In honor of Thanksgiving, here’s a post I published in the first year of The Christian Nerd.
I’ve never seen the Star Wars Christmas Special. I’ve heard that it is insane, terrible and awesome all at the same time. It does seem a little odd that inhabitants of a galaxy far, far away would engage in some of the same holiday traditions of our galaxy. Even though odd, it does seem like a rather entertaining prospect. Here’s what a Star Wars Thanksgiving might look like.
Thanksgiving is a holiday about two things: family and food. I’ve always gathered with family and friends on Thanksgiving and it would be no different at the Star Wars Thanksgiving. Among other things, Star Wars really is about a family and their struggles, kind of like 7th Heaven with robots and lasers. Darth Vader would sit at the head of the table and carve the turkey with his lightsaber. Leia and her boyfriend Han would be there. Han would be far more nervous about making a bad impression than getting frozen in carbonite. Luke would be forced to sit at the kids table with Artoo and Threepio because he whined one too many times about going into Tachi Station to pick up some power converters. Other guests would include Yoda, Chewie, Lando, the Emperor, Obi-Wan’s ghost and Admiral Ackbar. Admiral Ackbar’s presence would lead to the most awkward moment of the day when a shrimp cocktail appetizer was served.
For a well-developed universe, there isn’t a lot of eating in Star Wars. Obi-Wan visits a 50s American diner on Coruscant, Luke drinks blue milk, Yoda makes some stew and the Ewoks apparently enjoy the taste of man-flesh as much as the Uruk-hai. Other than those and a few other small meals, no one really seems to sit down and break bread together. Regardless of the number of awesome Force powers, I don’t think I’d want to live in a galaxy without many food-based traditions. I had one Thanksgiving meal on Saturday and I’m already looking forward to my next on Thursday. I’ll take turkey, stuffing and gravy over roasted Wookie, stew and blue milk any day.
What’s a family holiday without a little conflict? In my house most of the conflict centered on discarded potato water or the seating chart. At the Star Wars Thanksgiving table, there would be plenty of opportunity for conflict.
Obi-Wan could get mad at Darth Vader for betraying his trust and friendship by turning to the dark side.
Luke could get mad at the Emperor for pitting his father against him and turning him into a lightning rod.
Lando could get mad at Chewie for choking him out and shedding all over Cloud City.
Leia could get mad at Han for only saying, “I know” when she said “I love you.” (There’s a better chance of someone inventing a lightsaber than that ever actually sounding romantic).
In the end, though, hopefully all of the conflict would give way to genuine thankfulness. Whether it’s for cybernetic hands, redeemed fathers, ghostly mentors or oil baths, it’s good to be thankful on Thanksgiving.
Obviously I would love to spend Thanksgiving with people from the Star Wars universe. I’d ask Han why he did then didn’t shoot first and I’d ask Obi-Wan if he brought Luke back to life on Tatooine. Since I can’t spend my Thanksgiving with fictional characters from a galaxy far, far away, I’ll have to be thankful for my family and all of our traditions.
If carving a turkey with a lightsaber became one of our traditions, I wouldn’t mind.
What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?