TV URBAN LEGEND: George Lucas once said, “If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.”
The Star Wars Holiday Special is one of the most bizarre pieces of pop culture ever. A year after Star Wars debuted and was a huge success, they decided to do a TV special while waiting for the sequel to come out in 1980.
All of the major cast members showed up, from Mark Hamill to Harrison Ford to Carrie Fisher…
Of course, so did Bea Arthur…
The idea was that it was a variety special based on the basic concept of Han Solo and Chewbacca traveling to Chewy’s home world, Kashyyyk, to celebrate Life Day (essentially the Wookiee equivalent of Christmas).
The special is also known for having a cartoon in it that officially introduced Boba Fett before he showed up in the next film in the series.
Anyhow, the special was not warmly received and George Lucas clearly made a point to keep the show hidden. It made only a single official airing on broadcast television, but it aired in a number of other countries unofficially and those copies are the ones that places like YouTube air.
So Lucas did not like the special.
However, his dislike for it has created a bit of a legend.
You can check that legend out for the details of the story, but the simplest answer is that no, there was going to be a wampa attack either way. However, a couple of fans wrote in saying that while that was true, they believed that Lucas had tried to address Hamill’s facial injuries in the film, it was just in a different scene. It appears as though that is correct, and amazingly enough, in the same additional scene, Lucas also further explored the Luke/Leia relationship that we had also discussed in a past legend, namely whether Luke and Leia were intended to be brothers and sisters at the time of Empire Strikes Back.