The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

Diahann Carroll in The Star Wars Holiday Special

Diahann Carroll actually has a part in perhaps the most infamous Christmas special ever. I'm talking about The Star Wars Holiday Special, a TV special so bad that Star Wars creator George Lucas refuse to release it on DVD (or even acknowledge its existence - although he has re-released the equally terrible Ewok films). This holy grail of science fiction nerdiness has cirkulated among Star Wars fans on bad VHS copies (these days transferred to equally bad DVD copies and YouTube clips) for ages. Imagine Carrie Fisher (as Princess Leia) singing "Happy Life Day", a pseudo-Christmas lyric set to the theme music from the movies, about peace among all creatures. I nice message indeed, but Ms. Fisher really should stick to acting and writing. Singing is not her forte!

Diahann's part in this special comes in the form of a holographic fantasy. There is some strange dialogue with sexual undertones, but she soon enough starts singing. Unlike the above mentioned "Happy Life Day", Diahann's song is actually quite nice and Ms. Carroll's performance of the song is of course great. I don't know who wrote the song, but the title of it seem to be "This Minute Now". When asked in a 2009 interview about her involvement in Star Wars, she had this to say:

You know, I think it’s the biggest secret in the world. I don’t know that … ever was, much less that I was ever a part of it. I think it was co-produced by a friend of mine, who called and asked if I would be a part of it and I had never done anything like that before. The fascination with Star Wars and what compiled Star Wars was sort of “in the air” and I was intrigued by it and, yes, I decided to be a part of it. As I recall, I was practically nude on … That’s my recollection.
Q: Have any Star Wars fans approached you and asked you about that, or any of that interaction?
D. Carroll: No, the only thing I’ve ever been asked is “When are you coming back?”
Q: Do you have an answer?
D. Carroll: “’I don’t know” is my answer.

Diahann Carroll of course had other connections to Star Wars. James Earl Jones, the voice behind Darth Wader, was her co-star in Claudine, and after this special was made, Billy Dee Williams joined the cast as Lando Calrissian. Billy Dee was not only destined to play Diahann's husband in both Dynasty and Lonesome Dove, he was actually also once a schoolmate to Diahann back in the late 1940's.


Mark Hamill ... Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford ... Han Solo
Carrie Fisher ... Princess Leia Organa
Anthony Daniels ... C-3PO Peter Mayhew ... Chewbacca
James Earl Jones ... Darth Vader (voice)
Bea Arthur ... Ackmena
Art Carney ... Saundan
Diahann Carroll ... Mermeia Holographic Wow
Marty Balin ... Holographic Band Singer (as The Jefferson Starship)
Craig Chaquico ... Holographic Band Member (as The Jefferson Starship)
David Freiberg ... Holographic Band Singer (as The Jefferson Starship)
Paul Kantner ... Holographic Band Member (as The Jefferson Starship)
Harvey Korman ... Krelman / Chef Gormaanda / Amorphian instructor
Mickey Morton ... Malla

Directed by Steve Binder


Not officially released on DVD.

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