- "Festive decor can be seen throughout Batuu, and at the close of Life Day, everyone gathers around the Black Spire to sing songs and spread good cheer to one another."
- ―Eloc Throno, Traveler's Guide to Batuu
Life Day was a holiday of Wookiee tradition that celebrated family, joy, and harmony—values and tenets of Wookiee culture. Traditionally held at the Tree of Life on the forested Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk, celebrations were held by people across the stars after "The Dark Times" of the Galactic Empire. Making the Wookiee holiday their own, people marked the day with festive décor, lights, feasts, and music, where sentients were reminded of compassion—the promise of the Tree of Life.
A Wookiee tradition
Life Day was a time-honored holiday observed by the Wookiees on their forested homeworld of Kashyyyk, in the galaxy's Mid Rim. The day was marked by the celebration of family, joy, and harmony, values and tenets of Wookiee culture. Life Day celebrations involved a feast and journey to the Tree of Life, which represented the first seed and spark of life on the planet Kashyyyk. Said tree was decorated with crystalline Life Day Orbs, and rituals were conducted around it. The feast involved shi-shok fruits, wroshyr lice syrup, and most of all, sacred orga roots, which had been foraged from the Shadowlands in the days before the celebrations.
Love across the stars
After the oppressive days of the Galactic Empire, Life Day became an annual holiday held after autumn that was celebrated by people throughout the galaxy. Sentients made the holiday their own by employing festive décor, twinkling string lights, unique food and drink items, music, and activities in their celebrations, and together, despite their differences in appearance, people shared the hopes of celebrating freedom and peace. At the end of the day, all celebrants gathered to sing songs and were reminded of their dedication, courage, and love for one another. Such was the promise of the Tree of Life. Batuuan Life Day celebrations were held subsequent to the Batuuan Harvest Festival and preceding Black Spire Day, and festive activities involved a gathering of residents at the Black Spire.
- "I was hoping to be free for Life Day."
- ―A Mythrol bounty protests against being captured
Prior to the Invasion of Naboo, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, went to Kashyyyk to observe the Life Day celebrations there. At the celebrations, the Jedi met up the Wookiee Brennonn, a friend of Jinn's, and set out to help him find the missing Wookiee Balfus. However, before they could do so, the Jedi and the celebrants were attacked by Trandoshan hunters, who captured Jinn and several Wookiees. Nevertheless, the Jedi Master freed himself and the Wookiees with Kenobi's help, defeating their Trandoshans captors before resuming the Life Day celebrations.
When Wookiees were enslaved by the Galactic Empire, the holiday took on an even greater significance. After the Empire's fall, Life Day came to be a holiday celebrated by people across the galaxy. As historian Eloc Throno wrote in the Traveler's Guide to Batuu regarding Batuu, a planet located at the edge of the Outer Rim Territories, the world's residents celebrated the holiday with festive décor. At the close of Life Day, Batuu residents gathered around the Black Spire to sing songs and spread good cheer to one another.
As a result of Jayko's best-selling book, A Smuggler's Life, Jayko's former crewmate, the Gamorrean Tan, was made famous and had his own holoshow as well as a Life Day song. Around 9 ABY, a Mythrol bounty was captured by a Mandalorian bounty hunter, and, in wanting to get away, the Mythrol told his captor that he wanted to be home for Life Day. Prior to the Resistance's attack on the First Order's Starkiller Base, General Leia Organa reminded Resistance members that everyone were in the same struggle against evil and darkness by raising Life Day as an example.
Long after the time of the Galactic Civil War that saw the victory of the Rebellion over the Empire, a Whill was tasked by his fellows with recording galactic history for the Journal of the Whills. One Whill grew dissatisfied with how it was being being written, and stated that they would instead write in a personal journal about how Chewbacca and his family celebrated Life Day. The dissatisfied Whill thus compiled some notes on the matter, and when the Whill writing the Journal began recording the events following the Battle of Yavin, the dissatisfied Whill offered to share the notes on how the rebel heroes helped Chewbacca return to Kashyyyk to see his son, Lumpy, for Life Day.
Behind the scenes
The Holiday Specials
- "A time of joy, this is. Of friendship. Of family."
Life Day was introduced in Star Wars canon through a Databank entry on the official Star Wars website. In Star Wars Legends, Life Day was created for The Star Wars Holiday Special, a television variety show that was spun off of Star Wars, George Lucas's film of the previous year. The special was released on November 17, 1978, exactly one week before Thanksgiving in the United States. In the special, Han Solo and his Wookiee first mate Chewbacca visit Kashyyyk so the latter can celebrate Life Day with his family. The 2017 short story "Whills," written by Tom Angleberger and released as part of the From a Certain Point of View anthology, contains a brief reference to the Holiday Special, with a character stating that they have "some great ideas for an episode about how Chewbacca's family celebrates Life Day."
On November 17, 2019, a fan-organized Life Day celebration was held at Disneyland's Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, a LEGO film revolving around Life Day, was released on Disney+ on "Life Day"—November 17, 2020. In the LEGO holiday special's trailer, the Jedi Grand Master Yoda defines Life Day as a time of friendship and family—a time of joy.
- "The core thing to pass on is, you know, in talking about religion, is, you know, all religions say one thing—basically—which is love is the secret to the universe, which is compassion, which is love others, take care of others, help each other."
- ―George Lucas
Life Day celebrates values of family and joy, values which are central to George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars: Lucas defines joy as compassion—the selfless form of happiness and the light side of the Force—and sees his greatest source of happiness to be caring for his children.
- The High Republic: The Rising Storm (Mentioned only)
- "Deck the Halls"—Life Day 1
- Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge – "Episode 10" (Mentioned only) (In flashback(s))
- "Life Day"—Star Wars Adventures (2020) 3 (First canonical appearance)
- "Life Day Part 2"—Star Wars Adventures (2020) 4
- Star Wars Battlefront II (Mentioned only)
- "The Spirit of Life Day"—Life Day Treasury
- "The Hoojib Menace"—Star Wars Adventures Annual 2021 (Mentioned only)
- "Paid on Delivery"—Life Day 1
- "Gift of Light"—Life Day 1
- Star Wars: Squadrons (Mentioned only) (DLC)
- "The Tree of Life"—Life Day Treasury
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 1: The Mandalorian" (Mentioned only)
- The Mandalorian: Season 1: Volume 1 (Mentioned only)
- Life Day 1
- Join the Resistance: Attack on Starkiller Base (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge – Last Call (Mentioned only)
- Life Day Treasury (Mentioned only)
- "Whills"—From a Certain Point of View (Mentioned only)
- "The Whills Strike Back"—From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Scum and Villainy: Case Files on the Galaxy's Most Notorious
- Star Wars: Droidography
- Collapse of the Republic
- Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge: Traveler's Guide to Batuu
- "Launchpad" – Star Wars Insider 204
- Star Wars: The Life Day Cookbook
- (First mentioned)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge: Traveler's Guide to Batuu
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Collapse of the Republic
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 1: The Mandalorian"
- "Life Day"—Star Wars Adventures (2020) 3
- Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge – "Episode 10"
- Join the Resistance: Attack on Starkiller Base
- "Whills"—From a Certain Point of View
- "The Whills Strike Back"—From a Certain Point of View
- The Star Wars Holiday Special
- Star Wars Year By Year: A Visual History, Updated and Expanded Edition
- Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Star Wars Episode V: George Lucas On The Force)