It’s Star Wars Celebration week in the Star Wars Universe. The happiest time of all! And we received the incredible news yesterday that Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill are becoming Disney Legends. Plus, we learned that Fox News has a dork side. Happy Friday, everyone! Let the fanfare begin!

New Disney Legends


We were ecstatic to find out yesterday that Carrie Fisher had indeed been named a Disney Legend. The news came with the added surprise that Mark Hamill and Stan Lee will join her in the honor. The ceremony will take place at D23 on Friday, July 14.

“The Disney Legends Award is the highest honor our company can bestow on an individual, reserved for those few who have truly made an indelible mark on the history of The Walt Disney Company. It’s a celebration of talent, a recognition of achievement, and an expression of gratitude to the men and women whose work has significantly contributed to Disney’s enduring reputation for creative excellence.” – Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger

CARRIE FISHER is known best by Disney fans as Princess Leia, a role she originated in Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977. In addition to reprising the role in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Carrie’s Disney appearances also include Scream 3 (2000) and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) for Dimension Films. Outside of her notable acting career, Carrie was also an accomplished author, playwright, screenwriter, and outspoken advocate for mental health awareness.

MARK HAMILL is best known as Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, but Mark’s Disney roots can be traced back to a recurring role on ABC’s General Hospital and a starring role in MTM’s The Texas Wheelers. A prolific voice actor, he has performed on Disney’s Miles from Tomorrowland and Milo Murphy’s Law, and has also provided the voice of The Joker in the Batman animated series, a role that recently earned him a BAFTA Award. He returned as Luke in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and will reprise the role in the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

And while not directly related to Star Wars, one more fantastic legend…

STAN LEE got a job as an office assistant at a comic publisher in 1939 called Timely Comics—forerunner of the powerhouse we all know as Marvel. Stan made his debut with a Captain America story in 1941, and by the next year, at the age of just 18, he was promoted to editor. In 1961, Stan teamed up with Jack “King” Kirby to create the Fantastic Four and ushered in a spectacular new age of comics. Stan co-created an enormous roster of Marvel characters, including Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, the X-Men, Daredevil, and Falcon. He became Marvel’s editorial director and publisher in 1972, and eventually was named chairman emeritus.

The other inductees for this year include: Manuel Gonzales (Who drew the Mickey Mouse comic strip); Clyde Geronimi (Animator); Wayne Jackson (Imagineer); Garry Marshall (Writer/Director/Producer); Julie Taymor (Director); and Oprah Winfrey (Producer/Actress/Talk Show Host)

I couldn’t be happier with this group of inductees. We campaigned for Carrie in this blog and on podcasts and social media (#makecarriealegendd23). What do you think about Carrie, Mark, and Stan being inducted?

Watch Celebration Live!

Since 1999, Star Wars Celebration has been held eleven times in various locations around the world. This year, the event lands in Orlando, Florida and looks to be the biggest ever. It starts Thursday, April 13 and runs through Sunday, April 16. There will be 31 panels and screenings over the course of the weekend along with an exhibitor floor and autograph hall.

Four-day tickets and tickets for Saturday are sold out, but you can still buy for the other days HERE. And if you can’t make it to Florida, you can watch live reports from all weekend as well as live streaming of three key events at this years’ Celebration. They are:

Star Wars 40th Anniversary Celebration

Thursday, 4/13, 11am-12:30pm EST. A very special tribute to the 40th anniversary of Star Wars will kick start Celebration Orlando in grand fashion. The panel, hosted by Warwick Davis, will feature Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and discussions with some of the saga’s brightest stars, highlighting the impact of the galaxy far, far away and the fandom that has propelled it for the last four decades. As is tradition, this marquee Celebration event will undoubtedly include many not-to-be-missed surprises. The word on the street is there will be a major announcement made at this panel.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Friday, 4/13, 11am-12:30pm EST. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson will appear on stage. There will be plenty of surprises and special guests on the panel to keep the excitement brewing and speculation spinning throughout the rest of the weekend. This panel will likely premier the first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Star Wars Rebels Season Four Sneak Peek

Saturday, 4/14, 11am-12:30pm EST. Executive Producer Dave Filoni and special guests will bring an epic sneak peek at what’s to come in Star Wars Rebels’ fourth season. From the exclusive reveals, to the always-lively audience Q&A, Celebration fans know this panel is not one to miss! Dave always has the most entertaining panels and after what Rebels has just given us, there’s likely to be some exciting news about the just announced fourth season.

All throughout Celebration weekend, the Star Wars Show will be broadcasting with tons of interviews and events. Last year’s show was amazing and tons of fun!

A View From Above

Last Monday at Disney California Adventure, firefighters were called in to help bring an injured man down from the scaffolding around the Guardians Of The Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT attraction. It was a minor knee injury and the worker should be fine. But the sight of a hook and ladder truck reaching up a Disney Resort building was an opportunity the media couldn’t pass up. Fox 11 L.A. sent its helicopter to cover the breaking news event live. The feed was also passed on to the Fox Affiliates, like Fox 10 in Phoenix.

After about ten minutes, the Los Angeles station stopped the broadcast. But the Phoenix station kept showing the feed, along with the pilot’s radio transmissions. Here’s where the fun begins! You can only hear the helicopter pilot, not the assignment desk on the other end. At the 9:01 mark on the Fox10 Phoenix broadcast, the pilot says, ”Oh, that’s actually kind of a cool idea.” A minute later, after clarifying that the rescue is over, he responds to his directions, “North side of the park.” He then takes us to…Star Wars Land!

The pilot gives us a tight shot of the Millennium Falcon attraction, which is difficult to see from anywhere but the air.

He then moves over to the Battle Escape building, where the pilot comments, ”What’s that gonna’ be? The Harrison Ford flying experience?”

In addition to giving us a couple looks at the Star Wars attractions, we get a glimpse of the entrance tunnel from Frontierland.

A look at the now buried Fantasmic backstage structure.

And finally they gave us a look at the waterfall behind the new Disneyland Railroad route.

The whole tour is done by the twelve-minute mark and the video goes on with another eight minutes of filler for no apparent reason. But those three minutes are pure magic. You can watch the video in its entirety in the Facebook embed below. Thanks, Phoenix!

Worker Rescue underway at Disneyland

LIVE NOW: Rescue efforts are underway for a worker at Disneyland in Anaheim.

Posted by FOX 10 Phoenix on Monday, April 3, 2017

Star Wars Land Construction

Lets take a look at what’s going on at ground level this week.

The big news is the opening of a small part of the pathway by the Hungry Bear restaurant that will eventually lead to Star Wars Land.

This part of the path only leads to the restrooms under the Hungry Bear. But just beyond the fence, the last missing piece of the Disneyland Railroad route has begun to fall into place. Around the corner, the framework for the bridge over the path began this week. This bridge will connect the train track from behind the Hungry Bear restaurant to the new, elevated track in front of the waterfall along the Rivers of America.

And an old friend showed up on the scene this week. His name: Mike Fink. You can just make out the keel boat below.

Moving over to the Battle Escape attraction, the big progress this week is in the round portion of the building that got a bunch of new scaffolding and more concrete forms.

And new footings are going in to expand the building further.

That’s it for this week’s update. If you want to catch up on how far the construction has come so far, you can check out the archives of Star Wars Land News HERE.

Thanks for reading! Enjoy your Celebration week!

As Always…


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