‘Star Wars’ Officially a Christmas Franchise, Disney and Others Agree

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Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew as Han Solo and Chewbacca in Star Wars - A New Hope

Credit: Lucasfilm

Apart from the snowy dunes of Hoth, red and green lightsabers, and the infamous holiday special that some dare not speak ofStar Wars doesn’t fit any traditional Christmas movie standards. So why do Disney and other networks air them religiously in December?

(L to R) C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) in 'The Star Wars Holiday Special'
Credit: Lucasfilm

There are no ornaments, carols, or some space opera variant of Santa Claus, yet many people seem to associate the galaxy far, far, away with the holiday season. The question is, why?

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Although the studio shares a large portion of the blame, having released the Disney trilogy and even Rogue One (2016) all in December, other networks have been airing the franchise on our screens in dozens of Christmases past. It’s happened so often that it’s simply become culturally acceptable and is now expected whenever the snow starts to fall.

Is Star Wars a Christmas Movie Now?

Grogu shocked in 'The Mandalorian'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Before we have another Die-Hard debate on our hands, let’s think about this clearly. Like so many movies dubbed Christmas films only by association, the Star Wars saga has nothing to do with the holidays as a theme, but people have tied it to the festive season simply due to its accessibility, much like Edward Scissorhands (1990) or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001).

Related: Forget ‘The Star Wars Holiday Special’ — All You Need For Christmas Is This ‘Clone Wars’ Episode!

An article by The Washington Post shared that Disney, TBS, and other media outlets helped ingrain the series in our collective consciousness for years. By keeping the movies in rotation on cable networks and now streaming services, a nostalgic sci-fi tradition continues to live on.

Han, Luke and Leia in 'A New Hope'
Credit: Lucasfilm

The report reads,

“Millions of Star Wars fans get nostalgia pangs during the holiday season, when they are accustomed to seeing broadcasts of their beloved movies — around Christmas, especially… In decades of repeat broadcasts in exclusive cable TV licensing deals, a Star Wars marathon can pop up during any holiday weekend, all year, and it can have the power of the Death Star’s tractor beam, drawing everyone in: Before you know it, most of the day has elapsed, one Star Wars chapter after another, shot through with Verizon, Burger King and Liberty Mutual ads.”

The report rationalizes the Christmas/Star Wars association with the following statement.

“Star Wars is a story ripe for the holiday season. At its core, the original trilogy is about a young boy trying to save the galaxy and start his heroic journey. Looking at it a little deeper, you’ll see vivid worlds of snow, cute teddy bear armies, a toy store’s worth of shiny starships. Add to that a bunch of family drama.”

BB-8 with DO
Credit: Lucasfilm

Joking aside, this isn’t a new realization, not even amongst the Star Wars fanbase. In a post on r/StarWars, several other viewers realized just how much they associated the season with the galaxy far, far, away.

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u/Gyurizon writes,

“I do, mainly cos since I was 7 or 8 I’ve always received Star Wars LEGO, movies, games, books and action figures as presents… and now I’m 21. I have so many happy Christmas memories that occur at the same time as, and are now associated with Star Wars.”

And u/Notafreakbutageek adds,

“Ever sense the [The Force Awakens] hype lined up with Christmas they’ve gone together like jogans and meloruns.”

The cast of 'Rogue One': Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera, Donnie Yen as Chirrut Imwe, Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, Alan Tudyk as K2SO, Riz Ahmed as Bodhi Rook, Ben Mendelsohn as Direcot Krennic and Jiang Wen as Baze Malbus
Credit: Lucasfilm

Even this writer can’t deny the association of Star Wars with lights, snow-flecked windows, and Christmas candy. In fact, one of my all time favorite Christmas memories is piling in a car with a gaggle of my college buddies and slinging down an icy road on the way to the theater to catch Rogue One.

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Is it a Christmas movie in a traditional sense, probably not. However, the series has become such a winter staple for so many fans, we can’t help but leave a seat at the table open for Luke, Vader, and the rest of our friends from distant planets, cantinas, and Death Stars.

Is Star Wars really a holiday classic? Tell Inside the Magic what you think in the comments below!







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