The infamously terrible 1978 made-for-TV Star Wars Holiday Special is something creator George Lucas wished didn’t exist — he once said he’d destroy every copy if he could — but has gained cult status over the last 45 years as a “how did this get made?” fiasco. Filmmakers Jeremy Coon and Steve Kozak attempt to answer that question in new documentary A Disturbance in the Force that premiered at SXSW earlier this year and will be out in theaters and on streaming in time for the holidays.
If you’ve never seen it, The Star Wars Holiday Special was a two-hour extravagance that had more in common with cheesy ’70s variety shows than the sci-fi adventure classic it was based on. While the whole Star Wars cast makes appearances, the special also features Bea Arthur, Harvey Korman, Art Carney, Jefferson Starship, and a 10-minute sequence with Chewbacca’s family that is entirely in Wookie with no subtitles. It is a bewildering slog and if you want to you can watch the whole thing below.
The documentary features interviews with Bruce Vilanch, who was one of the writers of The Star Wars Holiday Special, as well as Seth Green, Kevin Smith, Patton Oswalt, How Did This Get Made‘s Paul Scheer, Weird Al Yankovic, Donny Osmond, and more.
Watch the A Disturbance in the Force trailer below.
The film will screen in select theaters over the next three weeks before hitting on-demand/streaming on December 5. In NYC you can see it at Alamo Drafthouse Staten Island on November 26 (11:15 AM) and November 28 (8 PM); and at Alamo Drafthouse Yonkers on November 24 (9:45 PM) & November 28 (7 PM).