Well, it’s finally official: Star Wars Weekends are no more. The event first appeared in 1997, continued in 2000 and 2001 and has been held annually over several weekends in May and June since 2003 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But with the park soon to undergo expansion – and a whole Star Wars area – the retirement is completely understandable.
Speaking of new stuff, Star Tours is getting a new addition: Jakku. If you go on the ride during “the opening months,” you’re guaranteed to get it; After that, it goes in the randomizer. There’s also a “reimagined Jedi Training experience” that will feature both Darth Vader and the Seventh Sister from Rebels. All this, plus the Launch Bay with The Force Awakens exhibits, will debut on December 1.
WDW News Today reports that Disney World’s Hollywood Studios may be retiring the popular Star Wars Weekends in 2016. The report does seem a tad premature, the additional permanent stuff (aka Star Wars Land) being several years off. And the Seasons of the Force event (which is also happening, in slightly different form, at Disneyland, is expected in “early 2016,” which doesn’t exactly scream Weekends rebranding.
Star Wars Weekends are currently on the schedule for summer 2016. However, we also expect construction to begin next year on the Star Wars expansion, and that I can certainly see throwing a wrench into the tradition.
However, another thing to consider – the sheer popularity of Star Wars right now. We’ve already seen record numbers for Celebration – is Hollywood Studios seeing higher numbers as well? Do they expect not to need Weekends to draw extra attendance after The Force Awakens?
John Boyega jogs in a stormtrooper hoodie
john_boyega: Leaving the ultra nerd house for a nerd run. #Troophoodie
. Stars: They’re just like us. Also, you can get a glimpse of the stormtrooper figure he got Harrison Ford (and it looks like a few others) to sign.
→ Star Wars Weekends are revving up at Disney World in Orlando, and there’s an Episode VII tee on sale there that actually features the new stormtrooper. It comes in men’s, women’s and kid’s sizes.
→ Rumor corner: What is the green planet? (I have some doubts, due mainly to a certain actor’s flippancy with something else that recently came up, but spoilers. Sigh.) On that note, it appears that TFA’s water scenes may have been filmed in England’s Lake District National Park.
→ Lucasfilm movies will be featured at D23 Expo this year. This obviously isn’t a surprise, and clearly The Force Awakens will be the priority, but it may be the first chance for something to go wide on Rogue One – though D23 is only two weeks after Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation drops on July 31, which could still be cutting it a bit close.
Star Wars Weekends dates for 2015. Each weekend between May 15 and June 14.
Our pal Mary Franklin has a strong supporting role in this video about the real-life Chopper and his travels! (There’s a new Rebels clip at the end as well.)
James Arnold Taylor chats with Mark Hamill at Star Wars Weekends! He chats about his beard (yes, it’s exactly what you think it is,) talks Star Wars, does impressions, and even breaks into the Joker. (via)
In a hurry? Just the Joker/Luke dialogue:
Yesterday brought the picture, today a video.
Disney Parks has posted two the Rebels clips shown at the Weekends so far… I’ve heard there’s a different one for each weekend, so expect a few more of these.
Mark Hamill talks Disney, Episode VII, fandom and more. He’ll make his debut Star Wars Weekends appearance later this week in Orlando.