REVIEW: ‘Star Wars: Life Day,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Star Wars: Life Day #1 - But Why Tho

Star Wars: Life Day #1 is a one-shot anthology special published by Marvel Comics. Prior to the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Han Solo and Chewbacca are on the run from the criminal syndicate Kanjiklub. The duo stops at the Black Spire Outpost on Batuu, where Life Day—the holiday celebrated by all Wookiees—is in full swing. While Chewbacca celebrates and Han dodges bounty hunters, the special flashes back to pivotal Life Day celebrations, including Han and Chewie’s misadventures and even the time of the High Republic.

The issue consists of three stories: “Deck The Halls” is written by Justina Ireland, penciled by Georges Jeanty, inked by Victor Olazaba, and colored by Pete Pantazis. “Paid on Delivery” is written by Steve Orlando, illustrated by Paul Fry, and colored by Alex Sinclair. “Gift of Light” is written by Jody Houser, illustrated by Kei Zama, and colored by Ruth Redmond. In between tales is a framing device featuring writing from Cavan Scott, art from Ivan Fiorelli, and colors from Chris Sotomayor. The entire issue is lettered by VC’s Ariana Maher.

The tradition of Life Day was first introduced in the original Star Wars Holiday Special, which has gained infamy over the years. However, the holiday recently received a reappraisal due to the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special which premiered on Disney+ last year. Not only was the special witty and heartwarming, but it effectively folded Life Day back into canon. As someone who’s a huge fan of Christmas and Chewbacca, I knew I had to read this and I can say it’s definitely worth a read.

It helps that all of the writers attached have a firm handle on the Star Wars mythos. Houser previously wrote the Age of Republic one-shots which expanded upon the Prequel Trilogy, and both Scott & Ireland have helped shape the High Republic era. Scott’s framing device digs deep into Han’s head. As he’s sseparated from his wife Leia and son Ben, he shares a common thread with Chewbacca. Fiorelli’s art not only captures Han at his prime, but it also features a chase through Batuu as he evades other bounty hunters. Blaster bolts fly as Han races through the market, and all that’s missing is Harrison Ford narrating the issue.

The other tales are definitely worth the cover price, though I’d have to say that my favorite was “Deck The Halls.” It focuses on the High Republic, specifically the Wookiee Jedi Burryaga, as he travels back to Kashyyk for Life Day. Ireland’s script subtly tackles the miracles that are often intertwined with holidays, as Burryaga and his master pull off a Life Day “miracle” by rooting out a malevolent presence that’s infected the Tree of Life. Jeanty, best known for his work on the Firefly comics, easily translates his style to the Star Wars universe; you can see every line of fur on Burryaga and his fellow Wookiees, and Pantazis colors the scene with warm, earthy tones. Maher’s lettering also clues you in to Burryaga’s moods, as the letters often grow in size with his anger.

Star Wars: Life Day #1 delves into the history of the galaxy’s oldest holiday, as Chewbacca and Han Solo celebrate in their own ways. If Chewbacca is your favorite character or you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit, you’ll definitely want to pick this book up

Star Wars: Life Day #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


Star Wars: Life Day #1
4.5

TL;DR

Star Wars: Life Day #1 delves into the history of the galaxy’s oldest holiday, as Chewbacca and Han Solo celebrate in their own ways. If Chewbacca is your favorite character or you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit, you’ll definitely want to pick this book up