When we last left our heroes, Disney Imagineers Tom Fitzgerald, Tony Baxter, and their project team had collaborated with George Lucas to develop a concept for their flight simulator attraction Star Tours. In their story, the interstellar spaceline offers flights throughout a galaxy recently made safe by the Rebel victory over the evil Galactic Empire…but, of course, the proverbial “something horrible” would inevitably go wrong. For the ride-film itself, George unleashed the same visual effects wizards at Industrial Light & Magic that had transported audiences to a galaxy far, far away in the Star Wars trilogy.
Posts Tagged ‘disney’
It is a period of rebirth at Walt Disney Productions. Although the company had almost been destroyed by an evil empire of corporate raiders, a small band of freedom fighters led by Roy E. Disney thwarted the attack and restored order to the company.
New CEO Michael Eisner and president Frank Wells have dispatched the creative wizards at Walt Disney Imagineering to restore hope to the company’s theme parks in the form of innovative new rides and attractions.
Now, working from their hidden base in Glendale, a group of Imagineers including veteran storytellers Tony Baxter and Tom Fitzgerald has forged an alliance with master filmmaker George Lucas to bring his beloved galaxy to life at Disney theme parks across the planet…
Sorry about that, but I couldn’t resist. How often do you get to write your own Star Wars crawl? Plus it was a good way to quickly recap part one in this series of posts on the creation of the original Star Tours.
That classic Han Solo line from A New Hope — I committed all of them to memory at age seven — is the perfect title for my first blog post here at StarWars.com. That’s because it’s an amazing time to be a Star Wars fan. In fact, it’s probably the very best time in the almost 40-year history of the saga. In the next two years alone, Star Wars will be returning to both the big screen and the TV screen with Star Wars Rebels and Episode VII, respectively. But it’s safe to say you all knew that!
When Lucasfilm became part of the Walt Disney Company, it sparked rampant speculation about the future of Star Wars in Disney’s theme parks. At Disney’s recent D23 Expo, one presentation confirmed future projects were on their way, but offered nothing more than tantalizing hints of things to come. As fans wait to learn more, take a look back at the original collaboration between Disney and Lucasfilm, beginning more than 25 years ago…
May was a very busy month for me, not least because of a couple of trips down to the Disney offices in southern California. Becoming part of Disney is as surreal an experience for me as initially joining Lucasfilm was, as both Disney and Star Wars are lifelong loves of mine. In fact, while I was down there, one of the HR people caught me eyeing the new Disney Princess merchandise twice. How embarrassing.
Disney and Star Wars is not such an odd combination, though, when you think about it. Star Wars is in many ways a fairy tale — fairy tales are, after all, just different versions of myths. (As a kid I was obsessed with Greek mythology, too, so I’m definitely consistent!) These stories tap into something elemental, something cosmic. There’s a reason every culture has its stories that it tells over and over again. We’re all just trying to understand our place in the universe.
For the past 10 years, the 501st and Rebel Legion costuming groups have brought their costuming expertise to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for Star Wars Weekends. I’m proud to say I’ve participated in the past three years of the event and I’m excited to share with you a little behind-the-scenes knowledge of what it takes to march and what we go through to make it happen.
Today we’re pleased to announce that everyone’s favorite galactic smuggler, gambler, and scoundrel will temporarily leave Cloud City and board the Millennium Falcon with a course set for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as actor Billy Dee Williams returns to Star Wars Weekends for the 2013 edition.
Williams, a fan favorite for his portrayal of Lando Calrissian in the film saga, will attend Weekend IV, June 7-9, 2013.
One of Mickey Mouse’s favorite things about Star Wars Weekends is that he gets to dress in his Jedi best and join the galactic fun. Each year, Mickey seems to take on a different role in the official Star Wars Weekends logo. This year, his imagination takes him to the Forest Moon of Endor, where he is seen zipping away from scout troopers with Chip and Dale. Mickey’s wild speeder bike ride on this year’s artwork has historical significance, as 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi — the film that featured the Battle of Endor.
“Luke, We’re gonna have company!” — Han Solo
If your starship can make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs (I’m still trying to figure out how fast that is), set your hyperdrive for the Disney’s Hollywood Studios sector for May and early June, for the 2013 edition of Star Wars Weekends.
This year’s Force-filled fun will take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 17-June 9.