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Watch the Star Wars Holiday Special on its 40th anniversary

Celebrate Life Day with Lumpy and Bea Arthur

You can expect Disney to release a new Star Wars movie every year from now until ... let's be honest, probably long after you and I are both dead and buried.

But there's another Star Wars holiday tradition you should be keeping: Making time to watch the Star Wars Holiday Special, a famously atrocious piece of Star Wars history that aired once, and only once, on Nov. 17, 1978.

The special was never re-aired; it was never released on video. It's been something Lucas — and ostensibly now, Disney — has been all too happy to forget about.

But fans, being of the fanatical persuasion, continue to track it down, exhuming its rotting corpse — in fact, it could be argued that the Star Wars Holiday Special has never existed in a non-rotten state — and prop it up for all to see.

But there's heart here, and that's not just because it introduced fan favorite Boba Fett to the world. While Star Wars was a massive hit in theaters, the Holiday Special represented a time before the Star Wars franchise was the royalty it is today. A long time ago, in a media landscape far, far away this was a television production that really happened and there's an allure in that that isn't just nostalgia for those of us lucky enough to be born in the 1970s.

And now, thanks to YouTube user DJameyson, you and your family can relive the wonder this holiday. I recommend watching this first and using this year's annual Star Wars release as a digestif.