Australia might be in the midst of autumn, but the galaxy far, far away is already looking to the festive times of winter. What better way to celebrate the holidays than with tales of folklore from across the stars?
Star Wars: Life Day Treasury – Holiday Stories From a Galaxy Far, Far Away, by George Mann and Cavan Scott, will release later this year from Lucasfilm Press. It follows in the vein of previous dives into Star Wars’ own in-universe mythos with Myths & Fables and Dark Legends. But while those books explored legendary tales and hearsay surrounding the Light and Dark sides of the Force, Life Day Treasury imagines stories of the ways Star Wars’ myriad beings celebrate midwinter.
Check out the full cover to the book, illustrated by Grant Griffin (who also illustrates the interior art) below — making its debut here on Gizmodo today!
We already know one Star Wars holiday, of course: the one in the book’s title, Life Day, the Wookiee celebration introduced to us in the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. But that’s just one culture’s way of spreading holiday cheer — mostly through Boba Fett cartoons and a liberal application of Bea Arthur. Telling eight stories from across different institutions and cultures, from the Jedi Order to Jawas, to Wookiees and Ewoks, Life Day Treasury will examine stories of love and hope in times of wintry darkness to bring a bit of holiday spirit as powerful and magical as the Force itself.
To find out more about Life Day Treasury, Gizmodo chatted with authors George Mann and Cavan Scott over email about their inspirations and how to tackle bringing a sense of festive spirituality to the galaxy far, far away. Check out the interview below, as well as Grant Griffin’s full Life Day art from the book’s back cover!
The Star Wars Holiday Special is one of the most mysterious and intriguing pieces in all of Star Wars history. Released after A New Hope, but before The Empire Strikes Back, the bizarre variety show was unlike anything fans had ever seen or would ever see again. After its release,...Read more
James Whitbrook, Gizmodo: What were your biggest inspirations in trying to find hooks for these stories?
George Mann: We looked at the archetypes of classic holiday stories, from ghost stories told around a fire to midwinter folklore from various cultures around the world. Of course, we also drew on our own favourite holiday tales from growing up.
Cavan Scott: We wanted to lean into the idea that these are the stories shared around the galaxy, far far away. They are stories that Luke, Leia, Rey, and Ben Solo might have been told when they were young, some of which would be spooky and others heartwarming.
Gizmodo: Star Wars is, in many ways, an already kind of magical, fantastical universe — how did you approach trying to create stories evocative of a certain kind of holiday magic in a galaxy filled with it already?
Scott: It was important not just to retell our own familiar stories, swapping out characters such as Ebenezer Scrooge for, say, Jabba the Hutt. The tales in the book had to feel authentic, as if they could have sprung up from the cultures we’ve seen on screen.
Mann: There’s a particular tone found in holiday stories, and I think this fits well within the Star Wars galaxy. Holiday tales tend to contain messages of hope, love, friends, and family — all of which are key elements of the broader Star Wars story.
Gizmodo: Life Day, at least what we’ve known of it so far, has always been framed as a Wookiee holiday. What, if any, other species will we see celebrate it in this book, or what other winter holidays have you created for it?
Scott: As we discover in the book, Life Day has spread from the Wookiee’s home planet and is now celebrated on worlds near and far — and yes, we do feature a story set on Kashyyyk with Chewbacca’s family, including his father Attichitcuk, wife Mallatobuck, and son Lumpawaroo.
Mann: We also introduce new midwinter festivals on planets such as Alderaan where they celebrate a feast called Winter’s Heart, and the forest moon of Endor where the Ewoks shelter against the cold as a monster known as the Kroolok stalks the snowy forest around their village.
Gizmodo: Interestingly, the cover for the book gives us a certain Jedi in High Republic clothing. What can you tell us about the Jedi Order’s role and view of holiday celebrations like these? Do they have customs of their own, or do they simply observe and recognise holidays from the galaxy’s myriad cultures?
Scott: The Jedi of the High Republic era can be found in outposts on every major planet in the galaxy, but definitely don’t hide away behind their temple walls. They celebrate alongside the people they protect. In the case of Stellan Gios, who features on the cover, he find himself on Coruscant during Solstice Tide when the Jedi Council invite locals into the temple for a great feast.
Mann: One of the other stories features a New Year festival on Jedha, the sacred planet seen in Rogue One. On Reflection Day, people, including the Jedi, travel from all over the galaxy to take their turn peering into the mysterious kyber mirrors beneath the city in search of guidance.
Scott: I think Jedi all over the galaxy view these festivals as an interpretation of the Force, with that central message that George talked about earlier, the hope of light in the darkest of days.
Star Wars: Life Day Treasury – Holiday Stories From a Galaxy Far, Far Away will release on September 7, and is available to pre-order now.