Prior to the release of The Mandalorian on Disney+, series creator Jon Favreau joked that he wanted to make a new holiday special for Star Wars. What is the holiday special? Be glad you don’t know. Produced in 1978 with minimal involvement from George Lucas, the TV special aired only once and was basically an abject disaster of misplaced content and poor production values. It was so bad that Lucas prevented it from ever seeing an official release, and it is not considered part of the Star Wars canon.
The holiday special is significant historically because it was the first introduction of Boba Fett in the special’s animated portion. Fett’s appearance generated a lot of buzz for his character that still exists today, despite the major changes he has gone through since. Now with The Mandalorian, Favreau and executive producer, Dave Filoni, have had some fun with the holiday special bringing in some obvious references as well as some subtle ones.
Throughout the holiday special, Boba Fett uses a prong-tipped rifle. When he was introduced in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, the rifle was replaced with a smaller blaster. The rifle was never seen again…until now. From the opening scene, we see The Mandalorian use a rifle of the same design as his primary weapon. The rifle also doubles as a stun stick, which The Mandalorian uses to shock the walrus-looking creature that attacks in the episode’s first act.
Once in space, the Mandalorian’s first bounty asks to go to the bathroom (more or less). While making his way through the ship, the Mythrol talks about making it home for Life Day. Life Day is a Wookie holiday similar to our Christmas, and was the central plot point of the holiday special. While The Mandalorian episode is not the first reference to Life Day in canon, it is the most public one.
When Boba Fett first appears in the holiday special, he is riding a large dinosaur-like creature. The creature was never given a name, but we may have one now thanks to The Mandalorian’s conversation with Kuiil. While training The Mandalorian to ride a blerrg, the Mandalorian tries to give up. Kuiil reminds him that his ancestors used to ride “the great mythosaur,” and that he should keep going.
Mythosaurs have never appears in canon, but they have in Legends, and they do appear differently. They are much larger and far more ferocious, so the mythosaur may not actually be the brontosaurus-like creature shown in the holiday special.
It is important to note that the mythosaur skull has appeared in canon several times, including this episode. The symbol of the Mandalorians, a skull with tusks, is actually a mythosaur skull. The skull appears on above the door before The Mandalorian meets with The Armorer.
Are there any holiday special references we missed? Let us know in the comments below!