Beloved actress Bea Arthur died this weekend, and while most people remember her for her roles in Maude and Golden Girls, I remember her best as Ackmena, the cantina bartender from The Star Wars Holiday Special. The CBS special holds a unique place in the world of Star Wars, because it's quite possibly the most awful piece of Star Wars-related entertainment ever made, and has been condemned by George Lucas himself, who had no involvement with it. Because of this, it has only been aired in its entirety once (in 1978) and has never been officially released on VHS or DVD. So anyone under the age of 30 who can speak with knowledge about Boba Fett's first appearance (in the special's animated segment) or Chewbacca's grandfather's love of holographic pornography has likely seen one of the millions of bootlegs in existence, all copied from the original TV broadcast. And while most of the original Star Wars cast members make brief appearances, Bea Arthur stands out as a symbol of the high caliber of guest stars the producers roped in to appear in this disaster.
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