The past year has been one of the hardest on record for many people for a multitude of reasons. Internal and external stressors have risen exponentially due to the ongoing pandemic, but one casualty of the recent reality has been somewhat overlooked in general conversation.
The loss of holidays.
Due to health concerns and other limiting factors, many annual celebrations typically marked by jovial gatherings of family and friends have been put on pause for the last year and a half, and it’s quite possible that halt may continue going forward.
So what could possible help alleviate that longing for the warm connection of a cozy night telling stories by the fire? Maybe a collection of tales and legends that remind us what that magic is all about.
Right in the middle of September.
Star Wars Life Day Treasury: Holiday Stories From a Galaxy Far, Far Away is the third entry in George Mann’s anthology series for the Star Wars galaxy, which also includes Myths & Fables and Dark Legends. This time around, Mann is joined not only by renowned artist Grant Griffin, but also by fellow writer, lauded High Republic architect, and dear friend Cavan Scott.
The fact that two close friends (if you don’t believe me, just follow them on Twitter for a while) wrote a collection of stories about the power of connection and companionship during the holidays is beautifully fitting. Rather than splitting each story by individual writer, the entire book is attributed to both men, so it can be inferred that the tales were woven by both of them simultaneously - an apt image when compared to the contents within.
Much like Myths & Fables and Dark Legends before it, Life Day Treasury amasses a number of short stories that blur the line between the traditional Canon and Legends dichotomy. Rather than focusing on the specific repercussions of each adventure, Mann & Scott are imparting stories that may have happened in a galaxy far, far away…but it’s the lessons within them that count.
And as you may have guessed from a book centered around celebrations and cheer, there are a number of traditional lessons abound. The importance of giving to those less fortunate, the hardships of dealing with grief around the holidays, and even the questionable origins of a Santa Claus-type being all appear throughout the Treasury. Clearly inspired by classic tales of all types of wintry festivals, you’ll be hard pressed not to feel glimmers of nostalgia for the first holiday stories that you ever heard as you turn each page.
However, the most prominent feeling in the book is not that of overwhelming nostalgia for the treats and tales of years long past. It is instead the yearning for connection and reunion with loved ones of years, months, or even minutes.
Because that is what every story has in common through the Treasury. Whether it’s the desire to aid new friends in “An Old Hope,” the need to kindle a connection in “Reflection Day,” or the question of the obstacles a relationship can overcome in “The Song of Winter’s Heart,” every holiday season in the anthology emphasizes just how crucial other people are to the meaning of our most precious traditions.
So it’s only fitting that a group of tightly-knit artists like Mann, Scott, and Griffin came together to create this collection in a year where that kind of intimate connection is at an all time low. Because as Luke told us just a few years ago…no one’s ever really gone.
Whether your next holiday is filled with feasts and music or contemplation and reflection, the Life Day Treasury serves as a perfect reminder of what these idyllic moments can be — even if our world is getting a bit more cynical about them with each passing year.
Dive into a story. Marvel at some artwork. And maybe sneak that hot chocolate in a few weeks early this year.
After all, the holiday season is right around the corner.