Three Sith Moon

In today’s edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • Preparations are underway for Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney World
  • Star Wars Weekends and Disney Star Wars characters may be on their way out
  • Watch an adorable video of BB-8‘s big day rolling around Disneyland
  • Take a peek at the Star Wars and Darth Vader annuals coming from Marvel Comics
  • Will the Star Wars books and comics become required reading for the movies?
  • New Force Awakens merch offers a new look at characters like Tasu Leech
  • Jimmy Vee has been spotted on the set of Star Wars: Episode VIII
  • The first set photos from Star Wars: Rogue One have hit the web

(Header image: “Three Sith Moon” by 6amcrisis; buy the shirt here.)

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The old Magic of Disney Animation building at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has gone gray, in preparation for its conversion into the Star Wars Launch Bay. See the ongoing makeover below via The Disney Blog:

(For comparison, the old Magic of Disney Animation looked like this.)

Meanwhile, a sign gives us a better idea of when the attraction will actually open doors. Star Wars Launch Bay is expected to debut before Star Wars: The Force Awakens lands in theaters, which further narrows the window to the first half of December.

Star Wars Launch Bay is billed as an “interactive experience” featuring special exhibits, meet-and-greets, and previews of upcoming Star Wars movies, and so on. It will open this year at both Disney World and Disneyland.

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There’s going to be a lot more Star Wars at Disney Parks in the next few years, from the aforementioned Star Wars Launch Bay to an updated Star Tours to a brand-new Star Wars Land extension. At the same time, however, it appears some of the existing Star Wars offerings are on their way out.

Walt Disney World News Today reports a rumor that Star Wars Weekends are being retired, meaning this past summer’s event was the last one. The parks will continue to host a seasonal celebration around May the 4th each year, but they won’t be full-fledged Star Wars Weekends.

In addition, they’ve heard that we’ll no longer see Mickey Mouse and his friends dressed as Star Wars characters on merchandise or logos, or at live appearances. WDWT says it’s part of a strategy to “re-position the brand” as something more serious, in preparation for all the Star Wars movies to come.

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BB-8 visits the big, strange world of Disneyland in this completely adorable video from Keith Lapinig. Bet he didn’t know we have a Jedi Training Academy right here on Earth.

Darth Maul looks none too pleased to see BB-8, but it looks like he’s made plenty of other friends including Belle, Cinderella, and Snow White.

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Click through for photos from the Rogue One set, covers for the Star Wars and Darth Vader annuals, a new look at The Force Awakens‘ Tasu Leech, and more.

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