A Day Long Remembered

There’s a part of me that is afraid to write about Lucasfilm and Disney. If there are two obsessions I have shared since childhood, it is theme parks and Star Wars. And not always in that order. There’s a good reason why I created parkeology.com and not bloggathehutt.com. For one thing — in spite of making up that name on the spot, off the cuff, just now — I did a google for that title and found out there is already somebody writing as Blogga the Hutt. Also, I’m trying to coin a new phrase, “did a google.” T-shirts coming soon. But probably the main reason I don’t write a Star Wars blog is that I live in Orlando, FL and not Marin County, CA. I love both topics so much, I basically turned the whole decision over to geography.

The most appropriate Halloween image I could come up with.

Growing up, I would go to Disney once a year if I was lucky. But we had Star Wars on VHS all year long. If someone put a gun to my head and said “Pick between Disney theme parks or Star Wars movies,” my first reaction would be “That is a really weird thing for you to be basing your homicidal tendencies on,” but my second reaction would be “If I choose the parks, do I get to keep Star Tours?”

So yeah, I’m afraid to write about this, because I have a sneaking suspicion everyone will be writing about it. It’s all we’ll talk about for the next 5 years or however long it takes for them to finally decide which piece of Hollywood Studios they’re going to rip out to put in that Cantina restaurant, which everybody and their cousin knows has to be coming, because it has popped up at least 16 times in my Facebook feed.

And I’m not sure I want to hear everybody talking about it, you know? Because I feel like it’s sorta my thing. Like I’m the only one in the world who truly understands just how awesome this is. How could anyone out there truly have the same grasp and appreciation for both of these subjects that I have? They don’t deserve to get to talk about Star Wars and Disney together! I’m the one who built a scale model of Epcot in the same room where I filmed my shot-for-shot remake of Empire. I’m the one who took all my Star Wars action figures on Disney vacations with me. I’m the one who first drew up some Cantina restaurant concept art, lightyears before anybody thought of that idea. And I’m the one who suffered the shame when my mom said “You are a college graduate! Stop bringing your action figures into the parks.” In so many ways, this is culmination of a lifelong childhood dream. I’m the only one whose opinion matters!

This is absolutely wrong, of course. When you think of crazy fan bases, it’s hard to find two more rabid than Disney and Star Wars. You can’t walk 10 feet in Orlando without tripping over a Disney fan. And I really wish the city would do something about that, because I’m sick of all these passed out people cluttering our walkways. And you can’t go anywhere in America without bumping into a Star Wars geek. We’re everywhere. Young, old, black, white, male, female, it doesn’t matter. Disney and Star Wars are all-consuming, and the overlap is inevitable.

I suppose it comes down to jealousy on my part. It’s like it’s my wedding day, and all my friends suddenly are getting married too. This is supposed to be my special day! And now I have to share it with every Disney fan on the internet.

It would be silly to for me to try to communicate what this means. Every fan knows what this means. Harry Potter? Ha! It was cute while it lasted, Universal. Hollywood Studios resurrected from the dead. A 1-2-3 knockout punch at the box office (Pixar-Marvel-Star Wars). And I am desperately fighting the urge to tell you all my ideas for Star Wars rides. Oh, I’ve got them. Have no doubt about that. So do you. So does everyone.

So what can I contribute to the discussion? Is it possible for a little blog like this one to add anything to the crush of expert analysis that has already hit the interwebs? I think the one perspective I can offer is that I have no perspective. When it comes to this deal, I am all-in. Blindly faithful. No downside to be found. To me, this is Christmas Day, and I’m the Nintendo 64 Kid (just do a google). My thoughts did not immediately jump to whether this is a Potter killer, or what will happen to Avatarland, or jokes about Jar Jar (okay, maybe one joke), or that motherlovin’ Cantina Restaurant. That will probably all come later. Today, I’m just going to enjoy it.

Disney now owns Star Wars. How cool is that?

The bad Photoshop image I have been waiting a lifetime to create.


Comments (19)

  1. “It’s all we’ll talk about for the next 5 years or however long it takes for them to finally decide which piece of Hollywood Studios they’re going to rip out to put in that Cantina restaurant“

    7 years and solidly half the park appears to be the answer to your prescient question

    • Yikes. Has it been that long? And then they didn’t even do the real Mos Eisley Cantina…

  2. it’s a bit frightening how even more powerful an entity this makes Disney now, it’s crazy that one company owns Mickey Mouse, Captain America and Darth Vader, but at the same time, it’s also a bit glorious

    I’m also reminded of this song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeiGwfVaX_k

  3. Disney + Star Wars – George Lucas’ Constant Meddling = Greatest thing that’s ever happened..

    • I’m sure George will meddle a little bit. But you’re right, it’s the CONSTANT part that makes it bad. Empire turned out to be the best Star Wars movie because George got out of Kasdan’s way in the script, and out of Kirshner’s way in the direction. He let both of them put their stamp on it, and it rocked.

  4. I appreciate the sincerity and transparency of your comments. My experience was slightly different. My brother, looking for something else other than Disney, would constantly say how much better Star Wars was than Disney. Being on the defense team for Disney, I tried to take the defense for shows like Black Hole and Tron. But secretly, I knew Star Wars was a better product, and when Empire came out, I was truly blown away. Suddenly this was so much bigger than I ever imagined.

    So I was very excited when StarTours came out. And more excited when it was re-done last year. I’m not sure what all this looks like moving forward, but I would be thrilled if expanding the Star Wars universe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was at the top of the menu. I love Cars Land at DCA, but building out the worlds of George Lucas and Jim Henson–and yes–Pixar as well, is a triple punch I would love to see come into play

    • Empire and Raiders hold the top two spots on my favorite movie list (depending on my mood, one might be higher than the other from time to time). As a trilogy, the OT (Original Trilogy for the uninitiated) is pretty hard to top, even with some of the perceived weaknesses of Jedi.

      It’s funny you bring up being a Disney apologist for Black Hole and Tron (the latter is truly a boring, terrible movie). In the summer of 1985, two movies came out within a couple weeks of each other: Disney’s the Black Cauldron and Universal’s Back to the Future. I saw them in that order. After watching BTTF, all of my friends declared it the best movie of the summer. Being the Disney fan that I was, I tried to argue that Black Cauldron was better.

      I wear a shroud of shame for that statement to this day. Back to the Future is in my Top 5 all time. Black Cauldron is undoubtedly the worst Disney animated feature ever.

  5. Right with you.. I’m just kinda in shock still. Great images. Gotta love “blogga the hutt”, too cute. The idea of another trilogy kind of has me scared and excited at the same time. Could be the beginnings of great things to come at the parks though.

    • It is still hard to believe! And I am totally psyched about a third trilogy, and strangely enough, not scared at all. I think the biggest problem before was that George never had anybody brave enough to tell him when something was stupid. I saw somebody propose Brad Bird as a director for the next trilogy. How awesome would that be?? He ROCKED Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

      • Looking at Skyfall, Empire and also the huge problems with the prequels I am convinced that the sequels need is a character director. They need someone who is not a “big movie” guy. The action is easy, the personal relationships and that hard to nail down connection between the characters is what will elevate the sequels. I think Lucas somehow got a little lucky with Star Wars (I will nto call it A New Hope) in that regard.

  6. Epic Photoshop. Despite Teevtee’s objections.

    • Thanks! Don’t worry, I’m onto Teevtee. I’d bet dollars to donuts he had to look up Sebastian Shaw’s name before making that comment. We know who the TRUE fans are!

      • Come on Shane… seriously… I may not have your Rain-Man depth of Star Wars knowledge but knowing Sebastian Shaw is hardly deep inside info. And never forget this my somewhat younger friend… I was there, I saw Star Wars in the theater when it opened on my 9th birthday with a bunch of my best friends. While you grew up watching it on VHS I LIVED it!

        You can never knwow the thrill of discovering Star Wars as a kid, in a huge theater surrounded by your friends… transformative to say the least.

        • You’re right. I forgot how ridiculously OLD you are.

  7. You wait your entire life for the hitch-hiking ghost meets Star Wars image and then you freaking use Hayden Christensen instead of Sebastian Shaw?!?

    I’m so, so, so disappointed Shane…

    • Seconded in the disappointment

      Also monthly animal kingdom door reminder

      But seriously Disney star wars!!!! I am a happy geek right now

      • I’m pretty sure the Animal Kingdom door leads to detention block AA-23

    • I work with the tools I have available, and George Lucas has almost completely erased Sebastian Shaw from existence.

      Also, you’re just jealous you didn’t do it first.

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