June 20, 2008
Star Wars Celebration in Tokyo
May the force be with all of the fans who plan on attending Star Wars Celebration Japan, an event that commemorates 30 years since the movie first opened in Japan. Come dressed as your favorite Star Wars character and participate in the daily costume contest or pose for pictures with replicas that look like they came right from the movie sets. Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Anthony Daniles (C-3P0) and other cast members will make appearances and sign autographs at the event.
Get more details on the event after purusing these 7 Things that you may not know about Star Wars in Japan:
- The movie opened in June, 1978, thirteen months after it’s US debut.
- The movie was not dubbed into Japanese until 1982.
- George Lucas has acknowledged that he was influenced by Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 film Kakushi toride no san akunin, or The Hidden Fortress, while creating Star Wars. In particular, he cited the story of two lowly peasants in Hidden Fortress, Tahei and Matashichi , to tell the story of a warrior-general’s mission to deliver a princess and her treasure to safety.
- Coca-Cola held the license for the original trilogy and created 50 collectible bottle caps, t-shirts, key chains, stickers, posters, and even a beautifully modeled R2-D2 AM radio among other items to help promote the film.
- Not to be outdone, Pepsi licensed the prequel in Japan and created an array of items that are now highly sought after collectibles. Sculpted can holders, magnets, figural bottles, an R2-D2-shaped cooler, can toppers, snack clips, and collector stages to house the bottle caps were among the many items created.
- R2-D2, C-3PO, the Ewoks, Chewbacca and Geore Lucas were featured prominently in advertising campaigns by Panasonic and Mitsubishi in the 80’s and 90’s respectively.
- Tokyo’s Sezon Museum of Art was the first museum to exhibit Star Wars and other Lucasfilm movie props in an event called the George Lucas Exhibit in 1983. Audiences would not see a similar exhibit in the United States until four years later.
Website: Star Wars Celebration Japan
Dates: July 19-21, 2008
Location: Makuhari Messe, near the Kaihim Makuhari Train station in Chiba, about thirty minutes from Tokyo (access).
Tickets: Yoda 3-Day Premium, Y22,000; Vader 1-Day Premium, Y7,500; Standard 3-Day Adult, Y10,000; Standard 3-Day Child (6 to 12 years old) , Y5,000; Standard 1-Day Adult, Y4,000 & Standard 1-Day Child (6 to 12 years old), Y2,000. (Online orders)
Photo Credit: Flickr, Of Schoolgirls and Vader