Versatile actor John Ratzenberger has worn many hats in his career. Whether it’s the cold weather military hat of Major Bren Derlin, Mack’s “Rust-eze” trucker cap or a mailman’s cap on the longtime hit series “Cheers,” he’s portrayed many favorite characters in his acting career.
Although he had only a brief role in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, it was a memorable one. His character, Major Bren Derlin, made the recommendation to Princess Leia to close the Echo Base doors for the night, just as the Rebels were losing hope for the safe return of Luke and Han on the frigid planet of Hoth.
The quick-witted actor sat down with us during his very first Star Wars Weekends appearance to talk about his memories of Star Wars, his favorite Disney•Pixar role, and how he once had an assigned parking space next to Kermit the Frog.
The curtain will close on Star Wars Weekends 2014 this weekend, giving you one more chance to feel the Force before the Wookiees, Twi’leks and Ewoks (oh my!) depart our galaxy until their 2015 return.
New items will include fun Darth Vader shirts, and some character T-shirts, a glass mug, and a spinner pin with characters from the upcoming Disney XD animated series, Star Wars Rebels.
Other new items include a 3-inch Vinylmation set that was originally designed for Vinylmation – Star Wars series 2 (it contains a Jawa and R5-D4), and a limited edition, D-Tech on Demand case for iPhone 5/5S featuring Goofy and Max. You can also find a new Disney Theme Park Tagalong, featuring Jedi Master Yoda.
For the first time, we will release two limited edition, retail MagicBands with pre-printed images (edition size 2,500 each). There will be a green retail MagicBand with Yoda’s image and a red retail MagicBand with Darth Vader’s image (colors were selected to match their light saber colors). Each retail MagicBand will be packaged in a decorative Star Wars Weekends box (you can use the free Aurasma app on your mobile device to make the box image come to life).
Finally to celebrate this fifth weekend, I would love your help in selecting the next Star Wars-themed Disney Racer that will be released in spring 2015. You may recall that we recently re-launched Disney Racers at Disney Parks. This is the first time we’ve asked our readers to select the next design to be made. When it’s released, the packaging for this die-cast metal car will have a “fan choice” call-out.
Please take a moment to vote for your favorite design from the list below. Voting will only be available for three days, June 12-15, 2014. We will reveal the winning entry on Monday, June 16, on the Disney Parks Blog.
Actor Mark Hamill, who portrayed farmboy-turned-galactic-hero Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga, makes his debut appearance at Star Wars Weekends today at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. He is scheduled to appear today, tomorrow and Sunday.
Activities where guests can see the acclaimed actor include the “Legends of the Force” motorcade and a star conversation about his career and role in the original Star Wars trilogy. To enable more guests to see and hear this special edition talk show, entitled “A Conversation with Mark Hamill,” the Star Wars Weekends event team has made arrangements for a simulcast at various locations throughout the park. Be sure to ask a cast member when you arrive for viewing locations.
We caught up with Mark at the theme park while he was doing final walk-throughs with the Disney Parks Entertainment team. After posing for a few photos with Jedi Mickey Mouse, he spoke with us about the Star Wars legacy, his childhood visits to Disneyland and what makes Star Wars fans special to him.
For more info. about Star Wars Weekends and to download an event guide, head to disneyworld.com/starwarsweekends. Also, join the conversation online by using the event’s hashtag, #SWW2014.
In addition to receiving access to the Star Wars Rebel Challenge (Star Wars Half Marathon 10k and Star Wars 5k), guests who book this trip can participate in an exclusive group run in iconic Hollywood and access the Star Wars Wookiee Welcome Party.
This galactic seven-day, six-night itinerary is a must for both Star Wars and Disney fans alike. For more information on the Disney Backstage & Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend trip, please click here. You may also call 1-800-543-0865 for dates, availability and to make reservations.
It was the summer of 1977, and I swear I saw “Star Wars: Episode IV” at least 10 times in the movie theater. Let’s face it, there was not a lot to do in Southeast Iowa. But I was hooked, especially the first time the Millennium Falcon made the jump to light speed. SO COOL!
So you can imagine my excitement when the team told me we got approval to do a Star Wars-themed runDisney weekend at Disneyland Resort, January 15-18, 2015! I was equally geeked when our advertising team took a scene from the movie where R2-D2 and Chewbacca are playing some kind of galactic chess, and C-3PO quips, “I suggest a new strategy, R2: let the Wookiee win,” and made it the heart of our advertising campaign, #LetTheWookieeWin.
Whether you’re a runDisney veteran, a first-time rookie or even a Wookiee, Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort is going to be a fantastic weekend – and another great reason to runDisney. So may the Force, or should I say the Course, be with you!
Now if an invitation and Jedi mind tricks from some marketing guy at runDisney isn’t enough, maybe this message Lord Vader himself will convince you to join him to complete your training.
Available only at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and only through June 15, chocolate fans will have a hard time deciding between the two (you can always buy one of each and share). The chocolate Darth Vader cupcake also has a little peanut butter in the topping, while the chocolate Yoda cupcake features a rich hazelnut buttercream frosting with a sprinkle of crunchy chocolate-toffee.
If you plan on attending Star Wars Weekends 2014, be sure to try out some of the new technology designed to bring the event to life in new ways.
For the first time, Star Wars Weekends is utilizing augmented reality to provide guests “virtual” character experiences, added information in the guide maps and even interaction with the event logo itself.
Lots of fun is centered in Darth’s Mall, thanks to our official technology partner, HP.
Before arriving at the park, download the free app., Aurasma, from the App Store or Android Market to your smartphone or tablet. (Tip: While the app. will prompt you to register, you are not required to do so. You can choose to advance by clicking “Skip” in the lower right on the final welcome screen.)
Utilizing HP technology, there are special locations to utilize Aurasma in the park and even on the event’s guide map. Join me and Star Wars Weekends celebrity host James Arnold Taylor as we demonstrate some of the ways you can have even more interactive fun this year.
Star Wars Weekends is here once again. It is definitely one of my favorite times of year as a Star Wars fan because that means here at Yellow Shoes Creative Group we get to create some awesome new images for the event. It has become one of our favorite things to “work” on each year.
There seems to be endless great ideas around the combination of our favorite Star Wars characters in situations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. These photo shoots are always a lot of fun as well, giving direction to a Wookiee — who could ask for more?
Anyway, I am excited to share with you today one of our latest images for this year. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did making it and see you at Star Wars Weekends!
Which image is your favorite? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.
Toys have been an important part of Star Wars ever since Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope debuted in theaters in 1977. I was happy to see several new toys not previously discussed including a new wave of Disney-Pixar’s Cars as Star Wars characters and a giant clone trooper that is unique to Disney Parks.
Other favorite items include a calendar that contains marketing artwork for Star Wars Weekends, light-up glasses and reusable tote bags. There will also be several new apparel items including items from Ashley Eckstein’s incredible Her Universe line. I love the dress that reminded me of bed sheets and curtains I once had as a child!
Speaking of apparel, we will be offering select Star Wars Rebels shirts on our Disney Parks online store from May 16-22. These will be the same shirts offered at Darth’s Mall, just in case you aren’t able to attend the event this year. Visit http://www.DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents to place an order.