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Documentary Investigates Worst ‘Star Wars’ “Episode” Ever, Starring Bea Arthur, Art Carney, Harvey Korman & A Grandpa Wookiee – SXSW Studio

'A Disturbance in the Force' directors Jeremy Coon (R) and Steve Kozak at the Deadline Studio at SXSW Film and Television Festival held at the Thompson Hotel on March 12, 2023 in Austin, Texas.


Section: Documentary Spotlight

Director: Jeremy Coon, Steve Kozak

Logline: In 1978, CBS aired the two-hour “Star Wars Holiday Special” during the week of Thanksgiving and was watched by 13 million people. It never re-aired and is considered one of the worst shows to ever air on TV. 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, we will answer how and why did the “Holiday Special” get made.

Panelists: Coon and Kozak

Sales Agent: Cinetic Media

Premiered: Saturday, March 11; Next screening Tuesday, March 14 11 a.m. CT at the ZACH

Key Quotes: Jeremy Coon: “It came out about a year and a half after [the original] Star Wars came out, they decided to do a holiday special with the Star Wars characters. And it’s the dying days of variety TV. And it’s kind of become a cult favorite in the sense that it’s been voted the worst two hours of TV that’s ever been aired. It’s just notorious for that. And the more people try to deny it, the more fans want to see it.”

Steve Kozak: “It’s not horrific. There are moments that are salvageable in it. There’s a couple of — I think Bea Arthur’s great in it [as a singing bartender in the cantina].”

The Deadline Studio at SXSW runs March 10-13, where the cast and creatives behind the best and buzziest titles in this year’s lineup sit down with Deadline’s festival team to discuss their movies and the paths they took to get to Austin, Texas.

RELATED: SXSW 2023: All Of Deadline’s Movie Reviews




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