers from contemporary musicians Jefferson Starship, Diahann Carroll, and, for some reason, Bea Arthur.
The special was an almost immediate disappointment with both fans and those unfamiliar with the series, as its portrayal of Life Day didn't resonate with any real-world holiday strongly enough to build seasonal excitement. Likely having realized their mistake, the program was never aired again.
Hamill will next be seen in Star Wars: Episode IX, which lands in theaters on December 20th.
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