The Chief Jedi talks up Star Wars Weekends

by MouseStation Crew, staff writer

MouseStation 406 - The Chief Jedi talks up Star Wars Weekends

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Show run time 0:33:50

On today's show, Gary Buchanan talks about Star Wars Weekends, which start tomorrow at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Also, Mike and Mark discuss the newly-announced Disney's Art of Animation Resort and this week's Twitter/Facebook poll.

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Feature: The Chief Jedi talks up Star Wars Weekends

On Monday, Mark talked to Gary Buchanan, event coordinator for Star Wars Weekends (a.k.a. the Chief Jedi).

This year's event runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 21 through June 13. This year's event celebrates the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, as well as "Star Wars: The Clone Wars."

Mark ran through some of the events that occur during Star Wars Weekends, then asked Gary what his favorite event was. Easily, it's the Hyperspace Hoopla, where the Star Wars characters bust a move to contemporary music. Here are some great Hyperspace Hooplas from the past:

In 2008, Darth Vader took on Michael Jackson, while Leia and her mom Padme went with Cyndi Lauper and Chewbacca and a Jawa cut "Footloose."

Last year saw performances to House of Pain, The Spice Girls and MC Hammer.

Last year's free-for-all finale included the well-remembered "All the Single Ladies" number.

Gary also really loves the Stars of the Saga talk show (which is hosted this year by Jeremy Bulloch, who played Boba Fett in the original trilogy). The theater fills quickly and the stormtrooper pre-show banter is highly entertaining, so get in line for it early. Ashley Eckstein (voice of Ahsoka in "The Clone Wars") hosts Behind the Force: The Clone Wars, which shows what it takes to create the series. In addition to Bulloch and Eckstein, there are three special celebrity guests each weekend.

Week 1, May 21-23 ("Fett Weekend")

  • Temuera Morrison – Jango Fett and all of the clone troopers in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith)
  • Daniel Logan – Boba Fett and all of the clone cadets in Attack of the Clones
  • Dee Bradley Baker – voice of all of the clone troopers in "The Clone Wars"

Week 2, May 28-30

  • Matthew Wood – voice of General Grievous and battle droids in Revenge of the Sith and "The Clone Wars", sound editor on Episodes 1-3 and "The Clone Wars"
  • Lorne Peterson – veteran model-maker who worked on all six movies
  • Tom Kane – voice of Yoda and narrator in "The Clone Wars"

Week 3, June 4-6

  • Billy Dee Williams – Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi
  • Ray Park – Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace
  • Dave Filoni – supervising director of "The Clone Wars"

Week 4, June 11-13

  • Ray Park
  • Peter Mayhew – Chewbacca in Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and Revenge of the Sith
  • James Arnold Taylor – voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Plo Koon in "The Clone Wars"

In addition to the special events, there are also the existing Star Wars-themed Jedi Training Academy and Star Tours. The queue to participate in Jedi Training Academy (as well as the Padawan Mind Challenge trivia contest) will be in front of Sounds Dangerous this year. For a hint as to what to study for the Padawan Mind Challenge, listen to the show. Star Tours closes in September for conversion to Star Tours 2.0.

The location to purchase festival merchandise has been moved this year. Wicket's Warehouse will not open in Soundstage 1. Instead, the merchandise will be located at the AFI Showcase Store at the exit of the Backlot Tour. There's all kinds of merchandise, some of which we previewed here and here.

For more information, you can go to the official Star Wars Weekends page on the Walt Disney World site.

Thanks to Gary Buchanan for taking the time to talk to Mark, and to Benjamin Thompson for setting up the interview.

Discussion: Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Last week Walt Disney World announced that they will in fact start construction on the second half of the Pop Century Resort; however, it will not be Pop Century - The Legendary Years as had originally been announced. Instead, it will be Disney's Art of Animation Resort. As had been predicted, it will primarily be composed of family suites, though there will be some standard rooms, as well. The standard rooms will be in a section themed to The Little Mermaid, while the family suites will comprise three sections themed to The Lion King, Finding Nemo and Cars.

Mike was disappointed that Pop Century would never be completed as it was already intended, while Mark remembered the concerns that the earlier decades of the 20th century would be less resonant with guests. Mark's concern was that the Art of Animation hotel really only honored the last 20 or so years. He had the thought that perhaps the existing Pop Century Resort could be rethemed to the earlier years of animation. Since there already is a great deal of homage to animation, such as Lady and the Tramp and The Jungle Book, it wouldn't take as much as one might think.

Thanks to all who attended the MousePlanet Meet at the Magic Kingdom, May 15!

We had a great time chatting at the Adventureland Gazebo on Saturday. There were quite a few people there (and, we discovered later, some who were there listening in but didn't want to join the main group). Thanks to all for coming!

Twitter/Facebook poll question

Last week's question, which due to the delayed publication of Episode 404 we gave you an extra few episode to answer, was:

Which Disney or Pixar movie that doesn't have an attraction themed to it do you think deserves one?

The Incredibles got the majority of the votes with 10, while Mary Poppins and WALL-E each got 4 and Up got 2. Others getting votes included The Black Hole, Tron, Pete's Dragon and Cars. Note: Cars is getting an entire land at Disney's California Adventure. If it proves popular, don't be surprised to see some form of it appear at Walt Disney World some time in the future.

via Facebook:

  • Incredibles.
  • Mary Poppins!
  • The Incredibles
  • Hannah Montana the Movie....JK....I vote Up
  • I second Mary Poppins
  • Mary Poppins! I have been waiting patiently for many many many years...
  • Also, Black Hole.
  • I think Wall-E could take over any stitch location in tomorrowland!
  • I think Wall-E, to teach people how to be eco friendly in some sort of way.
  • Incredibles could use 1.

via Twitter:

  • The Incredibles need an attraction!
  • The Incredibles (transport pod on the PeopleMover / TTA track?)
  • Incredibles, or Up.
  • Tron, The Incrediables, Mary Poppins, Wall-E
  • As far as Pixar goes, that would have to be The Incredibles. Non-Pixar? Pete's Dragon!
  • cars
  • DH says - Wall-E, I vote for the Incredibles.


  • The Incredibles! Lots of fun adventures for interactive mission space-like ride. You could program which family member you are and then use your appropriate powers to help in the adventure (island attack, big droid, land the RV...etc ) like mission space does with different crew members. They could have randomized adventures. For me, it would be the Incredible Mom- stretched to my limit (as my coffee cup says)

Mark can definitely see an Incredibles-themed attraction, and mentioned the previously-rumored Kuka robo-coaster themed to the movie, that never appeared.

After trying to say he wanted more Lion King, Mike went with Tron. Mark agreed, and noted that it's quite possible that there will be a Tron-themed attraction in the future, depending on how the new movie does in December.

Next week's question:

  • What do you think of Disney's Art of Animation Resort?

What do you think?

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