May has become a huge month for Star Wars, over in Walt Disney World we have the Star Wars Weekends with a pile of new Star Wars related Vinylmation and May the 4th has become a standout moment for geeks across the galaxy which Disney are making the most of.
Star Wars and Disney have been connected for a long time, Star Tours alone has been around since the mid 80’s and since Disney purchased Star Wars, Disney has been very active in relaunching Star Wars to its own customers, especially to a new younger crowd.
Director George Lucas focused on a new generation of fans when he launched the prequels and very popular Clone Wars cartoon, which while it wasn’t easy for us older fans who grew up with Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, it made sense to have new characters for new fans to get attached to. And Disney are about to go through the entire process again with the new sequel trilogy and another new cartoon, Rebels.
Star Wars is a huge thing for Disney and they are going to make sure they make back the billions they paid for it, as May the 4th saw a huge push by Disney to launch Star Wars products in their stores. The whole front page for the UK Disney store website was re-branded and in stores across the US as well as in the UK, there was loads of new cool merchandise including action figures, pins, soft toys and so much more.
Much like with Marvel, these brands are now a huge part of Disney going forward, they will continue to push deeper into the heart of Disney and for me personally, that’s an incredible thing, I love Marvel and I love Star Wars, bringing all these brands together under one “mouse” is fantastic. Some people might argue that these aren’t Disney characters and shouldn’t be in Disney Stores or Parks, but many of the Disney characters we associate as Disney, aren’t original Disney creations such as Winnie the Pooh and Mary Poppins, with even more classic Disney characters are based on classic stories but are considered Disney nowadays. I’m sure one day people will look back and think the same of Star Wars & Marvel characters.
One of the strangest things with Star Wars Vinylmation was there was a deal in place which meant the figures could only be sold within the theme parks and once Disney brought the Star Wars franchise, many people wondered if Star Wars Vinylmation would eventually filter out to stores and online and this year for the first time ever, Disney has announced that the Star Wars Series 4 blind boxes will be available through Disneystore.com.
There is no confirmation yet that Star Wars 4 will be available in Disney Stores but with the push into carrying Star Wars products, it might not happen this year but in the future, who knows?