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Tag Archives: Star Wars

February 21

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

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“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.

January 9

January 9, 1987 – Star Tours Opens in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland

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“A galaxy of trouble awaits, but don’t worry, the Force will be with you, always!”

On January 9, 1987, Star Tours, the new Tomorrowland attraction, opened in Disneyland. Originally, the idea for a space-themed ride was to be based on the 1979 live-action film The Black Hole, but was shelved due to the film’s dismal box office. The ride was done in cooperation with George Lucas at a time when Disney was not creating any blockbuster animated films, but wanted to bring something new to audiences in the park. The attraction became immensely popular, and was updated in 2011.

The ride was a military simulator-like experience that told a story. In the original attraction, guests entered vehicles called StarSpeeders, with a robot trainee pilot named REX (voiced by Paul Reubens). Forty passengers could fit in the StarSpeeders, which in the Lucas version, traveled to the moon of Endor and back.