History of Star Wars Weekends

"History of Star Wars Weekends" contribution sent to us by JediMasterShaun. Want to contribute? Let us know by Email or use the feedback forms.

I consider myself a bit of a Star Wars/Disney aficionado, but I don't know the whole story of Star Wars Weekends. However, I can tell you what I know for sure, and a few theories I have. The first Star Wars weekends were in Feb. 1997, the same year George Lucas premiered the first "Special Editions" of his original Trilogy movies, that were re-released in theaters and later went to video. Between that and the announcement of "Episode I" there was a lot to celebrate in the World of Star Wars, and what better place to do that than Disney World. They had a few celebrities and did interviews with them, as well as using the theatre that is now the Voyage of the Little Mermaid show as the first "Behind the Force" documentary on the making of the Star Wars films, and, if I'm not mistaken, this is the same year they added the Episode I concept art into "Tatooine Traders," the gift shop at the end of the Star Wars ride. Also the 97 SWW event marked the opening of the "Tatooine Traders" gift shop at the end of Star Tours. Before that, there was a shop called "Endor Vendors" that was themed after the Endor Shield Bunker very similar to what the JTA stage looks like now. The next Star Wars Weekends was in 2000, because at that point in time Star Wars was officially re-born for a new generation to enjoy, with the box office success of Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Events included a talk show, and trivia contests for both kids and adults. It was an instant success and they brought it back in 2001, with two highly popular additions. All the previous events returned, as well as the (then) new attraction in the park, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Play it! having the first two shows of the day be all Star Wars questions, and adding extra Star Wars prizes along with the normal ones, and one of the most popular events, "The Jedi Training Camp" which is the mother of "The Jedi Training Academy" which is currently in the park, but more on that later. In 2002, however, contrary to popular belief, there was a Star Wars Weekends. The signs were put up and everything, unfortunately that was all. No events, guest or anything, much to the disappointment of many because this was the same year that Episode II premiered.

Fast forward to 2003, events and quest return with all the popular events of the past. 2004 offered more of the same as the last years. 2005, however was a much bigger year, with the release of Episode III, advertisement went crazy, Jedi Training Camp became Jedi Training Academy, the appearance of Jedi Mickey as a meet-and-greet character, and the event was extended to 6 weekends, though the last two just did not have any extra new merchandise exclusive to that weekend, like the previous 4. 2006 came around, and wasn't as big, but it offered the first year of having a celebrity host for the events, this year being Warwick Davis, the man who played Wicket the Ewok in Episode IV, and it also featured a large shop with a life sized X-Wing in Soundstage 1 next to WWTBAM, named after Warwick Famous character. Also this year, fans who visited the Studios during the weekdays would notice that The Jedi Training Academy was going on. Disney had decided to make it a permanent attraction, using the SWW Stage in front of Star Tours. 2007 offered quite a few disappointments for older fans, with the loss of WWTBAM in august of the previous year, no adult Trivia Trials, and the shop being reduced from a large "Wicket's Warehouse" to a puny "Jabba's Hutt" that was about a fourth of the size of the previous year, and of course, now the Jedi Training Academy was not officially a SWW event, however Jay Lag'ia, who played Captain Typho in II and III, as well as previously playing Mufasa in the Broadway rendition of The Lion King in his past, was the host this year, much to Warwicks displeasure, but he couldn't attend all 4 weekends because he was shooting "Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian". 2008 offered a significant improvement on the previous year With the big Wicket's Warehouse, sans the X-wing, returned, a new themed stage for the JTA and SWW events, using the newly re-furbished "Premier Theater" for the other events like the Talk show, the return of Warwick Davis, the introduction of Live Lucasfilm Reps in the Behind the Saga show, the appearance of brand new Star Wars Character, Ashoka Tano from The Clone Wars, and the addition of Minny as Princess Leia, Goofy as Darth Vader, and Donald as a Stormtrooper, to join Jedi Mickey. 

Click the link at the top of each year to jump to more details.

Star Wars Weekend 2009 Dates

Dates: The 2009 Star Wars Weekends are scheduled for four consecutive weekends (Friday, Saturday & Sunday):

May 22-24    

May 29-31    

June 5-7    

June 12-14    


Star Wars Weekend 2008 Dates

Dates: The 2008 Star Wars Weekends are scheduled for four consecutive weekends (Friday, Saturday & Sunday):

June 6-8    

June 13-15    

June 20-22    

June 27-29    


Star Wars Weekend 2007

Dates: The 2007 Star Wars Weekends are scheduled for four consecutive weekends (Friday, Saturday & Sunday):

Celebrity host -- Star Wars actor Jay Laga'aia.

June 1-3    Warwick Davis & Kenny Baker 

June 8-10    Ray Park & Daniel Logan

June 15-17    Jeremy Bulloch & Peter Mayhew

June 22-24    Anthony Daniels & Bonnie Piesse


Star Wars Weekend 2006

Dates: The 2006 Star Wars Weekends are scheduled for four consecutive weekends (Friday, Saturday & Sunday):

Warwick Davis will be the first ever celebrity host for all four Star Wars Weekends

May 19-21    Rick McCallum & Peter Mayhew

May 26-28    Jake Lloyd & Matthew Wood

June 2-4    Jay Laga'aia and Orli Shoshan

June 9-11    Jeremy Bulloch & Temuera Morrison


Star Wars Weekend 2005

Dates: The 2005 Star Wars Weekends are scheduled for six consecutive weekends (Friday, Saturday & Sunday):

May 20-22    Daniel Logan & John Goodson

May 27-29    Peter Mayhew & Rob Coleman 

June 3-5    Warwick Davis & Don Bies 

June 10-12    Jerome Blake & Brian Gernand

June 17-19    Amy Allen & Matthew Wood

June 24-26    Jake Lloyd & Warren Fu


Star Wars Weekends 2004

Dates: The 2004 Star Wars Weekends are scheduled for five consecutive weekends (Friday, Saturday & Sunday):

May 14 16    Jeremy Bulloch & Jake Lloyd 

May 21 23    Peter Mayhew & Jerome Blake

May 28 May 30    Anthony Daniels & Andy Secombe

June 4 - June 6    Warwick Davis & Mike Quinn

June 11 June 13    Daniel Logan & Amy Allen


Star Wars Weekends 2003

The 2003 Star Wars Weekends are scheduled for five consecutive weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday):

May 16 18    Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) and Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian)

May 23 25    Andy Secombe (Watto) and Warwick Davis (Wicket)

May 30 June 1    Silas Carson (Ki-Adi-Mundi) and Mike Quinn (Nien Nunb)

June 6 - June 8    Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett)

June 13 June 15    Temuera Morrison (Jango Fett) and Michonne Bourriague (Aurra Sing)


Star Wars Weekends 2001

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    David Prowse (Darth Vader) and Phil Brown (Uncle Owen)


Star Wars Weekends 2000

The 2000 Star Wars Weekends are scheduled for four consecutive weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday):

May 5 - 7    Hugh Quarshie (Captain Panaka) and Kenny Baker (R2-D2) 

May 12 - 14    Iain McCaig (Concept Designer) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca)

May 19 - 21    Jake Lloyd (Anakin Skywalker) and Dave Prowse (Darth Vader)

May 26 - 28    Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia, Saturday and Sunday) and Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett)


Star Wars Weekends 1997

The 1997 Star Wars Weekends are scheduled for five consecutive weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday):
February 21 - 23
February 28 - March 2
March 7 - 9
March 14 - 16
March 21 - 23

There were no Star Wars Weekends 1998-1999 & 2002