The Star Wars Holiday Special airs
The Star Wars Holiday Special was a two-hour television special (including commercials) set in the Star Wars galaxy.
It was the first official Star Wars spinoff produced. It was directed by Steve Binder. It was broadcast in its entirety in the United States only once, on Friday, November 17, 1978 on CBS-TV from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST). In it, Chewbacca and Han Solo visit Kashyyyk, Chewbacca's home world, to celebrate Life Day. Along the way, they are pursued by agents of the Galactic Empire who are searching for rebels on the planet. The special introduces three members of Chewbacca's family: his father Attichitcuk, his wife Mallatobuck, and his son Lumpawarrump.
The main storyline of the film, which is set in 2 ABY, transpires on Kashyyyk. During the film, scenes also take place in outer space and in spacecraft including the Millennium Falcon and an Imperial Star Destroyer. The variety-show segments and cartoon introduce a few other locales, such as a cantina on the desert planet of Tatooine and a gooey, reddish water planet known as Panna.
The program also features some cameos (although the cameo actors are listed as stars) by other Star Wars characters, including Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, R2-D2, Darth Vader, Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa (who sings the film's "theme song", set to the music of John Williams's Star Wars theme, near the end). The program also features a cartoon produced by Toronto-based Nelvana that officially introduces the bounty hunter Boba Fett.
The film is notorious for its negative reception. George Lucas had limited involvement with the film's production, and he was unhappy with the results. David Acomba, a classmate of Lucas's at USC film school, had been selected to direct the special, but he chose to leave the project, a decision supported by Lucas. The special has never been re-aired or officially released on video.