OK, I admit, I’m a bit of a sci-fi geek so naturally, the news of a brand-new series of Star Wars sequels had me jumping to light speed with joy. But hang on!? No George Lucas? No Lucasfilm? Where would film’s most famous franchise be without its founding father, the man who brought us some of cinema’s most iconic heroes and villains and who famously retained nothing but the merchandising rights from the original films; something which must surely be in the all-time top ten of right-on-the-money business decisions?
Then came the announcement: Disney had bought the rights. Naturally, my horror at the news led me to dive for cover behind my giant life-sized cardboard Darth Maul, afraid to come out. I mean, Disney? Cuddly, fairy-tale castle, mermaid-loving, fluff-tastic Disney? But then it struck me. Star Wars also had its fair share of cuddly characters and Disney has certainly made the odd journey into the stars in the past, with films such as The Black Hole and Flight of the Navigator, not to mention a hugely successful non-animation franchise under its belt in the form of Pirates of the Caribbean. So maybe it wasn’t such a big stretch to image Disney in the cockpit?
Fast forward in time to now and thing are really moving. As I type, I’m sat here in Star Wars/Disney socks (don’t worry, there are other clothes too), rumours abound of original cast members returning and the news has recently emerged that filming will take place in the UK. So what does all this have to do with cruising, you may understandably ask? Well, there’s a little thing called the Disney Cruise Line. With a fleet comprising of the Disney Dream, Disney Magic, Disney Wonder and the newest vessel, the Disney Fantasy, the line continues to grow in popularity with cruisers, especially those with families. Just like at Disneyland, the kids can meet all their favourite characters on-board and enjoy productions based on classic films such as Aladdin and Toy Story.
You’ve possibly guessed where this is going, and yes, you’d be right. A Star Wars-themed cruise. Just imagine, all the things you’ve come to expect from a Disney Cruise; a great cuisine, loads of activities, a huge choice of entertainment, but with added Star Wars. So what kind of things could we expect if this Disney Dream were to become a reality? Here’s a fantasy top five.
OK, it’s an obvious one, but who wouldn’t want to relive the magic of the iconic films in the surroundings of their cruise ship? We could enjoy a different episode each night, or indulge in a three-film marathon during a sea day.
This would be amazing. Being escorted to your theatre seat by a stormtrooper, served in the restaurant by a cantina creature, Darth Vader supervising the kids at the youth club? Well, perhaps not the last one, but with such a wide range of memorable characters, kids young and old would have a ball meeting their favourite characters and seeing them in and around the ship.
Meet and greet the stars
One step further than character costumes and much in the tradition of sci-fi conventions, actual stars of the franchise could be present throughout the cruise for meet-and-greets, autograph signings, photo opportunities and lectures.
Toys and games
Ahh, Star Wars figures. The very bedrock of my childhood. Now, imagine the possibilities for kids and collectors alike, with an on-board shop stocked with all manner of characters, spaceships and games. And what about video games? There’s been loads of Star Wars arcade games over the years, and even more console ones, so what about a giant video screen where we can choose what we want – from the retro 1970’s machines right through to virtual lightsabre battles?
SW Deck Party
Disney Cruise Line are already known for their great deck parties, so why not end your Star Wars-themed cruise in style? Passengers would be invited to bring costumes along for the purposes of dressing up as their favourite characters as they party to music from the film, enjoy a themed dinner party and enjoy a spectacular fireworks display.
By Simon Brotherton