Disney Imagineers Plan to Bring Much-Maligned ‘Star Wars: Holiday Special’ to Life

in Star Wars, Walt Disney World

Galaxy's Edge Millennium Falcon at night

Credit: Disney

When the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser was first announced at the 2017 D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, Star Wars fans could not have been more excited.

D3-O9 AI on Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
Credit: Disney

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The first-of-its-kind Walt Disney World Resort hotel was promised to give Star Wars fans an experience unlike any other, truly putting them in the middle of the Star Wars story for the first time.

Luxury Corellian starliner, the Halcyon, has been billed as a ship filled with Star Wars species, chances for daring adventures, and a level of immersion that is unrivaled anywhere in this galaxy, even at Disney’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land.

Ouannii from Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
Credit: Disney

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Before the ship officially “launched” on March 1, 2022, marketing efforts fell flat. Fans even went so far as to call the design of the starship “pathetic” and Disney executives and Imagineers were reportedly aware of the Star Wars fandom’s collective “horror” regarding what they saw ahead of the Halcyon‘s official debut.

galactic starcruiser dinner shows
Credit: Disney

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Nonetheless, Disney has remained committed to the fact that the Starcruiser experience will leave Guests “blown away” and will allow them to experience the Star Wars universe like never before on an unforgettable journey that goes “horribly, horribly wrong.”

Now, Disney Imagineer Alex Lee has spoken to Gizmodo about some of the experiences that are likely to be added to the Galactic Starcruiser as time goes by, including an official Life Day celebration.

life day star wars holiday special
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Life Day is the iconic Star Wars holiday that is celebrated in the much-maligned Star Wars: Holiday Special (1978). The non-canon TV production that introduced an animated version of Boba Fett and featured original trilogy cast members Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia Organa), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), and more.

boba fett 1978 star wars holiday special
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Daniels has noted that the entire cast was as “miserable” as they looked throughout filming.

Lee shared that a real-life Disney Parks Life Day celebration is very much on the minds of Imagineers as they continue to develop the Starcruiser experience and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge:

…there are legions of fans who will show up to Galaxy’s Edge on Life Day—the Wookiee-celebrated festivity from the Star Wars Holiday Special—dressed in ceremonial red robes like Chewbacca and his family, not just to cosplay but to take part in a special gathering with friends along with makeshift glowing orbs to ring in the season. And clearly, Imagineering has been aware of this tradition. “In terms of the opportunities that we have for stories and events within Star Wars, it’s definitely something that has been discussed and something that the franchise is very interested in,” Lee said.

life day star wars
Credit: Lucasfilm

Lee continued, noting:

“I think we’re going to start to see things happening organically as we begin to get closer to Life Day, and people playing hard into that, that we’re going to have the opportunity and our performers are going to have the opportunity to react to and kind of pick up on more and inject all of that into their storytelling. And then, of course, looking at opportunities down the line for formal events and what of those potential possibilities might come into play.”

At this time, though, nothing about a “formal” Life Day celebration has been confirmed. The Wookiee holiday is celebrated on November 17.

More on Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

Chewbacca with Guests on Star War: Galactic Starcruiser
Credit: Disney

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Keep in mind, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and the Starcruiser fall in the Star Wars timeline between Star Wars: Episode VII – The Last Jedi (2017) and Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019), meaning iconic characters like Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker and Han Solo are deceased.

The two-night experience does, however, feature appearances by the legendary Chewbacca, plus sequel trilogy characters Rey and Kylo Ren on board.

father and son on galactic starcruiser bridge
Credit: Disney

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To get out of the hotel, Guests are taken on a port excursion to Batuu’s Black Spire Outpost where they have the opportunity to ride both Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon – Smugglers Run. Halcyon passengers can also take part in droid racing and other activities.

What do you think about Life Day potentially coming to Disney Parks?

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!

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