Could the most derided piece of Star Wars history be canon?

Fans of Star Wars are in a bit of a lather about the possibility of the most derided piece of film produced around Star Wars might actually be canon with the release of the most recent trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Although now with every new blockbuster we have social media and the internet to keep us up to date with pieces of information as they become available, it is easy to forget just how big a phenomenon Star Wars was in 1977. After the huge success of Star Wars somebody must have decided that to fill the gap and satiate fans and so the most hated film ever produced came out on CBS in 1978.

The Star Wars Holiday Special would be made by cobbling together unused footage from the original film and animated segments. This gloriously bad piece of filmmaking is in part so famous because it ended up giving fans the first glimpse of Bounty Hunter Boba Fett and it has to be said, way more dialogue and things to do than he ever had in the films.

The other important fact about the special and why fans are so confused is that it introduced us to Chewbacca’s family. The special introduces his father Itchy, his wife Malla, and his son Lumpy, though these names were later explained to have been nicknames, their full names being Attichitcuk, Mallatobuck, and Lumpawarrump, respectively.

In the most recent trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story at the 1:34 minute mark we see Chewbacca farewelling what looks like a family member. Could this be Malla from the Holiday Special? And if so, does this mean the Holiday Special could become part of Star Wars canon? We have so many questions…

Watch the trailer and though if you blink you will miss it, a family member (and everyone is speculating it is Malla) is present.

Comicbook.com has further confirmed that “Though the characters were discarded from canon, they have since been confirmed for their inclusion after the purchase by the Walt Disney Company. A young adult novelization of A New Hope has Han Solo mention Malla by name, specifically. Chewbacca’s son has since been referred to as Lumpawaroo, though he is now referred to as Waroo as opposed to Lumpy. The character was featured significantly in the plot of Chuck Wendig’s novel Aftermath: Empire’s End.”

IGN. com also reported that: “Of course, there’s no way to be certain that this is in fact Malla, though it certainly appears to be someone close to Chewie who he might be saying goodbye to as the Wookiee heads off to have adventures with his new pal Han Solo. But who is Malla, you may be wondering… To answer that, we must travel back to a different time. A dark time. A time when The Star Wars Holiday Special was what passed for new Star Wars.”

Read the wacky synopsis of the special (via Wikipedia) for those interested:

On Life Day, Chewbacca, accompanied by Han Solo, is headed home to see his family. Along the way, the duo are chased by two Star Destroyers, but they escape into hyperspace.

Meanwhile, on Kashyyyk, Chewbacca’s family is preparing for his return. Hoping to find the Millennium Falcon, his wife, Malla, runs a computer scan for starships in the area but is unsuccessful. Malla contacts Luke Skywalker, who, along with R2-D2, is working on his X-wing starfighter. Luke tells her that he does not know what happened. Malla contacts Saun Dann, a local human trader. He tells her through a carefully worded message that Han and Chewbacca are on their way and should be arriving soon. Malla then attempts (unsuccessfully) to prepare a meal, the instructions of which are being aired via a local cooking show by an eccentric four-armed alien cook, Chef Gormaanda (Harvey Korman).

Read the rest of the synopsis here

Watch the full (so bad it’s good!) Star Wars Holiday Special here

George Lucas himself vowed at the time of its release in 1978 that he would try and get rid of every copy of the Star Wars Holiday Special. He is reported to have said of the special “If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.” And the special was broadcast once and never again and has never been released on any format but has its gloriously bad home on You Tube. Harrison Ford even tried to deny the existence of the special on Conan.

So is Lucasfilm and director Ron Howard itself might be suggesting thatStar Wars Holiday Special might somehow be canon. This fact alone makes the upcoming film worthy of visiting the cinema.

Has Lucasfilm lost the plot in adding theStar Wars Holiday Special to canon? Have you seen theStar Wars Holiday Special and is it the most gloriously bad piece of film you have ever seen? Sound off in the comments below.

Adrian Drayton

Adrian Drayton is the Director of Reel Dialogue. A film critic and commentator on culture for 20 years, he believes in the power of cinema and the power of God to start conversations about faith and culture. He is also a massive Star Wars nerd.

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