I had experienced true convergence. The Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of my obsessions. Star Wars was coming to Disneyland. I was in high school and completely consumed by all things Disney and George Lucas when I first heard about Star Tours, a new Star Wars-themed attraction slated to open at Disneyland in January of 1987. Disney’s fabled Imagineers would be joining creative forces with the Maker himself to finally give the residents of our mundane galaxy the chance to blast off with R2-D2 and launch our own assault on the Death Star? I thought my head was about to explode just like that doomed battle station. No pun intended, but how could the stars have aligned so perfectly?
Posts Tagged ‘disneyland’
I’ve been a Star Wars fan ever since my dad took me to see Return of the Jedi. It was the first Star Wars film I’d ever seen, as I was a bit too young for the others. Now I’ve got tons of action figures and collectables — and a costume, which I wear proudly as a member of the 501st. My wife introduced me to Disneyland and I became hooked; I ended up getting an annual pass and we still go often. Now we have two kids (one and three years old) that will be future Star Wars and Disney geeks. So from my point of view, the he pairing of Star Wars and Disneyland seems a natural fit.
During Disneyland’s 50th anniversary, my friend Britt (a photographer and lifelong Star Wars fan) and I were talking about the lack of Star Wars offerings at Disneyland compared to Walt Disney World; back then, Disney’s California park only had Star Tours, and The Jedi Training Academy hadn’t even opened yet. So taking a tip from Bats Day and other unofficial days at the resort, we decided to start a special day for Star Wars fans at Disneyland.
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.