Disney plans a ‘significant’ Star Wars presence in parks. The first plans will be revealed next year.
We already knew there would be no dedicated Episode VII panel at San Diego Comic Con, but it is something of a surprise that Disney won’t be featuring any other upcoming films – aside from Marvel, which has their own panel and is expected to drop plenty of news. But Disney has several other upcoming films, like Big Hero Six, Tomorrowland, and Pixar’s Inside Out… And it’s not like they have a D23 this year.
They’re not the only ones sitting it out either – also absent is Lionsgate, who has The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 coming out in January. Is SDCC just not worth the trouble for studios anymore, or are they simply ceding this ground to the superheroes?
What does this mean for us? Well, not much. Some folks were hoping that StarWars.com saying Episode VII wouldn’t be ‘featured’ wouldn’t rule out a few moments at a general Disney film panel. I still think it’s a bit much to expect a bombshell like the title – hell, at this point, they could save that for Celebration – but something like a second video set report, perhaps something celebrating the results of A Force For Change? Of course, we just got word that deadline has moved back, so that’s not quite as feasible as it would have been a week ago. (Now? I’d be surprised if that doesn’t happen pre-SDCC, for a final bit of publicity push… But LFL does as LFL does, and we can only guess and hope… Hope, not expect.)
In any case, when in comes to Star Wars, Disney (and presumably Lionsgate) know they don’t need a con to whip their fandoms up into a frenzy… Who needs Hall H when you have the internet? Let Marvel (and Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman) have this one.
Currently, there are no plans for Leia products at Disney Store, Natalie. Have a wonderful day!
No so shocking, really, given the current climate. (Not to mention that the ‘have a wonderful day!’ is delightfully discordant here. How very, Disney.) They do later offer to follow up with Natalie. Perhaps they noticed the response? I first saw this on The Mary Sue, and today it’s on Jezebel. Hello, mainstream!
Given the reports from Star Wars Weekends that Her Universe stuff was selling like hotcakes down in Orlando, is it really such of a stretch for the Disney Store to dream up some Leia merchandise? As Jezebel points out, Disney is more than aware of the demand for Frozen stuff – why can’t they imagine that people may want Leia dolls, Padme dolls (dear lord, you could found an American Girl-style empire on that woman’s wardrobe alone) or even a few t-shirts?
Hell, turn some of that in-house Princess expertise to a Star Wars test run, or simply partner with Her Universe to get a few exclusive tees and dresses, bags and necklaces in stores across the country, and count your money.
Yes, Star Wars is a brand that is seen as being primarily “for boys.” But that doesn’t mean girls don’t like it. (Hello!) That doesn’t mean that girls obsessed with Elsa (or their parents and grandparents) won’t pick up a Leia shirt, an Ahsoka lightsaber, a Queen Amidala dress while they’re in your stores. This is not a zero-sum game: Crossing the aisle of the tired boy-franchise/girl-franchise gender binary means you get more money. What’s so hard to understand about that?
UPDATE: Steve Sansweet has an entry on the official blog about the Disney Store Star Wars offerings. Several comments are already addressing this issue, but if you feel the need to join them, please BE NICE. After all, Steve and the StarWars.com team are not at fault here.
I’m not really seeing anything exciting in the new products, but that’s a) not my beat and b) there’s still a day left to the event. So hopefully there’s something more exciting waiting in the wings. (Or not, as the case may be. Oh well.)
Disney is hosting a Star Wars executive breakfast this coming Thursday, says Making Star Wars. In attendance will be George Lucas and “classic cast members.” Just another Thursday for Disney’s top brass? UPDATE: Lucasfilm denied this event to TFN, but Making Star Wars (and others) maintain it is indeed happening. We’ll see!
Also this week? A Star Wars event at the (a?) Disney Store on Monday and Tuesday in California, according to Jedi News. So something is clearly going on. Whether these are linked to something that will matter to most of us (an announcement?) is yet to be seen, but let’s hope so.
Great Bloomberg feature on Marvel’s Kevin Feige. And some interesting implications for Star Wars, if you read between the lines: Doesn’t Marvel’s “six-member creative committee with people steeped in comic book lore” sound a lot like Lucasfilm’s Story Group?
Our most popular post by far this week has been the one on the issue of Expanded Universe costumers and the Star Wars Weekends parade at Disney World. There have been a number of updates over several days, but nothing truly definitive enough to start a fresh post with… Check in now to make sure you’re up to date!
As we’ve been reporting, the makeover of Disneyland’s Tomorrowland with a new Star Wars spaceport feel has another step forward, but only a small step. MiceAge, which has been the primary source of Disneyland expansion rumors, has reported that the “first phase of the Star Wars makeover of Tomorrowland did get the green light from Burbank in December.”
However, they go on to report that the first phase, of re-doing the front half of the Anaheim’s Tomorrowland area as a Star Wars-themed spaceport, as well as the second phase of creating a bunch of new attractions for a Star Wars land, might be on hold due to funding, and that on-hold state has allowed the design team to switch from just original trilogy elements to incorporating things from Episode VII:
The Imagineers assigned to the Star Wars Tomorrowland project have now been debriefed on the characters and plotlines coming for Star Wars Episode VII that opens in theaters in about two years. …. Those key [original trilogy based] attractions are all still part of phase two, but they are being layered or tweaked to include references from Episode VII that will be released in theaters at least 18 months before any of those attractions open.
As for bringing more Star Wars to Orlando? The word is that it “appears to be simply cancelled for Disney’s Hollywood Studios.”
With Episode VII scheduled to open December 2015, that “at least 18 month” timeframe puts into June 2017 or later.
Merchandising! Disney CFO Jay Rasulo spoke at an investor conference today and spoke of Lucasfilm following in Marvel’s footprints for distribution across different platforms – though he did say that they’re willing to look outside their own networks for distribution. Nothing earth shattering here – he also said that there’ll be more Star Wars rides coming to the parks over time – but it confirms that there’s plenty more in the pipeline than just new films. And, yes, expect the full merchandising blitz for Episode VII. Whatever could the sequel trilogy equivalent of a Jar Jar lollipop be, I wonder?
Rumors. Were the rumors of Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Wars just a smokescreen? The Daily Superhero has a source that claims that the rumors were manufactured by Disney as a cover… Because they actually want him for a Marvel role, perhaps Doctor Strange. Sounds pretty plausible to me – and what’s easier to play on than the internet’s unending ability for uninspired fancastings?