“The odds against Christmas being Christmas are 365 to 1.”
Often times when people think of Star Wars and the holiday season, they think of the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. But that wasn’t Lucasfilm’s only foray into yuletide cheer.
In 1980, RSO Records released a charming album titled Christmas in the Stars: Star Wars Christmas Album. The album features Star Wars themed songs and stories about a droid factory where toys are made for a mysterious S. Claus. Much of the album is sung and narrated by British actor Anthony Daniels, reprising his role as C-3PO from the Star Wars films. Sound designer Ben Burtt also provided sound effects for R2-D2 and Chewbacca.
The album was produced by Meco Monardo (who had previously recorded Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk), with the hope that this would be the first in a series of annual Star Wars Christmas albums. The majority of the album’s original songs, both music and lyrics, were written by Maury Yeston, a Yale University music professor who went on to become a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical composer. One of his songs, “What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb)”, with vocals by Yeston, went on to become a recurring top-40 X-mas hit.
The album is notable for featuring the first professional recording of Jon Bon Jovi (credited as “John Bongiovi”, his birth name), who sang lead vocals on the song “R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” His cousin Tony Bongiovi co-produced the album and ran the recording studio at which it was recorded, where Jon was working sweeping floors at the time.
After the first printing of 150,000 copies, Meco was asked to allow George Lucas’ name to be credited beside his under “Concept by”. Due to the success of the album, the studios were ready to do a second printing, which would give Lucas credit. But before the second record printing could be done, RSO Records shut down due to an unrelated lawsuit.
So switch on the sublights, kick back, and join Aaron and I as we listen to Christmas in the Stars!