Tanaja, Her 8 tigers, and the Star Wars – Space Odyssey

As I have noted time and again, the internet is a magical place. One day you can be browsing for information about goat-unicorns and find a publication that you never knew existed that will be completely absorbing. For me this happened last month when I was looking for information on the famous circus “Unicorn” from the eighties, when I stumbled upon a periodical called, “The Circus Report“. The last modern issue I could find was from February of 2014, but I wasn’t interested in 2014, I was interested in the 1980’s and once I started reading it, my interest went back further and I started reading through the entire publication history online.

The Circus Report is filled with gems, but today I would like to direct your attention to the review of the Royal Hanneford Circus from 1978. The Royal Hanneford, which has been around since 1609 in one form or another, is still around today, but I doubt they will ever recapture what I can only imagine was the most amazing moment in circus history.

That year…

The Great Humberto ascended the slant wire to descend in his famous “Slide for Life” followed by a fanciful Star Wars – Space Odyssey setting which introduced Tanaja and her 8 tigers.

Now I cannot find any other mentions of this tiger filled Star Wars – Space Odyssey, which almost makes it better since I can fill in the blanks myself. Just picture it…

Fog rolls across the floor of the circus tent as the lights dim and several shadowy majestic cats of incredible size are assembled around the ring. Suddenly the lights come up and the music of John Williams blares. All eight of these mighty tigers are attired in Star Wars costume sand begin a short but coherent reenactment of Star Wars. This epic performance includes lightsaber battles, clowns hamming it up as stormtroopers and of course and epic Death Star trench run featuring a tiger walking a fiery high wire.

I know this all sounds impossible, but in my mind, it is exactly what happened and it was glorious.

This is a long shot, but did anyone see this Star Wars – Space Odyssey? Do you remember the details? I would be so happy to hear that they had a tiger dressed like Chewbacca. Any artists out there care to speculate on what this might have looked like?

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