I’ll admit, I wasn’t a big fan of Star Wars growing up.
I remember seeing Episode One in theaters back in the 90’s because my best friend at the time and her family were all nerds. I didn’t understand what was going on or who was who… I was only like 9 or something at the time. But I remember the pod races and that I really liked Jar Jar Binks.
When I started working at Disney in 2011 I had not seen a single Star Wars movie (I barely remembered Episode One at this point) so when the Star Wars Vinylmation collection came out I was a little confused as to why everyone was chasing after it (I worked at D-Street at the time which was the Vinylmation hub) and who the heck was Obi Wan and why was the chaser a ghost of him?!
I obviously knew the main gist of things like who Darth Vader was and who Yoda was and all of this but I didn’t know very much else.
A friend of mine ended up buying a case of the Vinylmations chasing after Ghost Obi and he was trading the rest so he gave me a Stormtrooper.
Began my obsession with Star Wars.
I still didn’t see movies 4, 5 and 6 until after my first Disney internship had ended in August of 2011 but when I came back to work for Disney in January of 2013 I was pretty much highly obsessed with Stormtroopers and The Dark Side.
Oh and #HailVader.
Me and my ex husband always had this on going joke that he was always placed in my favorite places. When you sign up for the DCP (Disney College Program) you accept a role but you don’t get to know your location until your first day at Traditions.
In 2010 I finally saw Toy Story and I was ultra obsessed with Buzz Lightyear. When we did our first DCP in 2011 he was put in Tomorrowland and he primarily worked at the Buzz Lightyear ride. What are the odds right? But when we extended he was able to change his role which he did into Merchandise he was put in Hollywood Studios (which was my fav park at the time) and he worked at Sweet Spells and Villains in Vogue (both of which were my favorite stores). So when we came back in 2013 I was suuuuper curious to see where they would put him. He opted for Merchandise again and he was put in Backlands, where he spent most of his time in TATOOINE.
WHAT. ARE. THE. ODDS.
This ended up not being a good thing at some point but that’s a different blog for a different day.
Back then we use to have Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, sadly I only got to attend it once.
This was new at the time — you could get a name tag with a title or location that looks SORT OF like our Cast Member ones. These are the two I got; Zellie with Rebel and Hazel with Endor. At the time I didn’t remember who was a Rebel and who was Sith so I just guess but I did know that Endor was where the cute little fuzzy bear things were from haha!
Too bad I wasn’t allowed to wear these WITH my Cast Member one when I was at work!
This was also a really cool thing — R2 was a Churro bucket! And yes he came with warm chocolate dip. And yes, it was freakin heavenly.
There was so much to see and do and I think it ran for about 4 or 5 weekends a year. Sadly they stopped doing Star Wars weekends in 2015 when news broke out about them turning Backlands into Star Wars Land.
And it was one of the only times they allowed drinks in the park at Hollywood Studios. I opted for The Dark Side because I’m a sucker for Parrot Bay. I did remove the Death Star light up ball before I took this pic and I’m now slightly regretting that choice. Why my hand is on the table is beyond me.
There were a ton of exclusive merch you could get, most sold out the first day including a pin I wanted where it was The Death Star blown up and a Trooper on the side that’s saying “My friends were on that.” but I did snag this Her Universe R2 hoodie that I was in love with. Sadly it faded and shrank with each wash. I probably should had gotten a bigger size, I don’t remember why I didn’t.
My friend got to take a photo with Darth Vader (his line was always super long so I never went to “meet” the characters) that came out really cool — he had Darth hold his hand up and my friend had his hands around his own throat as if Darth was choking him with The Force. I’m tempted to find it and steal it so I can post it here just because it came out so cool. I wish I was not self conscious so I could take photos with characters like that lol! Another friend of mine took a really cool photo with Darth Maul that she looks bad ass in but her hashtag was #iWasTerrified lmfao! I remember running into Darth Maul during breaks and man, I didn’t like standing next to him when we were buying lunch haha!
Also there are Troopers everywhere, all over the park and sometimes they stop you to ask your alliance or where you’re going or just to fuck with you.
Also, Troopers don’t like selfies.
But they also would escort Vader to and from backstage and if people tried to get in their way they would literally push you out of the way. It was mean but funny as hell.
There are so many Star Wars related memories I have gained since then and I would LOVE to fit them all into this post but I think I’ll make a different post for all of that.
May The 4th Be With You!