Art by Ralph McQuarrie. Image: Lucasfilm
While life day will always be Star Wars‘ most famous holiday, there are more. Much more. There is a whole galaxy full of celebrations, festivals and celebrations, including, somewhat surprisingly, the planet Aargau’s Take your daughter to work day. And although it is not known whether Space Jesus was born in the Star Wars galaxy to acquit Ponda Baba (et al.) for his sins, there is a Christmas – because there is also a Santa.
Please don’t think for a moment that this proper merry old elf exists in the new Disney-approved star wars canon. In fact, Santa barely exists in the old Expanded Universe, having only appeared so briefly in Dark Horse’s final Knights of the Old Republic comic, as a patron at Goodvalor’s Little Bivoli, a chain restaurant on Coruscant. That was more than 3,600 years before the events of A New Hope, but Santa Claus was also featured in the 1993 Star Wars: X-Wing video game, set during the original trilogy, on the decks of the Mon Calamari ship the Independence if you played the game on December 25th. The only other offer that wookieepedia has for Santa is Ralph McQuarrie’s cover for West End’s role-playing game supplement Star Wars: Adventure Journal 8, in which Yoda — or a member of his kind, as the wiki wants you to know — is dressed from head to toe in a Santa Claus outfit, and a bag of toys slung over his shoulder.
However, the best evidence for Santa’s existence comes from Christmas in the Stars: The Star Wars Christmas Album, produced by Meco in 1980, and featuring the mellow tones of Anthony Daniels as C-3PO. The premise is that Artoo, Threepio, and Chewbacca hang out in a factory where droids make presents for a “S. Klaas.” You could be forgiven if you think the trio was somehow brought to our earth, as C-3PO Albert Einstein, HG Wells and the nation of Japan mention in the second issue,”Clocks, clocks, clocks”, to an increasingly baffled R2-D2. But then why is S. Claus’ factory manned by droids, and why do they specifically mention the Christmas gifts they give Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo?
If you’re going to take this way too seriously, and I certainly do, it seems more likely that the Star Wars galaxy has its own Santa Claus handing out gifts – or, since Star Wars takes place a long time ago, at some point Santa has moved to our galaxy and spent Christmas with him. Since the album doesn’t feature the galaxy’s first Christmas, as the droids specifically mention that they gave Chewbacca a comb for Christmas in the album’s Top 40 holiday hit last year, “What Do You Get A Wookiee For Christmas (If He Has A Comb At All)”. By the way, the answer is “a brush”, which is not only as worthless a gift as a comb, but far worse than what Artoo gets for Christmas, a song composed especially for him titled “R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” with a young Jon Bon Jovi on lead vocals. (I was about to say the Earth rock star may have been transported to the other galaxy, but I just realized Jon Bon Jovi has a near-perfect name. is for a Star Wars character, so there was probably one already.)
Things get exponentially more confusing in “A Christmas Sighting (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas)” where the droids reveal that S. Claus makes them all leave the factory before arriving to pick up the toys, meaning they’ve never seen their employer (master?) in real life, which is extremely weird behavior. When one of the unnamed droids suggests that S. Claus may not exist, Threepio says he saw the man in person last year. But C-3PO indicates when Santa arrives, he’s already covered in soot – before picking up and distributing the toys the droids have collected. Is Santa Claus exploring? Doesn’t he clean himself between Christmas? Does he have a chimney kink?
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This is followed by the last track on the album, “The Meaning of Christmas”, in which S. Claus inexplicably visits the droids in his toy factory for the first time. But S. Claus isn’t the round, merry dude who spied on C-3PO the year before — he’s Santa’s slender, beardless son, and he helps deliver toys to all the kids of the galaxy on Space Christmas. After that, there’s really not much more to say, except when the droids ask if they’re getting presents, S. Claus tells them that their gift is “the happiness your toys bring children,” which is some serious nonsense.
Again, Christmas in the Stars was no more tied to the Star Wars Expanded Universe than the Holiday Special was – in fact, it’s arguably less so, as the Special had the decency not to call anything terrestrial (though that’s the only decency it has) . And even Santa’s brief appearances in the expanded universe were jettisoned when Disney rebooted the canon, so I guess it’s better to say yes, Virginia, there was a Santa. But if the new Star Wars can restore elements of the hideous Holiday Special, why not bring Santa back to give chunks of carbonite to the galaxy’s evil little Siths? It certainly wouldn’t be the most ridiculous thing the franchise has ever done.
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