The 2001 Star Wars Weekends are scheduled for four consecutive weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday):

May 4 - 6    Kenny Baker (R2-D2) and Doug Chiang (Design Director)

May 11 - 13    Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca)

May 18 - 20    Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett) and Warwick Davis (Wicket & Wald)

May 25 - 27   Mike Quinn (Nien Nunb) and Phil Brown (Uncle Owen)


The far away galaxy of Star Wars returns to Walt Disney World Resort beginning May 4, 2001 with the second annual Star Wars Weekends. Lucasfilm Ltd.and Disney-MGM Studios are teaming up for four consecutive weekends of Star Wars fun.

Inspired by the four Star Wars films -- Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace -- Star Wars Weekends bring guests face-to-face with their favorite characters, from the cuddly Ewoks to the evil Darth Maul.

Here's what's in store:

  • Actors and voice performers from the films are scheduled to appear in daily star conversations, handprint ceremonies, autograph sessions and Hollywood-style motorcades.

  • A variety of characters from the films will roam the Disney-MGM Studios greeting guests and posing for photographs.

  • Guests have the opportunity to take flight to the Moon of Endor in Star Tours, an action-packed flight simulator experience set in Star Wars galaxy. Synchronizing a stunning film with the virtually limitless gyrations of the simulator, the attraction takes guests on a hair-raising, light-speed trip aboard a careening star speeder.

  • Star Wars trivia contests and games will test fans' knowledge of "the Force" and a special Video Starcade will feature the best in Star Wars electronic games.

  • Fans can peer behind-the-scenes on the making of the four Star Wars movies, including a sneak-peek at Episode II.

  • As the sun gives way to the stars each evening, the excitement rises with a Cantina Street Party featuring music, games, and Star Wars characters.

  • Throughout the day, several lucky guests will be chosen to take part in a Jedi Training Camp, where they learn lightsaber techniques and even square off against Darth Vader.

  • Star Wars merchandise -- from Star Wars Weekend exclusive pins to action figures and commemorative lithographs to costumes, masks and other limited-edition items -- will be available in Tatooine Traders.

May 14, 2001

Beautiful princesses and hairy monsters are nothing new at the Disney theme parks, but Mother's Day weekend visitors to the Star Wars weekends at Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida caught a glimpse of two of the stars of the original trilogy: Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca).

After the daily motorcades, Fisher and Mayhew took questions from the excited crowd. After three Star Wars films each, the actors are used to questions about the elaborate costumes.

Mayhew explained to the fans that his yak-hair-covered suit wasn't itchy at all because he wore a leotard underneath. "The costume was great when we were filming in Norway," he said. "It was 15 below and I was the warmest one out there."

When asked about her favorite Leia costume, Fisher smiled. "I guess I'd have to say I agree with the favorite of all the fans out there... the gold bikini from Return of the Jedi."

May 21, 2001

This past weekend, two of the stars of the Star Wars saga were unmasked at the third installment of this year's Star Wars Weekends. Visitors to at Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida asked questions of Warwick Davis, who played Return of the Jedi's Wicket and The Phantom Menace's Wald, and Jeremy Bulloch, who played Boba Fett in the classic trilogy. The two actors also took part in a Hollywood-style motorcade that made for great photos.

May 25, 2001

The last of the 2001 Star Wars Weekends at Disney-MGM in Florida is going on now. Along with the many Star Wars themed activities, attractions and exclusive merchandise, special guests Mike Quinn (Nien Nunb) and Phil Brown (Owen Lars) are on hand to answer questions and sign autographs.

Today, Mike Quinn, the puppeteer who controlled Nien Nunb, revealed several behind-the-scenes tales from Return of the Jedi. "I had to lie on the floor of the Falcon," he said, "and they cut a section of the floor for me. In the end, I got a bit of motion sickness from the rocking of the ship. It's just like one of the simulator rides here," he smiled. Quinn also revealed that he was Yoda's right-hand-man, literally. For Jedi, Quinn assisted Frank Oz in the puppeteering duties for the ancient Jedi Master.

Phil Brown recounted tales from his six decades as an actor. This Star Wars Weekends marked the first opportunity Brown had to see footage of Joel Edgerton, Episode II's Owen Lars, in a special screening of a behind-the-scenes featurette playing at the park. "I know what I looked like when I was young," joked Brown before he had seen the special. "I don't think anyone would want to look like that."