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Tag Archives: Star Wars

April 17

April 17, 2016 – The Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon is Held in Walt Disney World

“Follow Your Dark Side”

On April 17, 2016, the Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon was held in Walt Disney World. The celebration weekend kicked off on April 14, with the half marathon taking place on the 17th. This event, themed after the classic Star Wars series of films, was designed to be half of a Star Wars challenge, with Disneyland hosting the “Light Side” while Walt Disney World would host the “Dark Side.”  Plenty of guests dressed up in Star Wars-themed outfits and met characters from the franchise, including Stormtroopers. Jason Ryf from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, won the race with a time of 1:13:39, while Katie McGrath from Oakdale, New York, was the female finisher with a time of 1:24:05.

December 18

December 18, 2015 – The Fireworks Show Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Premieres at Disney’s Hollywood Studios


“Conclude your day in a galaxy far, far away with an all-new nighttime spectacular bursting with memorable Star Wars moments.”

On December 18, 2015, the Star Wars­-themed fireworks show Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular premiered at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World. This show accompanies many changes made to the park with adding more Star Wars offerings, including the new Launch Bay and the updated attraction Star Tours. The show itself features the iconic music by John Williams, alongside lasers, pyrotechnics, and projection effects.

December 4

December 4, 2015 – The Star Wars Launch Bay Opens in Disney’s Hollywood Studios


“Clear your mind and choose wisely, as one path may lead to Darth Vader while the other leads to Chewbacca.”

On December 4, 2015, new Star Wars-themed offerings were unveiled at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, including the Star Wars Launch Bay. The Launch Bay is the main area where guests can see different exhibits of Star Wars props and replicas of iconic ships. Guests are also given the opportunity to pick either to follow the Dark Side or the Rebels, with the chance to meet Darth Vader or Chewbacca. There is also a large merchandise section where guests can buy authentic costumes, artwork, and models.

January 3

January 3, 2014 – Marvel Comics is Granted Exclusive Rights to Star Wars Comics


“In 2015, the cosmic adventures of Luke, Han, Leia and Chewbacca will make the lightspeed jump back to Marvel, to begin a new age of adventures within the Star Wars universe.” – Carol Roeder, director of Lucasfilm franchise publishing, Disney Publishing Worldwide

On January 3, 2014, Marvel Comics, in partnership with Lucasfilm Ltd., was granted exclusive rights to publish Star Wars comics and graphic novels. The agreement ends the partnership with Dark Horse Comics, who had been publishing Star Wars titles since 1991; Marvel had previously owned the license to the comics from 1977 to 1987, with Star Wars #1 selling over 1 million copies in 1977. This acquisition brought Star Wars completely under the Disney banner, as Disney had acquired Marvel in 2009.

October 30

October 30, 2012 – Disney Agrees to Plans to Purchase Lucasfilm


“Global leader in high-quality family entertainment agrees to acquire world-renowned Lucasfilm Ltd, including legendary STAR WARS franchise.”

On October 30, 2012, Disney agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. through a stock and cash transaction to owner George Lucas. The overall deal was worth $4.05 billion, with Disney acquiring all aspects of the company, including LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound. Co-Chairman Kathleen Kennedy was named as the President of Lucasfilm within its new incorporated structure, and serves as the brand manager for the Star Wars franchise. George Lucas would remain as a creative consultant for the successful film franchise. The announcement also came with the promise that the first Star Wars continuation film would be released in 2015. CEO Bob Iger also went on record to say “As far as the legacy George [Lucas] has created, we don’t take that lightly. We definitely plan to expand the presence of Star Wars in our parks which could include new parks.”

November 21

November 21, 1986 – The Souvenir Shop The Star Trader Opens in Disneyland

On November 21, 1986, the Disneyland souvenir shop The Star Trader opened in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. Formerly The Character Store, which opened in 1967, it was remodeled to be the shop for the Star Tours attraction, and boasts a large amount of Star Wars merchandise that can only be found in the Disney parks. It was remodeled in 2011, coinciding with the upgrades to the Star Tours attraction, with an addition of an X-Wing fighter, along with other special Star Wars themed surprises.

February 21

February 21, 1997 – The First Star Wars Weekends Are Held in Walt Disney World


“From Friday to Sunday each weekend, you can immerse yourself in the beloved saga that takes place in a galaxy far, far away.”

On February 21, 1997, the first Star Wars Weekends event took place at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios. This festival, held from the 21st through the 23rd, coincided with the release of the “special edition” versions of the original Star Wars trilogy. The celebrations included a few Star Wars celebrities, including Warwick Davis, who played Wicket W. Warrick the Ewok. It was held a few more times in 1997, then disappeared for a few years until it was brought back in 2000. The event has grown in recent years, including a Jedi Training Academy and an interactive attraction called “Carbon Freeze Me” where guests can have their faces scanned and reproduced in a prism of carbonite.