The Star Wars Holiday Special is probably the most infamously terrible film in the franchise. Yes, even more so than the prequels. It aired only once, on November 17, 1978.
The premise is that Han and Chewie are attempting to get back to Chewie’s home planet of Kashyyyk for “Life Day” while trying to escape Empirial forces. While in route we see Chewbacca’s wife, father, and son awaiting his arrival in their home on Kashyyyk, which looks like an eerie, alien Brady Bunch house. Shortly into the film agents of the Galactic Empire invade the house in search of Rebel Alliance supporters. During the film we see several music numbers, ten minutes of nonstop non-subtitled Wookie conversation, a cooking segment, and an instructional video on building a fictional communicator.
All the main characters from the original film make an appearance in the special, apparently to their dismay. None of the cast was particularly pleased with how the Holiday Special was being handled and sensed that it was going to be a disaster. The original director, David Acomba quit after producing only a few scenes. He was replaced by Steve Binder who, like Acomba, was well regarded in Hollywood. While the directors and the staff involved were essentially a dream team of knowledge and expertise, they were mainly known for their work on variety shows; which is ultimately what the Holiday Special became.
It was originally only supposed to be one hour in length but because so many sponsors wanted to be involved, it was extended to two hours- much, much too long for something many believe should never have been created in the first place.
Lucas didn’t have much to do with the production as he was working on The Empire Strikes Back at the time; but the producers claim he was given frequent updates on the film and gave his approval every step of the way. A claim Lucas denies to this day.
The Holiday Special was not received well by anyone but over time, despite its lazy script, poor camera work, and overall dreadful production value, it has somehow found its way into the hearts of some fans.
You can find several copies of the film online, but since it’s Christmas- I’ve provided the link below.
Merry Christmas and may the Force be with you.