Looking at Lucasfilm Holiday Cards Through the Years

Lucasfilm has a long legacy of creating unique holiday cards this time of year each year. This is a tradition that dates all the way back to 1977, just months after the original Star Wars movie was released. As the holiday season comes again, StarWars.com has given a look back at the various holiday cards through the years. This starts with the beginning and continues to run up through this year. Take a look at the holiday cards Lucasfilm has created and shared through the years.

Unfortunately, the card from the first year was sent to only a few hundred people and a copy doesn’t exist anymore. However, the following year, things were different and a legacy of holiday cards really kicked off with two cards showcasing the world’s most famous two droids.

1978 Star Wars Corporation, UK: Ralph McQuarrie’s first Lucasfilm holiday card illustration appeared on a rare card distributed by Star Wars Corporation’s (the production company created to make Star Wars) UK office in 1978, which was readying The Empire Strikes Back production.
1978 Star Wars Corporation, US: For the US 1978 holiday card, the Star Wars Corporation utilized a famous illustration by John Alvin of the droids equipped as a two-man band. The illustration was originally used on a very rare Star Wars concert poster.
1979 Lucasfilm: R2-D2 and C-3PO shed the musical instruments of 1978 to don more holiday-appropriate garb for the 1979 Lucasfilm holiday card, illustrated by Ralph McQuarrie.
1980 Lucasfilm: McQuarrie’s artwork for Lucasfilm’s 1980 holiday card was also the cover illustration for the only Star Wars Christmas album to date: Christmas in the Stars.
1981 Lucasfilm: McQuarrie’s Santa Yoda actually appeared on two different holiday cards from Lucasfilm in 1981, one blue and one white, giving collectors an extra variant to hunt down (the illustration was resurrected again for the company’s 2012 card, making three variations to find!).
1982 Lucasfilm: This McQuarrie-designed card from 1982 depicts Yoda readying his sleigh, complete with California vanity plate.
1983 Lucasfilm: Ewoks were the obvious choice to front the 1983 holiday card, as many toy versions of them would be given as gifts to young fans that year. Art by Ralph McQuarrie.
1994 Lucasfilm: Jumping ahead over a decade to 1994, McQuarrie imagined a festive Jawa gift exchange on Tatooine.
1995 LucasArts: The Death Star gets ornamental in this card from LucasArts in 1995 by Peter Chan and Daniel Colon, Jr.
1999 Lucas Digital: Jar Jar is tongue-lashed for 1999’s inspired fold-out card by Warren Fu and Mark Malabuyo.
2000 Lucas Learning: Padmé‘s dress doubles as a holiday tree in this stunning card from Lucas Learning created by Maryn Roos.
2000 Lucasfilm: Kids on sleds are in for the ride of their lives in this whimsical card from 2000 created by Kathryn Otoshi, Philip Metschan, and Angela Ursillo.
2005 JAK Films: This wonderful take on Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” was done by concept designers Erik Tiemens and Ryan Church for Lucasfilm’s JAK Films, the production company set up to create the Star Wars prequels.
2009 Lucasfilm: The 2009 Lucasfilm holiday greeting card, which dons a festive Clone Wars theme, was designed by artists Harrison Parker and Kelly Smith.
2011 Lucasfilm: Jabba the Snowman was the subject of 2011’s holiday card by Devon Cutler, which visually delivers on its warm-wishing sentiment.
2013 Lucasfilm: ILM artist Tyler Scarlet designed this troupe of caroling bounty hunters, taking some creative liberty devising mouths for some of its vocally-challenged members.
2015 Lucasfilm Animation: This stylized illustration of Ezra and Zeb from Star Wars Rebels was designed by Lucasfilm Animation’s JP Balmet, and is reminiscent of the iconic covers for The Saturday Evening Post.
2016 Lucasfilm: ILM concept artist Doug Chiang created this stunning pop-up illustration of K-2SO, R2-D2, and BB-8 for Lucasfilm’s 2016 holiday card.
2017 Lucasfilm: Lucasfilm’s Hez Chorba designed the holiday card for 2017, which depicts Rey and Kylo Ren on opposite sides of a “tree” illuminated from within by a tea light.
2018 Lucasfilm: For 2018, Hez Chorba created a fold-out holiday card containing three punch-out ornaments, each with characters from one of the three Star Wars trilogies (format re-arranged here for presentation).
2019 Lucasfilm: 2019 provided the last of the physical Lucasfilm holiday cards (for now), and designer Hez Chorba created a wonderful pop-up Yoda Fountain card to finish out the year. The card is photographed here in Lucasfilm’s San Francisco lobby.
2020 Lucasfilm: Artist Christian Alzmann created a whimsical digital card of Din Djarin and Grogu dashing through the snow on a rocket sled for Lucasfilm’s 2020 holiday card.
2021 Lucasfilm: To celebrate Lucasfilm’s 50th anniversary, and to also highlight some of the company’s productions to come, artist Amy Beth Christiansen created a digital card filled with various Lucasfilm characters including Indiana Jones, Ahsoka, Willow, Omega, Grogu, Cassian Andor, and others.
2021 ILM: After an in-house competition to design ILM’s digital holiday card for 2021, three separate submissions were selected for ILM employees to send out to friends and corporate partners. Winning artists included (L-R): Kiko Teo (ILM Sydney), Saby Menyhei (ILM London), and Zeng Lin (ILM London).
2022 ILM: For ILM’s 2022 digital holiday card, artist Jeremy Schmidt delivered this winning design of BB-8 and his snowy counterpart in an ILM employee competition to create the company’s holiday card.
2022 Lucasfilm: This year’s digital Lucasfilm holiday card, which depicts a Jello-toting Darth Vader being warmly welcomed by Obi-Wan, Ahsoka, Yoda, Artoo, and others, was created by ILM’s Aaron McBride.

Which holiday card is your favorite? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

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