How The Mandalorian just revived Star Wars' 'Life Day'

November 12, 2019, 9:09 PM · Not long after Disney detailed plans for its Star Wars Galaxy's Edge land, I (semi-facetiously) suggested in my weekly newspaper column that perhaps Disney could do a Christmas overlay for the land by reviving its long-shunned Star Wars Holiday Special.

For those who have seen the 1978 TV special, "Life Day" was the Star Wars version of Christmas, featured in the special as the day for which Chewbacca was trying to get back to his family on his home planet, Kashyyyk.

The special was so cheesy (the cast actually includes Harvey Korman and Bea Arthur) that George Lucas reportedly ordered it struck from the Star Wars canon, never to be recognized officially again. Of course, the show endures on YouTube for those with an hour and half of their lives to indulge.

Still, for GenXers such as me, the idea of Life Day being celebrated in a Disney theme park is just too hilarious to abandon, so I wished for Disney to find a way to make Life Day a part of Star Wars canon again, so that my irreverent holiday dreams could come true.

And what do you know? They just did it!

In the new Disney+ Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, a throwaway line in an early scene mentions Life Day. That means Life Day is canon again! And with Life Day again an official "thing" in the Star Wars universe, the creative path is clear for Disney to bring Life Day to Batuu for next year's Holidays at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

Of course, the odds of that actually happening remain long enough for only C-3PO to calculate, as I wrote before. But I love that Jon Favreau, the Iron Man director who wrote and created The Mandalorian, showed his geek love once again by including a reference to Life Day in his new show.

Long live Life Day! I hope now that Favreau's spirit of fun is infectious and that the higher-ups at Disney Parks can give the green light to the red robes... and bring us all home for Life Day on Batuu next year.

Replies (10)

November 13, 2019 at 8:34 AM

This is all fine and dandy until you discover what they did to the Disney+ version of Episode IV - Ma Klounkee!!!

November 13, 2019 at 11:04 AM

Now they need a walk-thru of Jaxxon the Green Rabbit from the 1970s comic books, and they will have made every obscure corner of the extended universe cannon again.

November 13, 2019 at 12:35 PM

I would not have such pessimism Robert. George Lucas does not seem to be cooperating much with Disney. A few years back, he made comments in a couple of publications that he is extremely disappointed with what Disney did with Star Wars. Then. On the (online Disneyland Star Wars Galaxy's Edge launch party/ceremony) he looked like a cross between being extremely bored and actually annoyed he had to be there. I was shocked. It was a terrible look for what was supposed to be a celebration/party. At this point, it's worse to have him at opening events (with the bored/annoyed expressions he puts out), so Disney has nothing to lose by annoying him. Although, I would settle for bringing back Star Wars hoopla on both coasts for strategic limited period times. Perhaps, on the slowest month of the year. On both coasts. It could be another arrow in Disney's arsenal to spread out attendance over the full year.

November 13, 2019 at 12:38 PM

What's a Disney+? Are we getting yet another confusing update to the FastPass system?
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Obviously I am kidding.
I have yet to sign up for the service. I am sure I will becasue it does seem to be a really good value but I did anticipate first day frustration with so many people logging on at the same time. I'm most looking forward to the historical content - stuff you just don't find easily anywhere else.

November 13, 2019 at 1:27 PM

@Rob - Not only were there technical issues from the hoards of people checking out the service for the first time, but anyone who wanted to purchase the streaming bundle (ESPN+, Hulu, and Disney) could not do so until yesterday. So, on top of not properly load and beta testing their service, they forced some of their most loyal customers (those who already had or wanted to bundle ESPN+ and/or Hulu with a Disney+ subscription) to wait until launch day to secure their subscription, further taxing an already overloaded customer service network.

This is Disney after all, who seem to be masters at botching debuts of highly anticipated products. I'm also in a holding pattern until they announce a Windows based app (not XBox) so that I can download content to my Surface to view untethered to the internet (though I'm currently piggybacking on a relative's account to get a feel for the service).

I will say that the amount of content is a bit overwhelming at first, but after going through it in detail, I'm finding that I already own nearly 3/4 of the content library (including those elusive DVDs of the non-Special Edition OT and non-cropped versions of the best seasons of The Simpsons). Of the remaining titles that I don't already own, there's probably only about a few dozen or so items that really pique my interest, aside from the new original content.

November 13, 2019 at 1:25 PM

I literally (yes, literally!) laughed out loud when he mentioned Life Day. What a great, almost throwaway reference!

November 13, 2019 at 2:09 PM

Disney no longer needs cooperation with Lucas. Disney have Lucas 4 billion reason why.

I watched the first episode at 5:00 a.m. yesterday and loved it. The story looks very compelling (with a great ending of the first episode), and the effects, while not on par with the new trilogy, still look better than those of the prequel trilogy when computer effects were still in their infancy. Looking forward to another early morning when the second episode drops Friday!

November 14, 2019 at 5:28 AM

I've watched the first episode and lets say it's a perfect fit to the rest of Disney Star Wars... If that is a complement is to be debated.

November 14, 2019 at 8:41 AM

If anyone doubted that Star Wars is, at its heart, a western... The Mandalorian is now here to beat you over the head with that idea. Heck, the official Star Wars website even says that Boba Fett was based upon Clint Eastwood's "Dollars" trilogy character.

November 14, 2019 at 12:40 PM

For better or worse, I think the Holiday Special has always been treated as cannon. The Boba Fett cartoon portion wasn't too bad.

The first episode of the Mandalorian was good and shows exactly what kind of stories can be told outside the Skywalker part of the universe. We kind of knew that anyway because there have been several books written within the universe that have been good that didn't focus on the more popular characters from the films. I thought the first episode did go way overboard in the fan service department (kowakians on sticks, the landspeeder valet guy) in trying to reference things from the films in various ways and knock the viewer over the head with the references. Still, it's a show I would never had expected to be made prior to the Disney purchase and I'm still in awe that we have received something like this now.

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