The most infamously embarrassing event in much of Star Wars history was 1978's The Star Wars Holiday Special, which series creator George Lucas was so ashamed of that it only aired once and has never been released in any official capacity, with C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels recently joking that he was so scarred by the experience that he's still attempting to cope with the project in therapy. Despite whatever emotional scars the actor might have from that program, he participated in The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, with the actor revealing how the nature of this new special allows for more intentional absurdity than any other Star Wars project.
"I’ve rebooked the therapy because I thought that was over but no, it’s awakened those memories, you know? They stay there," Daniels shared during a press event for the new Holiday Special. "I love the irreverence that LEGO has always brought, whatever the product, because you can’t be serious if you’re a dumpy inch-and-a-half doll, you cannot be serious. Even John McEnroe as a doll could not be serious."
He continued, "So intrinsically, a LEGO product is going to be fun, it’s going to be irreverent and it’s going to allow you to places you wouldn’t normally go in a Star Wars movie. And that’s why this one, the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, allows you to go on weird adventures, meeting people you wouldn’t normally meet in the same room with and it works out."
The original Holiday Special hoped to capitalize on the success of the debut 1977 movie and also starred Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford. The event largely mirrored a traditional variety special of the time, featuring comedy sketches and musical performances, though it had the narrative throughline of Chewbacca and Han Solo attempting to reunite with the Wookiee's family for "Life Day." While it might have never gotten an official release, bootlegs of the event have spread in the decades since its debut and canonical stories, such as The Mandalorian, have found ways to revive elements unique to the special to solidify them as official lore.
"Anybody with small children who don’t yet know that Star Wars is a very important film concerning the adventures of a gold robot played by Anthony Daniels, if they don’t know, it’s a great introduction," the actor described of the new special. "And I think people are going to have fun over the holiday season talking about it and explaining to kids, well, this is about this and this is about that. And then let’s go watch the movie. So it’s an all-around winner and actually has negated my earlier memories."
The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special debuts on Disney+ on November 17th.