Star Wars Weekends, the annual event taking place over 4 or 5 weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park in Orlando, has come and gone. This year was arguably the best ever oweing no small part to the first ever participation by Mark Hamill. Next year, with Episode VII only months away, should be awesome.
Still walking around, enjoying the atmosphere and the joy of being around other like-minded fans, I couldn't help but feel there are still some pieces missing that could make the event truly epic.
- The most obvious first, actors from the Episode VII cast. Yeah.
- My daughter wanted Princess Leia hair. A kiosk or mini boutique that braided girls' hair like Leia or Padme would be awesome. It would be like a face painting kiosk but for hair.
- More characters. The ones they have now are cool, but now that Disney owns Star Wars they could put in a little more effort. How awesome would an animatronic Jabba the Hurt be? Or a Rancor like Roxy? Or Yoda! Random aliens were sorely rare this year. Not much more than Bith, Jawas, and Gamoreans. There needs to be more variety and more presence.
- Use more of the characters they already have. Jedi Mickey and Vader Goofy are cool, but why not expand this? Phineas and Ferb are right there. Dress them up as their characters from the Star Wars special. Lightning McQueen and Mater greet guests in that area as well. why not dress them up as their Star Wars toys, Lightning Skywalker and Darth Mater? Bring over more crossover characters like Stitch Yoda.
- Expand Darth Mall. It seemed small to me this year. More items and more variety would be an improvement. There are some awesome Star Wars items normally only available on the internet. Darth Mall should try to include more of these vendors like ThinkGeek.
- Prop display. There's a traveling prop display already. I saw it at Orlando science center a couple years ago. Why not bring this or something similar to Star Wars Weekends. That would really be a special treat to a lot of fans.
- Have more fan participation events. I see so many awesome homemade dresses and costumes at the Star Wars Weekends. Why not use the Jedi Training Academy stage to put on a little fashion show where fans can show off their fan-made couture and compete for a small prize.
- Keep James Arnold Taylor and Ashley Eckstein as hosts. They are a huge part of what has made Star Wars Weekends so awesome in recent years. Their show may be ended but their energy and enthusiasm for Star Wars is contagious.