It’s once again time for “Star Wars Weekends” at the Walt Disney World® Resort. This year is bigger than ever! On the minus side, I waited in a four hour line to get anywhere near the merchandise this year. On the plus side, there were lots of nice fans to talk to and the whole process was a lot more efficient than the debacle of the Star Wars Celebration store.
I’m excited about the guests this year, since we get not only an actor a week, but also an ILM artist who can talk about how the films are made. I always find the behind the scenes stuff fascinating, and having the artists there makes it a little like having an interactive DVD, where you can ask them questions about the process.
This weekend, the guests are Daniel Logan (Young Boba Fett in Episode II) and John Goodson, a model-maker and viewpaint artist from ILM who has worked on all three films. John told a great story about how he’d always wondered how the Millennium Falcon’s docking arms worked (the forks at the front) . He was reviewing the model of the Trade Federation Battleship with George Lucas and talking about how the split design was there so they could load cargo like the Millennium Falcon. John asked George how that worked, and George explained it, to John’s delight. “All I could think was, here’s George Lucas and he’s explaining to me how the Millennium Falcon works!” Funny how all the ILM folks always seem to be just as fanboyish as the rest of us. =)
Daniel wowed all the local girls with his Teen Beat good looks. He’s a pretty down to earth kid, though and has a great rapport with the fans. When one of the younger fans asked him how he became so popular, he said, “I don’t know, I just was myself you know. That’s all I can really be is myself, and if you like me, that’s great. Of course, I’m not really popular. I hardly have any friends,” he quipped. Lisa, the host, got the girls in the audience to cheer to volunteer to be Daniel’s friends!
The Disney-MGM Studios look great this year. Exciting looking banners representing the Alliance and the Empire fly proudly throughout the park, identifying the areas factioned for either side. The Star Tours attraction area is the Alliance base, where the good-guy characters hang out, and Mickey Avenue is the dark side, where the Imperial characters and bounty hunters tighten their grips on the guests.
There’s a great new Anakin Ep3 character! The young Jedi hero greets guests on the Alliance side, but he is getting awfully close to the dark side….
I got to meet Matt Stover today, the author of the EXCELLENT Ep3 novelization, who was signing books at the park. Matt is really a great guy, a true fan, and a fun author to meet. He made a special effort to personalize my book and I had a great time talking to him.
As always, pics in the gallery, and I will be covering the action for the next four weeks.