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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 Roundup

28 Apr

From PC World: Homosexuality “Does Not Exist in Star Wars”:

After a user expressed concern that Bioware had “disallowed” the use of the terms “gay” and “lesbian” on the boards in a thread titled “GLBT discrimination in forums?” a Bioware forum moderator dropped in and posted this:

As I have stated before, these are terms that do not exist in Star Wars.

Thread closed.

Kotaku picked that up last night, replying

OK, but…they do, uh, realise that the people actually playing the game do not exist in Star Wars either, right? They’re real people?

…followed by a torrent of comments ranging from the power legitimacy of forum moderators, to the sexual orientation of Chewbacca and C3PO.

What was it Luke said approaching the Death Star… “I have a very bad feeling about this?”

Um, excuse me? Are you really so sure that quote should be attributed to Luke?

From (and via) BoingBoing: Star Wars cupcakes, pool toys and kites, a cheap R2D2 laptop for kids, and the most awesomest homemade Star Wars costumes since I went out on Halloween 1978 as a giant paper mache R2D2.

From Photoshop Disasters: Tatooine’s Best Restaurant, with an extra-romantic double sunset.

From StudiosCentral: Logo unveiled for Star Wars Weekends 2009, and yeah I’m not that bitter that I can’t go this year since the weekends are all during the school year, really I’m not, except that I wish I could be at Matt’s fab shindig during weekend one. But if you’re lucky enough to be going, and especially if you’ve never gone before, please allow me to recommend episode 553 of WDW Today.

Oh, and finally, we have to go back to BoingBoing, for Star Wars considered as an episode of Dallas. Man.

Things Admiral Akbar Knows

6 Mar

And yes, I will take this opportunity to shamelessly plug the Studios Central Star Wars Weekend site. The rates for their private dinner have dropped….so if you’re on the fence about going, check it out again.

Peter Mahew to Appear Again at Star Wars Weekends?

19 Feb

Do I wish I were going to Star Wars Weekends 2009, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Absolutely! Especially given that Peter Mahew seems to be appearing again, according to his website and

And here’s another Star Wars LOL, just because.

Ewok Roundup

16 Oct

Meeting Warwick Davis at Star Wars Weekends 2008

Paploo (pronounced 'Pablo') and Pal Mickey, lounging back at the Hampton Inn, photo courtesy of my BFF Lisa. Note that Paploo has been signed by Warwick Davis!

Adorable child in costume, courtesy of the 501st, who (by the way) completely rock

Adorable child in costume, image courtesy of the 501st, who (by the way) completely rock

Found on Flickr, courtesy of markleggett via Creative Commons License

Found on Flickr, courtesy of markleggett via Creative Commons License

My Star Wars Weekends Top 7

6 Jul

Studios Central TeamNo, I am not done talking about Star Wars Weekends 2008 yet. Not even close. If y’all are lucky, I’ll stop talking about it sometime in January…and take a couple weeks off, before I then start yammering on again in anticipation of Star Wars Weekends 2009!

In last week’s Jentasmic! column over at StudiosCentral, I share my Star Wars Weekends Top 7 (with apologies to Stacey). A tidbit:

5. Attend Hyperspace Hoopla. You’ve seen it on YouTube, now get down for real. We’re not just talking Dancing with the Star Wars Stars…we’re talking Hyperspace Hoopla Hustle, baby! You didn’t fly all the way to Orlando just to stand around self-consciously. Put on your boogie shoes.

Oh, and hey, that picture there? That’s some of the StudiosCentral crew: Glenn Sonoda (right), Matt Hochberg (center), and yours truly (the chick).

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