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Jentasmic! on Lucasfilm Acquisition: Do’s and Don’ts for Disney

2 Nov
Minnie Mouse as Princess Leia

At Star Wars Weekends 2008

When news broke earlier this week about Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, all my geeky internet feeds simultaneously exploded with joy and surprise. And I don’t just mean the Disney geeks. The anime geeks, the gaming geeks, the sci-fi geeks . . . everybody was freaking out. And almost everybody seemed overjoyed.

But I’m feeling a good bit more cautious about this acquisition. Sure, it could mean good things; I’ve enjoyed the results of Disney’s collaboration with Lucasfilm over the years. I’m a big fan of Star Tours 2.0, and had a great time at Star Wars Weekends. But I also fear there are many ways this could go wrong. From my Jentasmic! column today at StudiosCentral:

DO learn from your experience in the Pixar merger. The response to Brave from both critics and fans, plus the increasing reliance on sequels, has me a little worried that Pixar may be losing its identity as some of its key players have taken on significant roles in other areas of the Walt Disney Company. And I’m sure there’s plenty to be learned from the Marvel experience as well. Don’t be afraid to look squarely at your mistakes and learn from them. It’s equally important to look carefully at what you’ve done right, so you can do it again.

Head on over to StudiosCentral to read the rest. I promise you there’s a non-gratuitous mention of the Star Wars Holiday Special, which isn’t usually all that easy to pull off.

Studios Central Meets at WDW Star Wars Weekends 2011

1 Feb
Minnie Mouse at Star Wars Weekend 2008

Minnie Mouse at Star Wars Weekend 2008

Over on Studios Central, Matt says:

Okay, we don’t know the official Star Wars Weekend dates officially quite yet, but I’m willing to bet Glenn’s salary that SWW will begin on the weekend of May 20-22, 2011 and so Studios Central will be holding some meets for those of you in attendance!

Being a Studios Central columnist myself, I’m sure that Glenn’s salary is substantial! So Matt must be pretty darn sure. And the meets that he’s got planned sound quite appealing to me, especially the lunch. You never know what’s gonna happen at a Studios Central lunch.

Jentasmic: Pablo, Marlin, and Me

18 Jun

I’m staring down the empty nest. How can my child be growing up so quickly? Somehow, all this middle-aged angst brings thoughts to mind of a well-loved Ewok named Pablo, and our voyage together to Star Wars Weekends 2008. From today’s Jentasmic! column at StudiosCentral:

Pablo’s traveled much of the world with us. He’s been to Paris, Kahului, New York City, Anaheim, Orlando . . . too many cities to count, actually. But as he is a precious friend to us, and can’t walk on his own, he generally doesn’t set out with us to tour the city, lest he somehow fall behind in the maddening crowd. Anyone who has parented a small child, or seen Toy Story, knows the potential horror of the favorite attachment object becoming A Lost Toy.

In 2008, when my son and I were planning our trip to Star Wars Weekends, it was always clear that Pablo would need to accompany us to the park just for one day, for one special moment: To meet Warwick Davis, and perhaps even enjoy a photo op or two. Sure, Pablo would’ve been safer back in the hotel room, but nobody would really be happier that way.

I’ll be spending this evening, of course, watching Toy Story 3, at my local IMAX in 3D. I understand this, too, will make me weep. Oh joy.

Jentasmic! If I Were Going to Star Wars Weekends. . .

21 May

Yet again, I’m not going to be at Star Wars Weekends. Now mind you, I’ve only been there once, but that doesn’t stop me from griping about it on a regular basis, and occasionally daydreaming about what I’d do if I could be there. From this week’s Jentasmic! column at StudiosCentral:

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I’d never been to Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But in 2008, I attended for the first time, and since then there’s been a radical disturbance in the force: Since I haven’t managed to get back for another round, I therefore spend each May wishing I were headed down to Florida for the weekend, to cavort once again with Ewoks, stormtroopers, and celebrity guests.

But instead, I find myself perusing the schedule posted at the Star Wars Weekend section of Studios Central, and thinking of what my top priorities would be if, perchance, I were able to hop a flight this morning and take in a little time with the Empire and the Rebel Alliance.

And by the way, Matt “Mr. Outstanding” Hochberg’s got the full Jentasmic! archives available over on the site. If you’re looking for an interesting offbeat Disney read, you could do worse than to browse through the past articles.

Jentasmic!: I Heart Vader’s Fist

8 May
Chllin' with R2 at the Weird Al show last summer

Chllin' with R2 at the Weird Al show last summer

No, it’s not some new geekcore band….Vader’s Fist is the 501st Legion, whom many of you have seen at Disney’s Hollywood Studios during Star Wars Weekends. This week’s Jentasmic! column at StudiosCentral is a love letter of sorts, talking about my various run-ins with this fabulous group.

But it’s not just that they’ve got fabulous wardrobe…it’s that they put their time and money into creating memorable experiences for Star Wars fans. Check out their Mission Statement: “…The Legion is a volunteer club formed for the express purpose of bringing together costume enthusiasts and giving them a collective identity within which to operate. The Legion’s aims are to celebrate the Star Wars movies through the wearing of costumes, to promote the quality and improvement of costumes and props, and most importantly to contribute to the local community through charity and volunteer work…” As much as I enjoyed the presence of the 501st at Star Wars Weekends last year, I was every bit as happy to see them about a month later, at a Weird Al concert in New Hampshire, swaying back and forth on stage as he performed The Saga Begins. They’d also brought a full-size radio-controlled R2-D2, which entertained the crowds before the performance began. Unexpectedly spotting R2 in the crowd as we entered the pavilion almost made the 3-hour (with traffic) ride worthwhile.

Head on over to StudiosCentral to read the rest!

Ran into a cousin at ConnectiCon!

Ran into a cousin at ConnectiCon!

Star Wars Weekends Fashion Alert

7 May

I may not organize my t-shirts as effectively as my stylish BFF, but I do specialize in planning ahead. So, yesterday I placed an order for a couple of the geek-chic Studios Central Star Wars Weekends shirts made available at Cafe Press by our friend Mr Matt “Outstanding” Hochberg.

While I was shopping, I couldn’t resist trying my hand at a little design myself. You can see the results over at Zazzle, and if you’re a coder or symbolic logic geek it might even make sense.

Or, if you’re a crafty type headed to Star Wars Weekends, this is the perfect time to DIY some gear! Last night I pulled out a piece of blank stencil, found a Rebel logo from Google image search, and with the help of my trusty exacto knife I now have a nifty little stencil, perfect for a little hot pink fabric paint on a black tank top. Target actually has some nice (and inexpensive) “layering” tank tops in a few different cuts and patterns, quite suitable for customization and embellishment.

And hey, while we’re talking about Star Wars . . . this awesome picture comes from Dark Roasted Blend:

Oh and hey, while we’re being random here can I just say I’m all atwitter these days? But I’m having a hard time finding any of my buddies. I dunno whether that means they’re just not in the twitterverse, or that I lack the skills to find them. So hey, if any of my buddies are twittering out there and don’t mind me following, drop me a note!

Star Wars Weekend Planning Chats

2 May

It’s amazing: The Phantom Menace is even worse than I remembered. My youngling is training for the Padawan Mind Challenge at Star Wars Weekends (we’ll be there in 48 days!), and as part of his preparation we’re watching the entire 6-episode saga in order (episode order, not chronological release order). So, tonight we’re watching The Phantom Menace, and had to stop after the podrace for a little intermission. I’m not sure whether I was about to hurl, or about to fall asleep, but either way I needed a little break.

One of these days I gotta track down a copy of The Phantom Edit. If nothing else, it’s a shorter version.

Now, if intermission weren’t wrapping up soon, I’d probably be heading over to one of the Star Wars Weekends planning chats over at StudiosCentral, which is scheduled for tonight at 8PM EDT. There’s another one in a few weeks, May 30, also at 8PM EDT. I did read their article on planning for autograph sessions, which had some cool tips, and which sent me scurrying over to eBay to browse through such items as ewok valentines and comic books, pondering what I might like to have Warwick Davis sign.

But alas, it’s time to head back to the couch. I’m glad we’re getting this one out of the way first, though. In my opinion, episodes 1-3 get better as they go along (ie, I like 2 better than 1, and 3 better than 2). And it won’t be long before we get to the original trilogy, and those of course are the ones that won my heart. (“So, whaddya think of her Han?” “I’m tryin’ not to, kid.”)

[Update: Hey cool, I just realized I was wrong about the dates, and that the first planning chat wasn’t May 2, it’s May 9! So there’s still plenty of time to make it to one or both.]

My Star Wars Obsession Continues

23 Apr

It’s 57 days until I get on that flight to MCO for Star Wars Weekend! Not that I’m counting or anything. Not like I’m planning every detail in my mind already. But y’know, all kindza cool Star Wars stuff has been catching my eye on the interwebs lately.

More MP3s at Disneyland Paris Music Site

10 Jul

Does my Palm Pilot remind me to check the Disneyland Paris Music Site for new files every two weeks? Yes. Am I a geek? Yes indeed. And it pays off . . . today I found new files in two places:

  • Their “Music” page, which updates every two weeks, now has “Good Morning Walt Disney Studios Show Music” and “Steamboat Willie” album music.
  • Their “Bonus” page, which updates periodically but seemingly without any pattern, now has “Oasis Theme Area Music” (which I couldn’t seem to download properly) and the full ride music for “Soarin’ Over California”

Chewie Dancing!

9 Jun

You should be dancin’, yeah! Goodness knows I wish I were at Star Wars Weekends!!

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