Rebel forces and Imperial Storm troopers again roam Disney’s Hollywood Studios as Star Wars Weekends begins. (May 17-19, May 24-26, May 31-June 2nd, June 7-9). Held here annually at the Studios since 2003, George Lucas’ universe is now firmly in Disney hands, since Disney acquired the franchise from 68 year old creator, George Lucas in 2012 for the princely sum of 4 billion dollars in monies and stock options. This includes Industrial Light and Magic, Skywalker Sound and Lucas Arts. And that just makes this year’s Star Wars Weekend better than ever for legions of fans, knowing that Disney will keep the “Force” going for future generations to enjoy.
Along with a gaggle of Jawas’, Ewoks’ Wookies, you will encounter Darth Vader, C-3P0, R2-D2 and get a chance to purchase Star Wars Memorabilia at “Darth’s Mall” Darth’s Mall is located behind Rock ‘N Rollercoaster in a huge tent, which houses a wonderful collection of everything Star Wars. A huge mock-up of the Rancor is on display along with a chance to get your face on a “Star Wars” action figure. Fans can get personalized nametags, their pictures on official Star Wars posters and much more. There is an amazing “Return of the Jedi” 30th anniversary posters made of Legos; a “Darth Maul” Donald Duck, even “Peg Leg Pete” is on display. For the kids, there is an “Angry Birds” Star Wars experience game At the concession stand, you can even choose between the “Force” or “Dark Side” themed drinks.
There is a Star Wars art gallery with some of the most stunning art pieces of all your favorite Star Wars characters for purchase.
This in addition to the Vinylmations, clothing, figurines and everything else, it is a Star Wars fans’ mecca. As in the past, visit the Imperial Sector of the park, the Premiere Theater where you can listen as Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano talks about the art of “Voice Acting” Also at the Theater, the Star Wars Weekend host James Arnold Taylor hosts a 30 minute Star Wars talk show. You can catch an “Ewoks Tale” a fascinating and humorous presentation by Warwick Davis as he recants his acting career. James Arnold Taylor also hosts a show delving into the art of Voice Acting. Check you times guide for show times.
Over at the “Rebel Base” (Sorcerer’s Hat Stage) enjoy the “Padawan Mind Challenge” interactive trivia game. At the end of the day, “Hyperspace Hoopla” another fan favorite where you’re favorite Star Wars characters performs in a number of musical numbers. All around Echo Lake at select times meet and greet more of your favorite celebrity’s and get an autograph. The Jedi Training academy is in full swing next to the Star Tours Attractions, where the Jedi Council welcomes “Younglings” to train as a Jedi Knight. And do not forget about the “Legends of the Force” Motorcade with more Star Wars celebrities, characters and the famous 501st Legion, Florida Garrison parading by in full regalia. In and around the Studios Backlot Tour area, you can interact with many members of the Dark Side, Around Star Tours, meet and mingle with members of the Rebel alliance.
Celebrity appearances around Echo Lake include…Warwick Davis (Wicket the Ewok), Sam Witwer (Voice of Darth Maul) and Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar). Please note that Fastpass tickets are required in order to obtain autographs. They are limited and are distributed on a first come, first served basis. This years’ event as in the past is a wonderful way to share your love of Star Wars with fellow fans. Many fans come in costume as their favorite character and these costumes are just amazing. Some of these costumes look like they came right off the movie screen. Only one more weekend to go, until next year’s Star Wars Weekends.
Bill Iadonisi provided this gallery full of images from Star Wars Weekend 2013. Enjoy!