Remember the Star Wars Christmas album? Christian themes almost killed it

george lucas white slavers disney star wars
In the mind of George Lucas, Christmas in the Star Wars universe has no room for Christianity. In CBC Music’s oral history of the 1980 Star Wars christmas album Christmas In The Stars: Star Wars Christmas Album, composer Maury Yeston explained how the album was initially cancelled by George Lucas over lyrics alluding to Christianity.

Yeston wrote the lyrics for the majority of the original songs on Christmas in the Stars, including “The Meaning of Christmas.” The song is narrated by Santa Claus’ son who explains why droids such as C-3PO and R2-D2 do not receive gifts for Christmas, a theme that already gives the listener a lot to think about. But the original song took things deeper, including lyrics more focused on the history of Christmas from a non-secular point of view such as: “I will tell you about many, many years ago/ on a planet far from here/ there appeared a new star shining for a single year/ men were far more different then/ much they did not understand.”

Even though Yeston attests that people who heard the original version were “crying hearing this song”(Really? Crying?), Lucas wanted the entire album discontinued because he “did not want to intermingle the message of the Force with Christianity.” But not even the infinitely expanding fictional universe of arguably the most popular interstellar story ever told could stop the spread of Christmas joy, it seems.

Immediately after hearing news of the album’s cancellation, Yeston called the vice president of Lucas Films at the time, Sid Ganis, in an attempt to convince him to have the album completed and released. Yeston gave Ganis an impromptu lesson of the meaning of the song and Christmas as a whole, as he saw it. ” ‘The Meaning of Christmas’ was an attempt to have us sing about the religious connotations and the message of Christmas, but Christmas isn’t just Jesus Christ, it’s also Santa Claus, wreaths on every door, decorating your Christmas tree, it’s a yule log and families coming together to give gifts,” Yeston told Ganis.

Apparently, Yeston’s argument wasn’t persuasive enough to meld the Force with the cross, however. Yeston eventually changed “The Meaning of Christmas” to make it more secular, or as he called it “a shallow, treacly, insignificant, clichéd list of Christmassy kinds of things.” The original lyrics were instead replaced with lyrics like “as any child can see/Christmas needs a Christmas tree/blinking tiny lights with family close at hand.”

George Lucas’ religious affiliation has never felt declarative, just comprehensive. Lucas was raised in a Methodist family and in 1969 married his first wife, Marcia Lucas, at the United First Methodist Church in Pacific Grove, CA. Lucas even claimed to considering himself a “buddhist methodist”, according to a 1999 New York Times article.

If Yeston would have just hung out with eight year old George Lucas for a bit, he may have better understood Lucas’ tepid feelings toward religion. In a revelatory interview with Charlie Rose in late October, the Star Wars creator explained that he once asked his mother  at the age of eight “If there’s only one God, why are there so many religions?” Thankfully those questions did not keep the world from the wonders of “What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb?).”

Check out the final version of “The Meaning of Christmas” from the 1980 Star Wars Christmas album Christmas In The Stars below:

Product Review

'Far Cry 5' trades palm trees for pines, but it's still the same old game

Far Cry 5 has all the pieces of a lighthearted open-world romp and a dark, fascinating narrative-driven game. Unfortunately, the two are incompatible.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix in July, from ‘Arrested Development’ to ‘Mad Men’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Listen up! These are the best movie soundtracks of all time

Whether you're a lover of beautifully composed original scores or a fan of perfectly compiled background music, these are the best movie soundtracks of all time — from Star Wars to Garden State.
Movies & TV

The '80s are alive as first 'Stranger Things' season 3 teaser goes to the mall

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in July 2018, from ‘Coco’ to ‘Jurassic Park’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

15 epic sci-fi novels you should read before they become blockbuster films

You can get ahead of the next crop of science-fiction movies coming out of Hollywood by picking up the books that inspired them. We compiled a list of books you can add to your reading list now to get a glimpse of the future.

The best Xbox One games

More than four years into its lifespan, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Middle-Earth: Shadow of War,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.

Jam out in style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.
Home Theater

Bask in the glory of your home theater with these 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays

What good is a 4K TV if you don't have the means of pushing it to its limits? Here are our favorite 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, all of which are nothing short of stunning. It'll make you wonder why you haven't always watched movies this way.
Smart Home

The Brava Oven uses light – and seemingly magic – to cook. It changes everything.

The creators of the Brava Oven knew that there had to be a better, more efficient way of cooking, and they set out to find it. The Brava, which cooks with light, was born, and their invention will turn everything we know about cooking…
Movies & TV

A horse, a sword, and hair clips highlight latest 'John Wick 3' set videos

The third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, John Wick 3: Parabellum, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about the movie so far.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Laptop screen extenders and self-healing tents

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

'Super Mario Odyssey' is one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console enters its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Virtual Reality

Got a Gear VR headset? These are the apps and games you've got to try

Before you put on your new Gear VR headset, you should know which apps and games are worth downloading. Whether you're a fan of documentaries or arcade games, here's a list of the best Gear VR apps and games to be had.

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Home Theater

Get the most boom for your buck with the best headphones under $100

Everybody wants a bargain, and this list has a bunch. For those looking for a solid set of headphones without spending a big stack of cash, this list is is your starting point. Check out all of our picks for the best headphones under $100.
Home Theater

5 gorgeous turntables that spin stacks of wax in style for less than $500

Vinyl records are awesome, but they're also finicky. To get the best out of your stacks of wax, it's best to play them on a quality turntable. Here are the best turntables to be had for under $500.

The best new music this week: Childish Gambino, Ty Segall, and more

Are you looking for the best new music? Each week, we scour the internet to find the most compelling new songs. On tap this week: Childish Gambino, Tokyo Police Club, Madeline Kenney, Gold Star, The Lemon Twigs, and Ty Segall.

A wealth of rich tunes: Here are the best songs about money

There may not be as many songs about money as there are songs about love, but it's a close second. If you're looking for a skrilla-inspired playlist, check out our picks for the best songs about money.

These are the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure..