Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Super-Blog Team-Up -- Star Wars: Season of the Force

Karen: It's time for another internet-shattering Super-Blog Team Up! This time, the theme is (surprise) Star Wars! All things Star Wars are up for discussion and dissection by the various members of this coalition. For our part, we'll be sharing my trip a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...or maybe it was just last month in Anaheim,

Karen: The week before Thanksgiving, my husband and I traveled to Disneyland and met up with an old friend there to take in the pleasures of the park all decorated for the holidays. Ah, who am I kidding: we all wanted to see what Disney was doing in the park to tie in to the new Star Wars film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Karen: As is turns out, they had basically given Tomorrowland a Star Wars facelift, proclaiming "Star Wars: Season of the Force" in big banners throughout that area. Music from the different films played constantly throughout Tomorrowland and Star Wars themed treats and toys were everywhere. Of course, there will actually be a Star Wars Land in Disneyland eventually - construction on the area, north of Tom Sawyer Island, will begin in January - but this temporary change really affects only a few attractions.

Karen: Star Tours, which has been a mainstay of Tomorrowland since 1987, got revamped in 2011 to allow a random sequence of different planets that guests could experience with each ride. The ride has been updated again to include a segment that is directly connected to the new film and it's a lot of fun. I won't spoil it (if you really want to know, you can find it out there in other articles online).  The new segment is always included with each ride.

Karen: Venerable Space Mountain became Hyperspace Mountain for the foreseeable future, and I heard it was great -but sadly, I can't tell you first hand, as that's one ride that's always left my head spinning!

Karen: The old Carousel of Progress has been transformed into the Star Wars Launch Bay. This served as a large theater/showroom/meet and greet/giftshop area. There were tons of models and props from all of the Star Wars films. Honestly I don't know if these were props used in the films or replicas, but they were all quite detailed and impressive. One part of the building was showing a documentary about the making of the new film. I only watched a little -I still want to be surprised! - but it sounded very interesting, and I am hoping this might be an extra on the eventual blu-ray. 

Karen: Two character meet and greets were available:if you were looking for a good guy, then you were able to go into what looked like the Rebel base on Yavin (the planet at the end of the original Star Wars) and get a big hug from Chewbacca! Chewie was very friendly, although I couldn't understand anything he said -and he did make all those wookiee sounds just like in the movies. My husband and I got a picture with him. 

Karen: If you're feeling more on the dark side, you could go see the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader. Boy, that guy didn't let up. He kept telling us we didn't know the power of the dark side, and we would wind up joining him. He was not a all. 

Karen: The old Captain EO theater was converted to show Path of the Jedi, a ten minute film that included highlights from all of the previous films, and a short clip from the new film, with some extra effects included, like lights and wind. Some folks scoffed at this, but I have to say, I enjoyed seeing moments from the original trilogy up on a big screen again, in a beautiful, sharp picture. If anything, it got me excited for the new film, which obviously was the point of all of this! In that respect, Disney did a great job -probably every fifth person I saw in the park was wearing a Star Wars t-shirt or hat, and you could feel the enthusiasm for the new film. If there was anything that didn't go over well, it was the wretched food offerings at the revamped Tomorrowland Terrace. The chicken sandwich reminded me of the nasty frog-creatures Jabba gulped down in Return of the Jedi, and I was told the burgers were equally awful. Do yourself a favor and go have lunch over at Cafe Orleans instead.

Karen: All in all, we really enjoyed this taste of Star Wars at Disneyland and can't wait to see what the Star Wars Land will be like in a couple of years. I'm sure it will be fantastic. More than that, I can't wait to see The Force Awakens in a couple of days! May the Force be with all of you!

Bronze Age Babies Extra:

I couldn't end the post without giving you a look at the Super-Hero HQ that sits right above the Star Wars Launch Bay. It seems a little empty at this point, but there's a whole section of Iron Man armors, and we also saw an Ant-Man costume among other things. Didn't do the meet and greet with Spider-Man or Thor though. Maybe next time!

Longbox Graveyard: Star Wars Card Trader

The Retroist: Star Wars Book and Record

Between The Pages: A long time ago in a bookstore far, far away…

Son of Crapbox Of Cthullu: Growing up Star Wars
Mystery V-Log: My Personal Star Wars History

Superhero Satellite: Star Wars Episode 7: The Toys Awaken

In My Not So Humble Opinion: Star Wars Sketch Book


William said...

Looks like a really good time. Sounds like you enjoyed it.

One funny thing I noticed. In the photos that include your husband, he is smiling big but he also has a clenched fist in both shots. Looks like he's preparing to deck Chewie and Vader if they get out of line. LOL

david_b said...

Looks like a wonderful team-up event today. I most likely won't see it until next week sometime, or after Christmas.

Early reviews are ecstatic, which is encouraging. Enjoy..!!

SonOfCthulhu said...

"Vader is not a Hugger"...This needs to be a meme or a button or a bumper sticker or something.

Martinex1 said...

That just looks like a lot of fun. The gallery of armor looks like out of the movie or comic. It looks like there is a grey armor in the background.

A couple of years ago at Disney World my 8 year old participated in the Jedi training and got to light saber fight with Vader. Fun times. Cannot wait to see what Disney adds to the parks.

I agree on the "Vader is not a Hugger" comment; that would make a great t shirt. Looking forward to the new movie.

Garett said...

Thanks for the tour Karen! My girlfriend and I and a couple friends have our tickets and are looking forward to the new movie. We watched all the other Star Wars movies in Machete Order over a couple of sessions to get ourselves fired up:

Karen said...

Thanks for your comments guys. I love Disneyland and I love Star Wars, so it's easy for me to sing the praises of incorporating SW into the parks, but I know many Disney purists absolutely hate it. I sort of understand where they are coming from, because I am not fond of Avatar being added to Animal Kingdom at Disneyworld. I can rationalize Star Wars, but not Avatar. Does it make any sense? Probably not.

Garrett, I really enjoyed reading that Machete Order article. Thank you for the link. I've always been a proponent of the saga being Luke's story, despite Lucas's revisionist insistence that it is all about Vader. So I could see this order for viewing the films as it puts an emphasis on Luke.Plus, we ditch one of the prequel films (although I'd rather sit through Jake Lloyd than Hayden Christensen, but oh well).

Martinex1 said...

I feel exactly the same way about Avatar Land at Animal Kingdom. I think it is because for me that movie does not have the lasting impact (yet?). Star Wars has proven itself to have captured a place in cultural history much like Mickey Mouse. It has a large following, is iconic, and has legs. I am not sure Avatar has proven that yet and the land seems a bit cart before the horse. Does Avatar have the staying power of Star Wars? Maybe I am missing it but I don't see Avatar conventions, and cosplay, and discussion of the movie, and fans quoting the lines. It may truly exist and I am just not aware of it.

I do look forward to the day that Disney recoups the amusement park rights for Marvel, but likewise I would not necessarily expect to see a New Warriors or Darkhawk ride. Spidey, Cap, even the Guardians of the Galaxy...sure, but only really proven commodities that can fill a world of adventure. I think maybe I'm a pop fiction snob.

The Prowler said...

I had no interest in the new Star Wars. I've been there and done that and, like many a Star Wars guy, I, II and III left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Actually, I & II did, I've never seen III.

And then........ this morning, my youngest asked if I was going to see the new Star Wars. I answered that I hadn't planned on it and she offered that if I needed someone to see it with, she would go with me. So it turned into a father daughter thing!!! Christmas Miracle anyone? Anyone?

(Yeah ol' man rhythm gettin' in my shoes
There's no use-a sittin' here a-singin' the blues
So be my guest, you got nothin' to lose
Won't cha let me take you on a sea cruise

Oo-ee, oo-ee baby
Oo-ee, oo-ee baby
Oo-ee, oo-ee baby
Won't cha let me take you on a sea cruise).

Anonymous said...

May the merchandising tie-ins be with you ......

OK first off while I am not an uber-fan like Karen, I am stoked for this new movie (gonna see it Sunday). I'm kinda sad that Lucas himself is not directly involved in the making of this, but in my opinion he kinda muddled up the Star Wars legacy with those three prequels. I think it's instructive to note just how great the buzz and massive expectations are for this new movie.

For me personally, I'm most excited to see Luke, Han and Leia back onscreen again after 30 years. Just what is the deal with Mark Hamill not being listed in any of the trailers? Do we see a new Sith Lord in the future? Hmmmm ....

- Mike 'those aren't the droids you're looking for' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Redartz said...

Some very cool images and memories, Karen. The Disney park/Star Wars experience makes for great family share time. We caught the one at Orlando some years ago; our youngest son was beside himself with excitement. And I still have my "Droid" ID tag...

Looking forward to catching the new film, although not in a huge hurry. By the way, I may be one of a scarce few who actually enjoyed " Phantom Menace". Jar Jar notwithstanding, loved the pod race.

Doug said...

Great job, partner. I will probably never get to Disneyland (only been to Disney World once), but you made me feel like I was along for that vacation.

We're going to see the film as a family (well, my sons and daughter-in-law) on the 26th. No chance I stay spoiler-free until then, but hoping...


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