Category Archives: conventions and events

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

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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.”

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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.

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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

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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.

The catchup: Guillermo del Toro’s Star Wars idea and more from SDCC

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Guillermo del Toro would pitch Lucasfilm a Jabba the Hutt film in the style of The Godfather. I would have expected something a little more out-of-the-stock-fanboy-box from del Toro, but I’m sure he could knock it out of the park if it ever happens.

→ Also from SDCC: Gary Whitta on the Star Wars symphony performance; Where the behind-the-scenes reel music came from; How Mark Hamill walked the con floor; How is it that Star Wars only got a #3 in buzz?

→ BB-8 is on the cover of the latest issue of Make.

Daniel Craig says he doesn’t have a role in The Force Awakens, and also apparently takes the piss out of Simon Pegg, because why not?

→ In the wake of SDCC, Making Star Wars dropped a few new rumor/spoilers, as they are wont to do. First up, what happens directly after Return of the Jedi and more on Jakku; Some stuff on where Han is as The Force Awakens begins. And who is playing that new X-wing pilot we heard about last week?

What we learned about The Force Awakens at SDCC’s big panel

TFA @ SDCC: Bobbajo!

I’m sure almost all you watched the video of the panel this weekend, but for those who didn’t, here are a few highlights. Nothing here about the behind-the-scenes video, though – that’s an entirely different post.

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SDCC video: The Force Awakens highlights, backstage interviews with cast and crew


If you’re not up to watch the entire The Force Awakens panel from last night, catch the highlights above. And the full backstage interviews are below the cut!

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The Force Awakens at SDCC: Princess Leia, General Hux and Harrison Ford


Sure enough, there was no trailer for The Force Awakens at SDCC, but we did get this sweet behind-the-scenes video, which includes our first look at Carrie Fisher as Leia.

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The panel consisted of J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, Lawrence Kasdan, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and even Harrison Ford, who joked about his leg.

We got new pictures of Kylo Ren (Driver) and Captain Phasma (Christie,) but the big reveal was General Hux, Gleeson’s character. “He’s British, so yeah,” Gleeson said when asked how evil his character was. (Driver was far more shady about it.) Gleeson also let slip that the First Order has a ‘Starkiller Base.’ Oh, and the turkey-thing from the first Force for Change video showed up, and his name is Bobbajo. (The spelling is straight from Pablo!)

Ford was the final guest to come out, sounding happy and proud about the film. Harrison Ford! Happy! (Hitfix has the quotes!)

Oh and, hey, let’s see how long this stays up:


All the folks in Hall H were treated to a free concert featuring music from the films and a fireworks finale. I’m not even jealous, because the video is so amazing and the first thing about this movie that has made me cry. I am a Star War, too.

Tweets from the panel below the cut!

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Hasbro reveals The Force Awakens TIE fighter, Fan’s choice winner(s) at SDCC

TIE-fighterTo the surprise of, well, everyone, there weren’t a whole mass of The Force Awakens toy reveals at the Hasbro panel at SDCC. But what they did show was pretty cool – and rather large: A 6″ scale TIE fighter, with “elite” pilot. (There’s a pretty neat display case recreating a scene from the trailer on the show floor now.)

As expected, Knights of the Old Republic‘s Revan won the 2015 Fan’s Choice poll by a landslide, but the results for Rebels Sabine Wren were so good that she’s going to be made as a 6″ Black Series figure, too! They also revealed that a Kanan Jarrus figure is coming to the Black Series as well. Other new 6″ figures include Rebels Ahsoka, a Tatooine Luke Skywalker, a Jango Fett, and one of the new Inquisitors (the dude) from S2 of Rebels. Check the StarWars.com liveblog for pics (very small, with bigger ones coming) and other details.