Following in the footsteps of Halloween’s Werewolf by Night, the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is giving Marvel fans the Christmas spirit and we explore the Star Wars Holiday Special that inspired the presentation.

Set after Thor: Love & Thunder, the Holiday Special will pave the way to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is scheduled to release on May 5, 2023.

The upcoming Christmas special presentation is brought to you by writer and director James Gunn, the man behind the MCU’s Guardians trilogy, and focuses on the titular heroes celebrating the holiday season on Earth in order to lift Peter Quill’s spirits. The feature will see Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Michael Rooker, and Zoe Saldaña reprise their roles.

Marvel Studios’ Special Presentation: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special | Official Trailer

Marvel Studios’ Special Presentation: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special | Official Trailer

James Gunn Credits Star Wars Holiday Special

Within a Twitter post, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn confirmed the Holiday Special took inspiration from a Star Wars Holiday Special.

Addressing Mark Hamill, Gunn stated that he wanted to do the Holiday Special “but done right” and offered no offense to the Star Wars actor.

The director went on to explain how he liked the idea of the feature’s mixed media and “off-the-rails nature” but wasn’t a fan of how all its components were presented. 

What is the Star Wars Holiday Special?

The Star Wars Holiday Special was a television special that was released via CBS on November 17, 1978.

Set in a galaxy far, far away, with actors Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and more returning to their respective roles, the special was directed by Steve Binder and followed Chewbacca and Han Solo, who is introduced to the former’s family on Kashyyyk during “Life Day.”

Similar to the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, the Star Wars feature also presented an inclusive cartoon by Nelvana.

Despite receiving an extremely poor reception and thus becoming an iconic piece of cult television, the special did deliver the first appearance of the bounty hunter Boba Fett.

The Star Wars Holiday Special
Photo by CBS via Getty Images

Where to Watch the Star Wars Holiday Special – Is it Streaming?

The only place you can currently watch the Christmas special is on YouTube, thanks to creators Star Wars Coffee and DJameyson.

Since George Lucas disliked the special, it was not distributed in official formats. Therefore, it is unlikely it will ever release on Disney Plus or other streaming platforms.

According to Esquire, Carrie Fisher was the sole owner of a personal copy, which she reportedly used to “horrify and entertain” guests.

By Jo Craig – [email protected]

The Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special is now streaming on Disney Plus.

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