The 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special centers on Chewbacca trying to get home to his family to celebrate Life’s Day. When he does, the audience at home will finally see what the holiday is all about if you have binoculars. It turns out that the celebration scene, which consisted of Wookiees in red robes, was filmed from afar to hide the poor production quality by deliberately placing the Wookiees’ faces too far away to be seen.
Camera operator Larry Hader confirmed in an interview Matt Gurley that Wookiee faces are not visible, because they had to wear store-bought Don Post studio masks. When it came to the final scene (which included Carrie Fisher’s musical number), Hyder said of the Wookiees, “Most of them had their backs to the camera. By that point, we all just wanted it to be done.”
Director Steve Binder and Lucasfilm consultant Miki Herman also spoke with mental thread about attempts to literally mask the lack of resources of the production team. “No one ever mentioned that there was no set for the closing,” Binder admitted. “So I said, ‘No problem, just go and buy all the candles you can find in the store.’ We filled the empty stage with candles.” Despite everything they could do with cheap masks and candles, Herman concluded, “Honestly, a set won’t save that scene. [consumer licensee] Don Post masks.
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