Star Wars Holiday Special documentary to screen at SXSW festival

Star Wars Holiday Gifts. Image courtesy Disney
Star Wars Holiday Gifts. Image courtesy Disney /

It’s the shameful secret of the Star Wars franchise. One year after the original Star Wars was released a holiday special aired in November of 1978, and was then never aired again. For years, the only way fans could see this lost bit of Star Wars media was on bootleg VHS tapes from people who had happened to record the special during it’s single airing. Even today, when the internet has made it easier for fans to watch the Star wars Holiday Special, it has still never been released to the public in any official capacity. While there are a few animated segments from the special that have been put on Disney+ recently, the two hour Holiday Special remains missing. What is it about this television event that makes it one of the few bits of Star Wars that Lucasfilm seems determined to act like it doesn’t exist?

To try and answer that question, and to explore exactly how such an unusual piece of the Star Wars franchise was even made, a documentary detailing the creation of the Star Wars Holiday Special has been in the works for several years now, and it was recently announced that the film will receive its first public screening at the SXSW festival later this year. Jeremy Coon who is one of the two directors of the documentary has ventured into similar territory before, with his documentary Raiders! focusing on another Lucasfilm property and a group of fans trying to remake the first Indiana Jones movie. But for this project, he wants to make sure that his movie does more than just complain about how bad the Holiday Special is.

We’re gone really deep in the research and like an onion, there are a lot more layers as to how the Special happened than you would expect.” said Coon in an interview discussing the project.

The documentary, which is titled A Disturbance in the Force has been in the works for quite some time. In fact some earlier stories about the project mentioned that the expected release date of the movie would be in 2021, and at one point a trailer was even released online, though it’s since been removed. However, this is the first update on the project in a long time and while it’s unknown exactly when and what day the movie will be airing, the SXSW film festival begins on March 10, and runs through March 19th, so it won’t be long before the movie will be screened to it’s first audience of fans.

The movie will have plenty of involvement from Star Wars fans as well, including appearances by Seth Green, Weird Al Yankovic, Paul Scheer, Donny Osmond, and is produced by, among others, Kyle Newman, the director of the movie Fanboys. The film will be screened alongside movies such as Evil Dead Rise and Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves which are both also going to premiere at the SXSW festival this year.