Week 1: May 18, 19, 20 2012
Photos & Story by Nabil Carrillo - Nabil 6901

 

THE FORCE RETURNS TO THE HOUSE OF MOUSE!
Sandtroopers invaded this year's Star Wars Weekends again and it was a blast. First of all the heat was not as bad as last year but there was much more excitement for a couple of reasons. All the celebrity guests attending such as Celebrity Hosts: James Arnold Taylor & Ashley Eckstein did a great job of making the fans welcome whether it was your first time or a return trip. Celebrity guests Ray Park, Andy Secombe and Dee Bradley Baker rounded out the rest of the stars your could meet and greet. Jerome Blake was originally supposed to attend but cancelled for unknown reasons. 

There are tons of exciting events like the Celebrity Motorcade (Held at the Mickey's Magical Hat) where you see lots of Star Wars characters from all 6 films and the Clone Wars series. Great shows such as "Behind the Force" held at the (Premier Theater) which is hosted by Ashley Eckstein takes us behind the scenes of how they make the Clone Wars, from George Lucas discussing ideas, to rough sketches, to character designs, voiceovers, editing, sound mixing and the final cut. After the motorcade comes the "Stars of the Saga" hosted by James A Taylor where he sits down with the visiting Celebrities who had the great honor to work with George and the great cast of the Prequel or Original Trilogy.

For opening weekend he sat down with the two people who brought to life the characters of Watto & Darth Maul, Andy Secombe and Ray Park. The event closed the show with a song alongside Jedi Mickey. The third show is the exciting Obi-Wan & Beyond where yet again James Arnold Taylor takes the stage and explains his life as a voice actor. I really enjoyed hearing how he began his career as well as the struggles that came with his success. Truly the most inspirational show I've ever seen and it's a show no one should miss out on. The following show is hosted by Darth Maul himself Ray Park and he demonstrates the martial arts of wushu and the moves that he used for the character of Darth Maul in Episode I. 

Once you watch those shows make sure you have some time to meet your favorite actors. You'll need a fast pass and you should go bright and early to obtain one. I had the great honor to meet Ray Park and Dee Baker, which was very cool for me to meet them both. While being at Hollywood Studios a must thing on your to do list is to ride on the new attraction Star Tours "The Adventures Continue". It's a fun and exciting ride, once your done you'll end up in the store "Tatooine Traders" based on Anakin's homestead and you'll have the chance to buy t-shirts, toys and anything with a Star Wars / Disney logo.

This year we welcomed the new "Droid Factory" where you can build your own Droid any way you want and give it your own name. The exclusive store is "Darth's Mall" where you can find all of the exclusive items you desire. You'll find more items the first week such as Opening Weekend pins, beach towels, shirts, hats, toys and just about anything else you can imagine. It is definitely a store to checkout and you might want to have lots of cash on you just to be safe. Thanks to my brother Shamir and best friend Jose for going with and helping out with the mission. United We Find!

PHOTO GALLERY
To see the photo gallery containing 180 photos click here.