Well, the 5th and final weekend has come to an end at Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Many of the events throughout Star Wars Weekends this year stayed constant throughout all 5 weekends. The Star Wars celebrities and the content in the shows are what really made going to Star Wars Weekends unique each week. This week's celebrities were: Ray Park (Darth Maul), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Ashley Eckstein (Ashoka Tano), Taylor Gray (Ezra Bridger) and Frank Oz (Yoda). As always, James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan) was the host of Star Wars Weekends.
One of the most popular parts of every day during weekends is the Celebrity Motorcade which happens daily at 11:00 A.M. It was cool to see Ashley Eckstein and James Arnold Taylor (who are professional parade wavers) do their thing. Ashley and James are always both so animated and do a great job showing excitement during the parade. Peter Mayhew even made his way on to the back of one of the Camaros to wave at his screaming fans. Taylor Gray made it out for his 2nd time at Star Wars Weekends and fans enjoyed seeing the man behind Ezra Bridger come to life before their eyes. The biggest draw for Star Wars Weekends #5, however, was Frank Oz. This was Frank's first time at Star Wars Weekends and he did a fantastic job waving to fans and communicating with the fans who spoke to him.
As always, the Star Wars: Rebels show featured a voice actor from the show and this particular week was a show featuring Taylor Gray. Taylor is a younger man who is just getting acclimated to the Star Wars Universe and it's fans. You can tell he is eager to learn and to finally be a part of this amazing community. The Rebels show was an interview hosted by James Arnold Taylor in which he asked Taylor Gray about some of his prior work and what his first thoughts were when he found out he was going to play Ezra. The Star Wars Season 2 official trailer played at the conclusion of the show along with an exclusive sneak peak scene (which was the same scene shown in weekends #2 and #3). This show was daily at 1:45 in the afternoon.
At 3:15 in the afternoon, another show took the stage. The show is called "Stars of the Saga". Peter Mayhew and Ray Park both took the stage to discuss their experiences working on the films. This week's show was great because it seemed like every day had new content. The discussion with the stars was almost like a continuation of the conversation the previous day. They even talked to Peter Mayhew a little bit about working on The Force Awakens and they showed the trailer at the end of every show (which got the fans really excited). They did not reveal too much about The Force Awakens, but Peter did discuss a few things about his reactions when first getting into the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon and what was going through his head when he first got the call to reprise his role as Chewbacca in the newest film.
At 5:15 P.M daily was "A Conversation with Frank Oz". Much like the other shows, this show felt like a continuation of the show the previous day. This was nice in that if you saw the show in consecutive days, the content was new. Frank Oz was not signing autographs so the only way for fans to see Frank was to wave at him in the parade and go to this show. Many people waited outside the theater in line for hours for a chance to see Mr. Oz in this show. A good portion of this show was getting a deeper look into Frank's life and his involvement in the Muppet's and his directing life. Frank did touch on Yoda in every show and it was extremely fascinating to hear what he had to say about his experiences bringing Yoda to life.
James Arnold Taylor and Ray Park also had their own shows. "Obi-Wan and Beyond" is James' show in which he shows off his talents as a voice actor and Ray's show called "Visit to the Maul" shows off Ray's skills as a martial artist. These shows rotated every day so that they each could have a time slot depending on the day. These shows rotated daily using the 7:00 P.M. time slot. For more detailed coverage of these shows, please refer to the Weekend #4 recap here: http://twinsunsoutpost.com/blog/2015/6/8/star-wars-weekends-4-complete-event-coverage
The Rebel Hanger was another great experience. The Rebel Hanger is a sit-down service restaurant that attendees could make reservations for in advance. This place was decorated as if the Rebels had taken over a hanger and Sabine had gotten to everything with graffiti. The decorations were great as well as all the food (which was Star Wars themed). Sabine and Ezra made their rounds taking pictures with fans as well as a few Imperial Officers. There was also an exclusive X-Wing glow cube which you could purchase with your drink. This glow cube was slightly larger than the Millennium Falcon and Death Star glow cubes which could be acquired throughout the park.
It's always sad walking out of the gates of Disney's Hollywood Studios for the last time during Star Wars Weekends. Whether you stayed out all night for autographs, watched the parade, rode Star Tours, purchased merchandise, saw the shows or just wanted to be around other Star Wars fans, being at Star Wars Weekends is always a blast. We will anxiously await information and news about Star Wars Weekends 2016.