Mark Hamill warns James Gunn about a GOTG Holiday Special

Star Wars Holiday Special
Star Wars Holiday Special cast l to r: Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill

Mark Hamill is issuing James Gunn a warning.

When the Suicide Squad director shared his plans to direct a Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday special, the Luke Skywalker actor had to point out his experiences with the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. 

The Special’s history

The Star Wars fandom can have a lot of arguments and divisions. But one thing almost everyone can agree on is that the 1978 Holiday Special is probably the absolute worst thing in the franchise’s history. 

George Lucas himself wasn’t involved in more than just loose story conversations with various writers and producers rushing it to air. 

Airing on CBS on November 17, 1978, the special was coming off the historic box office success of the original Star Wars film and swiftly became a television legend…in all the wrong ways.

The “plot” revolves around Han Solo and Chewbacca heading to Kashyyk to be with Chewie’s family for “Life Day.”

From there, viewers were “treated” to such sights as Art Carney as a trader, Bea Arthur running the Mos Eiseley cantina with Diahann Carroll and Jefferson Starship as a holographic band, and stormtroopers chasing Chewie’s son, Lumpy.

Notably, Mark Hamill had been recovering from a car accident and the makeup to cover his injuries resulted in a very unflattering look.

It all ends in Leia and Luke joining for a ceremony that gives Carrie Fisher her own song. 

The Special’s infamy

Since its premiere, the special has been mocked regularly by TV critics and entire website articles trying to explain its history. 

Not only has there never been an official release of the special, but a famous story is that George Lucas once declared his wish to “buy up every copy and destroy it with a hammer.”

Fisher, Hamill, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, and Harrison Ford have all gone on record in interviews saying they wish they had never agreed to do it and are embarrassed when fans bring it up.

At the same time, the Special has gained a cult following for being “so bad, it’s good.” It’s also notable that an animated sequence is the first appearance of Boba Fett, and “Life Day” is recognized as canon. 

This was why, when James Gunn tweeted an image of the script for his upcoming animated Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, Hamill could only respond with the iconic Star Wars line, “I have a very bad feeling about this.”

Gunn responded in kind with, “These things ALWAYS go well.” 

Gunn did confirm the special will take place after the events of Thor: Love and Thunder and before GOTG vol 3. Obviously, any plot points are being kept tight to avoid spoiling either film, but it promises to be a fun romp.

A clothed Chewie?

This wasn’t the only intriguing Star Wars tale Hamill was involved in on Twitter.

After Joseph Gordon-Levitt shared some early concept art showing Chewbacca in some jumpsuits and jackets, Hamill added that the studio wanted Peter Mayhew to wear lederhosen on set because 20th Century Fox was concerned that the Wookie was naked for all intents and purposes.

True, that massive coat of fur covers up anything too graphic, but it’s still funny how, aside from a bandolier, Chewbacca avoids any clothing. 

Hamill’s remark on the “grotesque elements” is another case of the cast mocking Lucas’s rough script.

Like Ford and Fisher, Hamill never imagined the movie was going to become such an epic success, and the idea of Chewbacca in any outfit seems funnier.

This shows Hamill has a good sense of humor about Star Wars, both good and bad, and needling Gunn following Lucas’ epic Holiday Special mistake. 

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