Category Archives: conventions and events

Video: How Clone Wars and Rebels changed Star Wars

Pablo Hidalgo at Salt Lake Comic Con

Of the many great Star Wars panels at Salt Lake Comic Con a few weeks ago, one of the highlights was the “Clone Wars & Rebels: How Animation Changed Star Wars” panel. Moderated by Bryan Young, the panelists included Lucasfilm creative executive Pablo Hidalgo, veteran voice actor Dee Bradley Baker, and artist Scott Harben.

Bryan Young moderated another panel that would interest EU fans. He had authors R. A. Salvatore and Mike Stackpole discuss “Why We Killed Chewbacca” bringing in how the decision was made and the fallout from that event.

Disneyland’s Seasons of the Force begins November 16

launchbayThe Disney Parks blog has announced the starting date for Seasons of the Force at Disneyland: November 16. Star Tours will get a new scene inspired by The Force Awakens (probably Jakku) and the Star Wars Launch Bay will open. This will also see the limited-time reskinning of Space Mountain as Hyperspace Mountain and a new version of Jedi Training that will incorporate Rebels characters.

There will also be “an opportunity to revisit favorite scenes from classic Star Wars films,” which sounds like there’ll be no special The Force Awakens preview at at Tomorrowland Theater.

Details for the version at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando are forthcoming, but I expect most of this (except Hyperspace Mountain) will be doubled there.

Rumor: Star Wars Weekends to be retired?

star wars weekends

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?

Star Wars Land construction to begin in 2016


Disney COO Tom Staggs said in a talk today that construction will begin on the new Star Wars-themed areas in Orlando and Anaheim next year, per The Hollywood Reporter. Opening dates for the expansions in Disneyland and at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios have not yet been announced, but fans estimate 2020 at the very earliest.

Both parks, in addition to incorporating the existing Star Tours ride, will have a Millennium Falcon attraction and a cantina, Disney said last month.

‘Bring Back Legends’ devotees upgraded to actual harassment at DragonCon

dragonconIn addition to the nuttery going on with Aftermath and the ever-present comment hijacking on official Facebook pages, it appears that a faction of the ‘Bring Back Legends‘ crew was actually harassing VIPs and fans at DragonCon last weekend, Brian at Tosche Station reports:

One panelist and moderator was stalked to a restroom by someone from Bring Back Legends. Another panelist was halted in the Marriott atrium and, again, was talked at and had a set of flyers pushed off on them even though the panelist said they didn’t want one. The Bring Back Legends folks at Dragon Con had become general nuisances, but more than once it went beyond that. I spoke with several fans and panelists who confided that they were made extremely uncomfortable by the advances of the individuals from Bring Back Legends. Others corroborated my story, that they were cornered after panels and had a difficult time escaping their speeches and questioning. The combination of forced interaction and awareness of what the general behavior of these people online proved to be an unsettling experience every time we were approached. We knew they weren’t interested in talking to us, they wanted to talk at us and recruit us to their cause.

And those are far from the only incidents he experienced or heard about – there are more at the link.

The Legends folks were, from reports, fairly courteous at SDCC – and I don’t recall any stories from Celebration at all. Did DragonCon just luck into a particularly obnoxious contingent? Did the more fan-run nature of the con make people think they could get away with this sort of thing more easily? Or are we just dealing with a few individuals who don’t understand basic social cues? In any case, this is not how you get folks on your side.

Video: Star Wars authors Bray, Horton, Kogge and Castellucci at Mysterious Galaxy

Last Thursday, Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego hosted a quartet of Star Wars authors as they counted down for the Force Friday midnight releases. Representing the first stop on DK’s Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know book release tour were three of its authors: Adam Bray, Cole Horton, and Michael Kogge. Rounding out the team was author Cecil Castellucci, who wrote one of the new young adult books, Moving Target, with Jason Fry. Moderating the panel were Richard and Sarah Woloski of the Skywalking Through Neverland podcast.

Video is of the author panel and Q&A session. Revealed at the end of the evening was the announcement that Michael Kogge is the author of the junior novelization of The Force Awakens, coming out in 2016. And if you just want to see some photos of the event, including the induction of the podcast hosts into Rebel Legion, I’ve got a gallery here.

Looking for signed copies of the books? Mysterious Galaxy has you covered! The Absolutely Everything You Need to Know tour picks up again next weekend around the US.

Star Wars lands coming to Disneyland and Disney World; Star Tours update, Launch Bay coming late 2015


During Disney’s biennial D23 Expo, Bob Iger stormed the stage to the tune of John Williams’ titular Imperial March to deliver arguably the biggest news of the Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios panel: Dual, 14-acre themed Star Wars lands in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida and the Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California.

From the official press release: “I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” said Iger. “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”


A true collaboration between Disney Imagineering, ILM, and Lucasfilm, the Star Wars land will be a truly immersive and authentic experience. Both lands will feature two signature attractions, one of which is piloting the Millennium Falcon on a clandestine mission. Iger stressed that every element would feel as if you were a part of the world: restaurants, storefronts, and entertainment would all feature galactic characters for an authentic interactive experience.

And yes, there’s going to be a cantina.


Later Saturday, during D23 Expo’s Parks and Resorts panel, additional details on the recently announced Star Wars Land were revealed along with more immediate changes coming to the domestic parks towards the end of this year.

Hyperspace Mountain (only at Disneyland)Season of the Force
Season of the Force will be a limited-time, seasonal event in 2016 at both Disney World and the Disneyland, bringing new Star Wars experiences to both parks. At Tomorrowland in Disneyland, guests will have an opportunity to partake of Star Wars-themed entertainment, food and beverages, and new merchandise. The popular Space Mountain coaster will be turned into Hyperspace Mountain with a temporary Star Wars layover in which you’ll get to experience a high-octane X-Wing battle. On the other side of the country, guests of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be treated to a new fireworks spectacular set to John Williams’ memorable Star Wars scores.

Star Wars Launch Bay
Also at both parks will be the newly created Star Wars Launch Bay that will be located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. The Launch Bay will be a hub for interactive experiences for guests that want to learn more about The Force Awakens, as well as an opportunity to purchase special merchandise and food. It’s expected to open late this year.

Star Wars Launch Bay

Star Tours
The ever-popular Star Tours: The Adventure Continues will see a new update later this year in both U.S. parks. (Information on the update availability coming to the international parks is currently unknown.) The anticipated updates will be include locations and characters from The Force Awakens.

At this point, the Star Wars invasion is real and it’s happening. I’ll see you all in the pit.

D23 Expo begins: George Lucas becomes a Disney Legend

Disney’s own convention, D23 Expo, began today in Anaheim, and George Lucas was inducted as an official Disney Legend. (Bonus: Be sure to check your Star Wars app for a George emoji.)

Of course, The Force Awakens has a sizable presence on the con floor, where the highlight may very well be Captain Phasma’s armor.

At least she is today: We can certainly expect something from the live-action panel tomorrow. Our own Mandy will be there! legend

3-day tickets for next Celebration already sold out


We’re just under a year away from the start of the third Celebration Europe, and 3-Day Adult tickets for the convention are already sold out. It will be held at London’s ExCeL Center on July 15-17 in 2016.

Celebration Anaheim in April, the first Celebration to sell out most badges, was attended by about 60K fans.

The convention is expected to return to the U.S. for 2017.