1987 - Star Tours, a motion simulator attraction, debuts at Disneyland, CA. It is billed as “from the creative forces of Disney and George Lucas.”
1989 - Star Tours opens in both Tokyo Disneyland and Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios), Walt Disney World.
1992 - Euro Disneyland (now Disneyland Park, Paris) opens with Star Tours as one of its original attractions.
1997 - Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios) hosts the first of its “Star Wars Weekends,” a festival featuring appearances of characters from the Star Wars franchise, a parade and stage shows.
2011 - Star Tours is updated to Star Tours: The Adventure Continues in 3-D in both Disneyland Park, CA and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Tokyo Disneyland’s is updated in 2013.
2012 - Disney buys Lucasfilm including the Star Wars franchise from George Lucas.
I like Disney and the Disney Parks.
I like Star Wars.
I like Star Tours.
So, why after a 27 year old association, does a electric tickle of irony arise in the back of my brain when I see Darth Vader and Imperial Stormtroopers in a Disney Park?
Probably it has to do with one word, “wars.” Because in my lifetime experience, the quintessential Disney stories were about personal growth and heroic journeys of a few friends in fantastic settings. While that squarely describes Luke Skywalker in George Lucas’ space-fantasy, it’s the charismatic Darth Vader and his Stormtroopers that are the centerpieces of Star Wars Weekends. For the uninformed, Darth Vader is the bad guy.
This weekend is the last of Star Wars Weekends for 2014.
These are 20 special banners from Disney Parks Blog celebrating SWW:
– STAR WARS WEEKENDS —
– Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, FL –
Disneyanadocious rating so far: (7/10): D D D D D D D - - -
All images © Disney Enterprises.