Star Wars Weekends was a big thing at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park from 1997 until 2015 (with a few skipped years early on). Cast and Crew from the movies would come to the park, sign autographs and participate in talk shows. Dozens of Star Wars characters would roam the park, and park guests would often dress up too. For a few years, I produced and hosted weekly wrap-up videos for the Disney Parks Blog. In 2011, I talked with Matt Lanter who voiced Anakin Skywalker for the “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” animated film.
I also met martial artist and actor Ray Park, who appeared in “The Phantom Menace” as Sith Lord Darth Maul. Ray came to Star Wars Weekends several times and would bring dozens of kids on-stage at a time for an introduction into wushu, aka Chinese kung fu. Ray also showed one goofy guy how to cut down on carbs with a spin kick. You can jump to 2:32 if you must.
Maybe more Star Wars Weekends stories to come. In a drawer somewhere, I still have a harmonica that was played by Kenny Baker (R2-D2).