Disney Store Star Wars Pow-Wow

The Disney Store invited staffers from sites like Rebelscum and Jedi News to drop by HQ in L.A. (which includes new Lucasfilm offices there…the first time Lucasfilm has had offices in SoCal since the early ’80s) and check out some new exclusive merchandise for the Disney Store. They also learned that Disney Stores across the land will have events on May 4, so you might want to stop by the mall on that day.

But don’t expect to find any prequel trilogy stuff! There’s been a lot of buzz over the new talking figures and figurine sets, and I’d love to pick up that stuffed bantha, but ignoring half of the saga? That’s ridiculous. Strangely enough, it didn’t look like anyone from any of these sites asked about it. Maybe they didn’t want to be impolite. Maybe they were a little dazzled by the VIP treatment. Or maybe they didn’t care.

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31 Responses to “Disney Store Star Wars Pow-Wow”

  1. Kenny Kraly Jr Says:

    From what I saw from JediNews good stuff. Yea it’s sad no PT stuff but Disney / LFL’s focus is on the Original Trilogy and the Sequel Era 7-9 of Star Wars. I’m sure at some point the Disney Store will have some PT stuff at some point I’m not too upset about that.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      When will that be, when I’m 89 years old? Sorry man, but there’s no excuse. The saga is the saga. If we don’t ask for it, we won’t get it.

      • Kenny Kraly Jr Says:

        I know Lazy but for the past 15 years or so the PT has been the focus. It’s time for the focus of SW to go back to the OT era and the ST era of 7-9 moving forward. Trust me Disney / LFL cares about all eras of Star Wars not just 1 as you say they do.

        I’m not buying it. While I understand they’ll always focus on what’s new, it doesn’t mean they have to throw the rest of it into the memory hole. Doctor Who has been around for over 50 years and yet they haven’t completely forgotten about its past either. I can buy a freakin’ t-shirt with all eleven doctors on it. They are making a huge mistake by treating Star Wars as competing trilogies with competing fans instead of an integrated saga. Don’t tell me what to “focus” on.

      • Kenny Kraly Jr Says:

        Lazy I was not I’m just saying Star Wars is in good hands with Disney / LFL fans need to stop worrying about it and please be patient everything will turn out just fine.

  2. madmediaman Says:

    They don’t care. Most of the guys running these sites are late 30 somethings or 40 somethings so to them the OT is Star Wars. Here’s an exchange I had on Facebook with famous collector Dan Curto regarding the lack of PT or even TCW product. My concern is that for most 5-12 year olds TCW and the PT are their Star Wars, and looking at backpacks with images of Peter Cushing emblazoned on them is not exactly awe inspiring. At the very least I thought Disney should use the Clone Wars as a stop gap until they get the ball rolling with Rebels.

    Cool products for me… not so much for my kids. But anyway here’s the exchange:

    Me: Dan I have to ask an honest question.

    I’ve been pouring over these pics from this event, and I’ll be honest, if Disney is wanting to maximize their profits in the stores and get boys into the Disney Stores (this has been a long term problem for Disney of their own making), then why on Earth are they promoting all of this OT stuff?

    I know the corporate mindset is OT/ST era or bust, but for the kids who will be going to the stores, namely kids 5-12, their heroes are Obi-Wan, Anakin and Ahsoka Tano. Until Rebels rolls out I would think Clone Wars would be a good stop gap until they can get all of their OT era plans rolling.

    I had to shake my head in disbelief at that backpack with Grand Moff Tarkin almost front and center with Troopers in the background. I would have to imagine quite a few kids would be asking themselves, “Who is this old dude?”

    I know Disney wants to close the door on the Prequel era, but just from a marketing perspective this looks like a huge misstep. They are banking on familiarity with these characters, and honestly a lot of kids really have no clue who the heroes and villains of the OT are with the exception of Yoda and Darth Vader and the droids.

    Dan Curto: Without actually asking anyone official, I think I know the answer. The Clone Wars and the PT movies has run its course. It is time to reinvent the brand. With Rebels coming this fall and new movies right around the corner, Star Wars NEEDS to refresh itself. There is still plenty of TCW merchandise out there, but it will eventually give way to the new media. In addition to the new stuff, Star Wars needs to get back its older fan base. The sequels will feature the main cast from the OT (if the “rumors” are to be believed), and there will be a certain nostalgia that will reignite the flames of fandom in the older fan, many of which have been turned off by the PT/TCW years.

    Me: I get that, but we are talking about a special event in two weeks. I’m sorry, but your average kid is not going to be drawn to merchandise with Peter Cushing emblazoned across it ; they just aren’t. If Rebels were already on the air, or they had already begun this push right after they acquired the license (which they haven’t) then I can see it making sense.

    Bear in mind, I don’t think it’s the wrong approach long term, but in the immediate, especially this May 4th, I just think it’s very shortsighted.

    I never got a reply from my last comments. I really think these May 4th events at the Disney Stores will be met with “meh” by the kids they are trying to attract. Heck they would be better off focusing on Clone Wars AND Rebels right now.

    Yancy

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Translation: “Wheee, Star Wars gets to be mine, mine, mine again!!”

      Reading Curto’s response really made me mad. Had Lucasfilm said in 1998 or early 1999, “The OT has run its course and it’s time to reinvent the brand and pretend it doesn’t exist” I could TOTALLY understand the basher backlash. Nobody wants the Star Wars they love taken away because it’s time to get with the new flava. TPM merchandise dominated 1999 but OT stuff was available again in 2000. And hey, I’m an older fan who wasn’t turned off by the prequels or Clone Wars.

      I can understand promoting “Rebels” and making new stuff based on Eps IV-VI for kids. But there certainly hasn’t been any dearth of that kind of stuff for kids at all over the past 9 years. If a kid wanted prequel stuff, he had toys and that was it, Clone Wars stuff aside. Now they’re not going to be able to find anything.

      Frankly it makes me angry that Lucasfilm pulled out the stops to promote the prequels not all of that long ago and now they along with their new Disney overlords are telling those of us who faithfully embraced those movies to f*** off. Why the hell then should I invest myself at all with “Rebels” or these new movies?

    • Eddie Says:

      I agree, Yancy—from as objective a standpoint as I can muster, I get de-emphasizing (but not abandoning) the PT in favor of playing up the OT, given it’s closer proximity story-wise to the ST…but completely dumping TCW is nuts, especially with it now being available in its entirety to every kid whose family has Netflix; kids who will watch it over and over and over, like kids do.

      And lest anybody think LP is exaggerating, check out the current Star Wars items available at the Disney Store online:

      http://www.disneystore.com/star-wars/mn/1023301/?searchRedirect=1&searchTerm=Star+Wars&catalogFromSearch=10002

      Out of 96 in-stock items, there are only 5 items (and that involves reeeeeally stretching it) that you wouldn’t be likely to find in, say, 1996:
      1. an Anakin to Vader saber
      2. the DK character encyclopedia with pics of Grievous and Padme on the cover
      3. a Star Tours “I am a Rebel Spy” shirt with a droid first seen in ROTS
      4. a pin set with the Jedi symbol, the CIS symbol, and the Galactic Senate symbol
      5. a pin set with the Star Tours Droid that uses the design of the waitress Droid WA-7 from Dex’s Diner

      I’m all over those talking Han and Chewie figures they’re releasing, but man, it’s like they just blinked the past 15 years away.

  3. Kenny Kraly Jr Says:

    The focus of Star Wars needs to go back on Rebels and The Original Trilogy and the Sequel era. The Prequels and TCW are nice but the focus needs to go back on the OT. And I trust what Disney / LFL will do for Star Wars going forward it will be just fine.

    • jarjarbacktattooguy Says:

      They never stopped making OT merch except for a brief time when Episode I came out. Maybe it wasn’t the main focus during the PT era, but a lot of stuff was produced.

      And for the last five or six years there has been more focus on the OT than the PT.

      I get that the PT did not have the same cultural impact that the OT did. That does not mean there still isn’t demand for PT merch as well.

      Unless you are a kid or have just recently gotten into Star Wars collecting, you most likely have already bought a ton of new OT merch over the last ten to twenty years.

      I am so bored to tears buying Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, Yoda, Darth Vader, Boba Fett and C3-PO/R2-D2 items. I just want something else!

  4. madmediaman Says:

    Sorry Kenny, but how does that even make sense… even from a marketing perspective? So the PT and TCW dominated merchandising for the past 15 years… so what??? Did Lucas suddenly pull all OT merchandise when TPM was released because he wanted to “focus on this new era.”

    On the contrary, there was even MORE OT merchandise. See George got it, and I don’t think Disney does… it’s one Saga. And it’s become patently obvious that guys like Simon Kinberg, Greg Weisman, and even Larry Kasdan did not like what George did with the PT.

    Frankly, as far as I’m concerned, if you’re not a fan of George’s Saga (meaning all 6 films), then you really have no business shepherding the Saga going forward… That doesn’t mean you have to love all six films equally well, or can’t even prefer one part of the Saga to the other, but Kinberg has been particularly snarky with him comments. Honestly I’d rather see guys like Kyle Newman and Dave Filoni running the show. At least they get it.

    Yancy

    • Kenny Kraly Jr Says:

      Yancy Star Wars is in good hands with Disney / LFL fans need to stop worrying about and please be patient everything will turn out just fine.

  5. madmediaman Says:

    Bingo… thank you lazypadawan, those are my thought 100%. I’m almost contemplating divorcing myself from Star Wars and sticking with George’s vision. Of course there’s the little niggling issue that the ST was conceived and written by George, so I will dutifully stand in line for those, but I have no need of giving Disney any extra money, especially if they are going to treat a franchise I love so dearly like this.

    Damn I really wish George had been faithful to Fox and just let the company remain an independent entity.

    • Andromakhe (@KentressCrazy) Says:

      But I’d remind you that the original script, presumably based on Lucas’ outlines, was scrapped in favor of one Abrams is writing. So who knows how much of Lucas’ vision remains in the ST? I’ll at least watch the first one.

  6. Kenny Kraly Jr Says:

    Star Wars is in good hands with Disney / LFL fans need to stop worrying about it and please be patient everything will turn out just fine.

    • Anonymous Says:

      You’ve repeated that a bunch of times already, and frankly, haven’t convinced me that Star Wars is in good hands under Disney. When Disney decides to release merchandise for ALL 6 films, TCW, Rebels, and of course the ST, then I’ll be convinced that Star Wars is in good hands.

    • Bob Clark Says:

      Depends which Disney we’re talking about. If it’s the Disney that mandated story changes on “Frozen” or the Disney that let Pixar throw the originaly creators of “Ratatouille” and “Brave” under the bus, then it’s clear that “Star Wars” has stopped being a genuinely creative enterprise and has morphed into a soulless corporate moneymaking machine. But hey, maybe we’ll be lucky and this will turn out to be the Disney that made “John Carter” and “The Lone Ranger”, and it’ll flop in proportions equally spectacular to how big of a miscalculation it all was.

    • Tarrlok Says:

      @Kenny Kraly Jr.

      What, you think you’re some kind of Jedi waving your hand about like that?

      What is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Mere platitudes and boilerplate do not count as evidence.

  7. Matt Robert McKenzie Says:

    And then there’s those of us like me who love ALL of Star Wars and followed it into the EU, which is also getting swept under the rug as well, much to my irritation. This is clearly a marketing attempt (that is admittedly 6-7 years out of date) to say “We hear you fans, the Prequels sucked, come back!!! WE NEED YOUR MONEY!!!!”

    I mean Star Wars circa 2014, the Prequels are beginning to gain some respect back and give it another 2-3 years and it will achieve cult status in the Star Wars saga. Most of us in THIS generation grew up with Episodes I thru III as WELL as IV-VI. Watching them back, I still enjoy them all deeply with a love that I place in the highest regard. I will be dead before I say things like Walking Dead or Game of Thrones are better than Star Wars. Ever.

    From a business standpoint, it’s sick and twistedly brilliant. But if this positive upward trend continues, the Prequels will make a triumphant comeback because of the efforts of the Clone Wars and the EU books set in that era that made it suddenly “oh wait, these WERE awesome!” People are just mired by expectations and a really annoying voice on the first ever CG Character and a child actor.

    Did you notice that 3/4 of prequel haters place the blame on TWO things on Episode I and the remaining quarter bash the clunky dialogue and acting of Hayden Christensen? Wait wait wait, you’re focused on Jar Jar Binks and Jake Lloyd still? We’re all the way over here focused on the story, what the hell are you doing!?

    Unfortunately that caught fire and now here we are: Disney desperate to bring back the older fans and tossing out as much OT as possible while tossing EU and PT…. Which only infuriates me as a Star Wars fan seeing as those 2 things are what kept Star Wars alive and kicking for this long even though once again an entire decade has passed since the last Star Wars film.

    • madmediaman Says:

      Gonna disagree with you there. The Prequels may be viewed poorly by a small, but vocal, segment of the fan community, but they are wildly popular with most fans, and especially the general public. Box office and merchandise sales are all you need to back that up.

      There’s no “cult status” here… Star Wars, including the Prequels has achieved mainstream acceptance. Go to a Disney Weekends and look at the kids dressed up… most of them are dressed as PT era characters (especially Clone Wars characters).

      There’s a reason despite to apparent death of PT merchandise that Disney has booked most of their guests for Star Wars Weekends this summer and they are PT or TCW actors… Because the fans that go to that event adore Ashley Eckstein and James Arnold Taylor.

  8. jarjarbacktattooguy Says:

    I guess this is the official death knell for PT and Clone Wars merch (aside from some Hasbro stuff).

    The Disney Store and the Disney parks gift shops will be Star Wars Central from here on out. They are making it pretty clear that Jar Jar and pals are not allowed in the store.

    All of this stuff sucks anyway (unless you are five) except for the plush offerings. Plush and pins are what Disney does really well.

    I am not interested in buying more OT merch unless it is something really different. I have been buying OT merch for over thirty five years. Thanks Disney, this stuff would have been cool in 1979.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      I dig the stuffed bantha–always wanted one–but other than that, *shrug.* Far more interesting stuff is for sale on Etsy, once you get past all of the weird crap.

  9. oxward321 Says:

    I’m done with Star Wars!!!!!!

    I have the six movies and Clone Wars, that’s all I need!!!! F*** Rebels, f*** EP VII, f*** the spin off movies, f*** the EU, f*** the hate boys and fuck Disney!!!!

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Now, now…

      I understand your frustration but I think it’s more constructive to 1) highlight this kind of thing and 2) use it to start twisting arms. It might take a while and a whole lot of tenacity, but it’s better than nothing.

      (Psst, please re-read the Rules of the House.)

    • Andromakhe (@KentressCrazy) Says:

      In my darkest moments, I feel like you. Exactly like you. Like I want to abandon ship before the whole thing goes up in flames. But apparently, I haven’t reached that point yet. No, I am not optimistic that future material will be to my liking or exacting standards, but before Rebels and Ep VII come out, I don’t know for sure.

      But I agree. Eps I-VI and Clone Wars will always be Star Wars to me. If I don’t like the new stuff, I will just leave the fandom and be a quiet purist.

  10. PrinceOfNaboo Says:

    I’m not a collector or anything, so it doesn’t really affect me, but this is just so stupid.

    I wonder if Disney executives are even smart enough to realize that their Lucasfilm/SW purchase was lucrative solely BECAUSE OF the PT and TCW?
    Nobody would care for Star Wars nowadys if the PT and TCW hadn’t been made…

    I also disagree with the idea that they “need to focus on the OT.”. You know, even though it’s hard to understand for haters, we are NOT travelling back in times to the OT. We won’t. The OT is over. For a long time.

    This will be a new trilogy and HOPEFULLY the OT oldstars will be nothing more than supporting characters respectivly cameos.
    Assumed Disney and Abrams are half-way in their right mind.

    • Andromakhe (@KentressCrazy) Says:

      Not a collector, either, but sad for kids who can’t find PT plushies. I love plushies. It’s tragic that people won’t have an avenue to express love for prequel characters because of no clothing/toys, etc.

      I’m pretty sure I heard the next movie is to focus on Luke, Leia, and Han, but not sure on that. I heard Lucas fought Abrams and Kenedy on that score, unsuccessfully. He wanted the focus to be on the next generation of characters, with the trio as supporting.

  11. lovelucas Says:

    I don’t think Kenny wants to get it. It’s been obvious that the prequels are now considered the ugly stepchildren. I don’t believe for a second that Star Wars is in good hands with Disney. And LP is totally correct that if we don’t make the noise now, those prequels will be relegated to history. These decisions to focus only on the OT are being made by people who are kowtowing to those “fans” who wanted a bloody, terrorizing Vader…in The Phantom Menace! Whatever happened to the “story Arc” of the saga? What happened to George’s insistence that Star Wars needs to be watched as ONE story over six episodes?????

    • Kenny Kraly Jr Says:

      I’m still going to enjoy all things Star Wars OT , PT ,TCW , Rebels ST 7-9 etc. Be patient fans everything will turn out just fine with the Disney / LFL deal I have faith it will.

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