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The holidays are well upon us, and we're in for another festive season that's dominated by talk of Star Wars. Sure, there are bound to be arguments about The Rise of Skywalker, and speculation about The Mandalorian, but that's not the only thing to discuss related to the franchise this holiday season. Why not break up the discourse with a rousing comparison of Christmas and the Star Wars holiday known as Life Day?
Some may be familiar with Life Day via the abhorrent, but iconic Star Wars Holiday Special, and while the holiday's origin did begin there, the franchise has since expanded the holiday's traditions in many ways similar to how Christmas is celebrated throughout the world. For those only vaguely familiar, here are some of the major similarities between Christmas and Life Day, and some other neat factoids about the Star Wars holiday.
Much Like Christmas, Life Day Makes A Show Of Displaying Real And Fake Trees
One of the biggest connections between Star Wars' Life Day and Christmas is the obsession with trees. Much like we do during Christmas, people in the Star Wars galaxy adorn their homes with both real and fake trees. Actually, in Star Wars it's a bit cooler because it has hologram trees, but most things are cooler in Star Wars than they are in real life.
Life Day trees are a reference to the Tree of Life on Kashyyyk, which the Wookiees believed to be the first seed and spark of life on the planet. In the original celebration, Wookiees made a pilgrimage to the Tree of Life, but as the holiday became universally celebrated, many just bought a small Wroshyr tree (as noted by Star Wars: The Old Republic) and put decorations on it within their homes. Suffice it to say the significance and symbolism of these trees have changed over the years, much like our Christmas trees.
Life Day Once Had Its Own Version Of Santa
While The Mandalorian and other Star Wars projects have confirmed the existence of Life Day in canon, some of the other things introduced on the holiday are still on the bubble on whether or not they're a part of the official holiday. This includes the Master of Ceremonies, who first appeared in Star Wars: The Old Republic as Star Wars' answer to Santa Claus.
The Master of Ceremonies is different from Santa, as he's merely a Life Day enthusiast who promotes the celebration of the holiday throughout the galaxy. He sold goods to celebrate the holiday to citizens of the galaxy, so there's an element of capitalism to this that is lacking with Santa. Unfortunately, his actual existence is unconfirmed in current canon, though one could argue any Life Day retailer in the Star Wars universe is techincally a Master of Ceremonies?
Life Day May Not Have Been Intended As A Christmas Equivalent Holiday
While Life Day is largely associated with Christmas, it's worth mentioning that may not have been the intention of the creators of the Star Wars Holiday Special. The special was first released in America on November 17, 1978, and its general story makes it sound more similar to Thanksgiving. Still, it's largely up to interpretation, and even George Lucas has referred to the ill-conceived special as the "Christmas" special.
There's a case to be made in regards to the special if Life Day was originally conceived with Christmas in mind, but there's no disputing the expanded Star Wars universe has certainly transformed it into a Christmas-equivalent holiday. In fairness, there's a lot more to pull from compared to Thanksgiving, and few holidays really measure up to the hype and splendor of Christmas. In either case, one can definitely dispute the validity of Life Day being tied to Christmas if we're just talking about the holiday special, but not when pulling in all the other references.
Life Day Embraces The Indulgence In Sweets And Good Food
Let's be honest, everyone can go a little overboard when it comes to treats on Christmas. Life Day is no exception, and items like Wookiee-ookies and Hoth Chocolate have risen in popularity as the holiday has taken hold throughout the galaxy. It turns out Tauntauns are useful for more than keeping bodies warm!
Wookiees even indulge in Bantha rump, which feels like the equivalent of a Christmas turkey, ham or roast. Again, it's not like indulgence in foods is really specific to any major holiday, though "Hoth Chocolate" is one that points to a winter treat which again signals Christmas. Now if only Galaxy's Edge could have some Life Day events to introduce some more Life Day treats we could replicate at home!
Life Day Has A Spiritual Aspect To It
As A Charlie Brown Christmas reminds us year after year, Christmas isn't just about trees and presents. The same is true of Life Day, which has a rather crazy origin that involves Wookiees ingesting roots and traveling to the Tree of Life in their spiritual forms. To be honest, it sounds a lot like Wookiees tripping off hallucinogenics in the woods, but the world of Star Wars is just crazy enough to have plants that can temporarily remove your spirit.
Of course, Life Day is also about people celebrating life with their closest friends and family. It was so important to Chewbacca that Han, Luke and Leia all broke through an Imperial blockade to join him and his family for the holiday. Families far and wide often go to great lengths to be together on Christmas Day, so there's definitely some similarities there. Not that we all risk intergalactic treason every holiday season to all sit around the Christmas tree, but many certainly make a better effort than we would for other occasions.
It may not be Life Day here on Earth, but it'll certainly be a Star Wars holiday season with The Rise of Skywalker in theaters. Stick with CinemaBlend for more on the movie in the coming weeks, and for a look at what else is headed to the movies in 2020 and beyond.