If you have ever wondered how a project as baffling as the Star Wars Holiday Special managed to not only get made, but see release during the heyday of the beloved franchise, your answers are coming. A group of indie filmmakers will release A Disturbance in the Force, a new, humorous documentary exploring the history of the Holiday Special, just in time to celebrate the season in 2023. The announcement slipped through the cracks this weekend, having been made on Friday, November 17 — that’s the Wookiee holiday Life Day (the holiday Chewbacca was rushing home to celebrate) for anyone keeping track at home.
September Club and Giant Pictures have announced that A Disturbance in the Force will come to DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital video on demand platforms on December 5. The acclaimed documentary made its debut at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival, and has some fun trying to separate fact from fiction in the histofy of the Star Wars Holiday Special, and place it in its context as part of a bygone era of 1970s event television.
From the filmmakers behind Napoleon Dynamite and Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made, A Disturbance in the Force looks at the moment Star Wars first became a cultural touchstone, and their first effort at an ill-advised spinoff.
Here’s how Giant Pictures describes the movie:
In 1977, Star Wars became a cultural phenomenon that single-handedly revitalized a stagnant film industry, and forever changed how films were sold, made, and marketed. In 1978, filmmaker George Lucas was talked into cashing in on the Star Wars craze by producing a holiday variety TV special. What could possibly go wrong? ANSWER: Everything…
CBS aired the two-hour Star Wars Holiday Special during the week of Thanksgiving and it was watched by 13 million people. It never re-aired. While some fans of the franchise are aware of this dark secret, this bizarre two hours of television still remains relatively unknown among the general public. Simply put, the documentary will answer how and why the “Holiday Special” got made.
Produced by September Club with Giant Pictures handling digital and home entertainment distribution, A Disturbance in the Force can also be experienced in select screenings across the US, UK and Australia ahead of its digital and home entertainment launch on December 5 on Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, and Vudu.