Here at Skywalking Through Neverland, the Star Wars Holiday Special holds a special place in our hearts. This is exactly why it is exciting to see a new book coming out on September 7th by Disney/Lucasfilm Press that features aspects of the 1978 TV movie. Co-written by George Mann and Cavan Scott, along with illustrations by Grant Griffin, Star Wars Life Day Treasury: Holiday Stories from a Galaxy Far, Far Away provides warming tales of mid-winter celebrations across the galaxy.
Just as we had seen with Star Wars Tales From A Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens Volume I, that canonized Chef Gormaanda (played by Bea Arthur) from the Holiday Special, as was discussed on episode #119 of Skywalking Through Neverland, we get another story that further solidifies characters from that movie. “The Tree of Life”, which takes place on Kashyyyk, features Chewbacca’s family.
Although Chewbacca’s father was known simply as “Itchy” in the Holiday Special and Chewbacca’s son was known simply as “Lumpy”, they are identified with their full names: Attichitcuk and Lumpawarrump. While not appearing in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Attichitcuk was mentioned as being Chewbacca’s father in that movie’s novelization. While Lumpawarrump was mentioned previously in The Mighty Chewbacca in the Forest of Fear!, he actually has appeared previously once before in the book Aftermath: Empire’s End. It should be noted that “Lumpy” no longer wants to be known with that nickname, and now he wants to be known as “Waroo”. Additionally, we see Chewbacca’s wife, “Malla” or as she is known here, Mallatobuck (she previously appeared in the junior novel A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy). Nevertheless, it is wonderful to see them coming together back where they all began: with Life Day on Kashyyyk.
While Life Day has not played much into Star Wars canon, it was mentioned early on in the first episode of The Mandalorian, and has appeared in a couple issues of Star Wars Adventures earlier this year. And there will be a focus on Life Day in the forthcoming Star Wars: Life Day comic book, so it seems that Life Day is becoming more and more of a thing within the Star Wars [canon] universe, which is exciting to see!
Of course, this Treasury is much more than about Life Day on Kashyyyk, as it features eight different stories, only the last of which involves Chewbacca’s father, wife, and son. The other seven stories take place at different times and places. For instance, one story takes place during the High Republic era, featuring Stellan Gios of the recent High Republic novels, several take place during the Imperial era, and the Chewbacca story takes place during the New Republic era. One story involves familiar Ewoks, such as Wicket, Teebo, Chief Chirpa, and more.
“The Song of Winter’s Heart” focuses on two boys growing up on Alderaan, singing a particular holiday song in winter time. The story then jumps ahead in time where we see them encountering each other on opposing sides in a battle, post-destruction of Alderaan, which is kicked-off by their singing of this particular Alderaanian tune. It is touching to see them connect, albeit in such a tough situation.
“The Spirit of Life Day” takes place in Odes Town on the planet of Monta, where there had been “one of the most harrowing massacres of the Clone Wars” (although it’s unclear in which era this story might be, whether Imperial, Republic, or even later). Every Life Day, spirits and droid sounds haunt the townsfolk, although due to one girl needing to chase her escaped pet, she encounters a spirit who shares with her what they are really doing and how they truly envision Life Day on Monta. I won’t go any further, as it is my favorite story out of the collection.
Co-writer George Mann’s previous books such as Star Wars: Myths & Fables featured an upbeat collection of stories whereas Star Wars: Dark Legends was, well, darker. Star Wars Life Day Treasury: Holiday Stories from a Galaxy Far, Far Away provides winter-warming stories. This is my least favorite of the three books by George Mann, as it just seems so fluffy. Yet, it can still serve as a winter-warmer and provides some warmth in the coldest time of the year.
Targeted towards 8-12 year olds, it can certainly serve as a lovely gift for your favorite 8-12 year old (or 8-12 year old at heart).
For further details on this book, you can check out this write-up on the book.
Disclosure: a review copy was provided for review purposes.