Star Wars has always had a powerful connection to Christmas. By age eight, most of us could identify a wrapped Star Wars figure at 20 paces or more. We could tell — just from the size and shape of the package — when only a thin layer of giftwrap separated us from vinyl Jedi robes. We just had a sense of these things. My mom also had a trick of giving hints in the gift tags. The Death Star playset my brother got one Christmas was marked “To: Chris, From: The Emperor.” Only now does that sound vaguely disturbing. When he opened it up, in a furious thrashing and rending of cardboard, the first thing we marveled at was how something made for trash disposal could look so orange and beautiful.

Star Wars has always been an easy fit for Christmas, partly because we all have some version of those kinds of memories. We all wanted the toys. We were kids — that’s how it goes. Mailboxes and newspapers were filled with tons of letters to Santa, just like these:

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2014-12-23 10_41_24-The Night Before Christmas in a Galaxy Far, Far Away _