Mark Hamill will be attending his first Star Wars Weekend this year, Disney Parks announced today. He’ll be at Disney World June 6-8, or Weekend IV.
That seems like it could be right smack in the middle of Episode VII filming, so naturally the speculation has ramped up, confirmation or no confirmation. What does this say about his (presumed) shooting schedule? Could the details waiting to be revealed be waiting on casting announcements? So much buzzing, I’m getting a headache.
One thing is for sure: Lucasfilm and Disney can probably afford the airfare between London and Orlando, or Orlando and anywhere else. (We can say one thing: Hamill recorded a live podcast in Los Angeles on Tuesday.)
Word on the streets (well, the message boards) is that Disney has told the 501st and Rebel Legions that certain Expanded Universe characters are “not being allowed to march” in the Star Wars Weekend Motorcade. The only character we know for sure at this time is Mara Jade, but it’s easy to guess at several others from there. Nanci Tosche Station has thoughts.
One big question: Would this apply to characters from other eras who haven’t crossed over into tv or movies, like the Old Republic, or does it only affect post-Return of the Jedi characters who may in the path of the sequels?
Although this means certain costumers (including quite a few women) will no longer be able to march in the official parade, certain means of quiet protest have been suggested: Attendees can still dress in costumes or don EU character shirts.
UPDATE: TFN’s Eric Geller reached out the Lucasfilm on this, and they told him “that neither Disney nor LFL ordered a prohibition on EU characters in the SW Weekends parade.” Tosche Station maintains they’ve heard otherwise from 501st members, although no one is yet sure how high at Disney the orders may come from.
UPDATE #2: More explanation…
Time to start planning your summer vacation around Star Wars! Walt Disney World has announced the 2014 schedule of Star Wars Weekends, including the expansion to a fifth weekend and the addition of nightly fireworks.
Held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Star Wars Weekends (each Fri-Sun from mid-May to mid-June) will be hosted by fan favorite voice actor James Arnold Taylor. This year’s theme, “Join the Rebellion,” looks to loosely tie into the launch of Rebels.
Sadly, Dunc’s favorite part of Star Wars Weekends will not be returning – the Hyperspace Hoopla show has been retired. The Star Wars dance-off stage show has done its last boogie and will be replaced with new shows and the Symphony in the Stars fireworks show. No word yet on whether Disney World will be doing a May the 4th event.
Planning out the rest of your travel itinerary?
- Legoland California in Carlsbad is having its annual Star Wars Days on the last weekend of March. No word yet on whether Legoland Florida will have its own Star Wars Days, which it first started at the Winter Haven park last year for May the 4th.
- Star Wars Identities, the traveling museum exhibition using Star Wars saga to explore the notion of identity, has just started its tour stop at the CITÉ DU CINEMA in Paris, and will continue to June 30, 2014.
- Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology, the traveling museum exhibition linking real world archaeology to our favorite adventurer, is back in 2014, with its second US stop, at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, from March 8 to August 10, and then it will spend the winter in Canada at the Telus World of Science Edmonton from October 11 to March 8, 2015.
- Want some Star Trek instead? io9 shows off theme park concept art for a Star Trek themed land that will open at Paramount Park Murcia (Spain) at the end of 2015, with a Starfleet Academy / Federation headquarters design. Start saving up your latinum for the trip to southeast Spain!
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.
Disney annouced the dates for 2014′s Star Wars Weekends in Orlando last month, but many of us no doubt missed them in the midst of holiday craziness. So they’ve made it to StarWars.com today, and are set for May 16 – 18, May 23 – 25, May 30 – June 1 and June 6 – 8.
It has come to Santa Maul’s attention that Darth Vader, that pan-fried brute, is now being used in place of Santa Claus at Disney World. Santa Maul supposes this is to be expected, as nothing says plebeian like Disney, but he finds the use of a wishy-washy Sith like Vader to be an afront to the very nature of Sithmas. And there probably wasn’t even any violence to liven things up!
Santa Maul has reported the incident to his master, Darth Sinterklaas. He expects vengeance will be swift.
Disney Parks. TheForce.net has a source that disagrees with the earlier MiceChat report that Disneyland’s Star Wars plans were put on hold due to budget concerns. While there is a hold, they say that it’s due to Episode VII. “They didn’t want to build attractions/a land without including the new movies,” the source says. “So since the teams don’t have a final script they can’t add anything from the new movies.”
Rumors. In their latest Q&A, Jedi News and Jedi Master SQL discusses The Clone Wars and spin-off films. For Clone Wars he echos the earlier reports out of Poland, but adds that they will be “non-sequential episodes.” The iOS app may no longer be in the picture, but there will be an “online digital distribution model” that will include far more than just TV episodes (“films, books, comics, and online web content.”) As for the first standalone, he doesn’t see how they can get it out for 2016, but we may hear about the director and producer as early as next week. He’s also still stuck on Benedict Cumberbatch.
No. This doesn’t seem to have much traction yet aside from some random folks on Twitter and Tumblr, but beware folks using Cédric Delsaux’s ‘The Falcon’s Hiding Place’ as being the Episode VII Falcon. The original image (third from the right on the second to last row of Delsaux’s official gallery) was taken in Dubai in 2009.
MiceAge has been a primary source for all the rumors of Star Wars attractions in the works for the Disney parks, particularly Disneyland, but their latest dispatch is troubling. Problems with over-budget infrastructure implementations have placed almost all Imagineering projects on hold – or canceled. Here’s the part that pertains to Star Wars:
Originally the plan to add Star Wars to Tomorrowland was going to be divided into two phases; a first phase involving some placemaking and a replacement for Captain EO to be finished prior to the 60th Anniversary, and a second phase kicking off in late 2015. The second phase included the Speeder Bike E Ticket ride, Ewok village and forest where Autopia currently is, a Millenium Falcon walk-thru where the PeopleMover platform is, tearing out the decaying PeopleMover tracks and moving the Astro Orbiter up on top of the Space Mountain concourse, and turning Tomorrowland Terrace into an interactive Tatooine Cantina restaurant show. All of that is now on hold indefinitely. Although Anaheim gets off a bit easier with its Star Wars plan on hold, as the plans for many of these Star Wars elements coming to Disney Hollywood Studios in WDW have just been cancelled outright.
None of this has been officially announced, of course, and it might be bunk for all we know… But this doesn’t give us much hope that for expanded Star Wars features at Disneyland in time for the next Celebration.
Video. Bob Iger talks to Bloomberg TV about choosing Episode VII’s release date and confirms (again) that Disney is developing Star Wars attractions for their parks.
Meanwhile, J.J. Abrams and Neil Gaiman were on BBC Newsnight with author Doug Dorst to talk about their book S, and, eventually, Star Wars and casting. (13:00 mark.)
Cartoon. Disney XD has a site up for Rebels. (via)
Wow. Yeah, The Wrap really did go ask Disney about the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare and Episode VII. Hard hitting.
Countdown. How many days until Episode VII? (via)