[fontpress type=”webfonts” name=”Gasoek One” size=”16px” hl=””]Here’s the latest from: StarWars.Com
Learn how a story element from an oft-maligned ‘70s TV special evolved into a cornerstone of the Star Wars galaxy.
Before you and your family gather your glowing orbs, don your ankle-length red smocks, and gather at the sacred tree to recite hallowed Shyriiwook verses in celebration of Life Day, let’s look back at the holiday’s origins. Not from within the Star Wars setting, mind you; rather, let’s examine its real-world history and evolution from an obscure TV source to an annual fan tradition.
The root of Life Day is found in The Star Wars Holiday Special, a star-studded 1978 prime time broadcast that aired on CBS once on November 17, 1978. After that broadcast, it was never to be (officially) seen again in the US and instead was relegated to bizarre cultural curiosity in the years that followed. The intent of the Holiday Special was to keep Star Wars in the public eye during the long three-year stretch between movies with new entertainment, using a tried-and-true television format of the 1970s: the variety special. The central premise of the show involved Han Solo trying to get Chewbacca to his family on Kashyyyk in time for Life Day, a sacred Wookiee holiday. Guest starring Bea Arthur, Harvey Korman, Diahann Carroll, Art Carney and Jefferson Starship, it was certainly something.Though we now know it as a Wookiee tradition, Life Day started off different in an untitled early outline for the Holiday Special, dated May 31, 1978: “… for one day each year, the galaxy celebrates the spirit of life and brotherhood with a festival. This year, it is the turn of the Wookiee planet to host the celebration…” In short order, the story streamlined things so that Life Day wasn’t a traveling event, but rather a wholly Wookiee holiday, tethered to the “Tree of Life” that grows in the Kashyyyk forest…
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