Wrap-Up: A day at Star Wars Weekends 2012 yields up-close encounters with celebrities, characters at Walt Disney World

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As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced, Star Wars Weekends 2012 has come to a close at Walt Disney World after four weekends of bringing fans inside the George Lucas-created universe. Many arrived in costume to meet and greet with characters and celebrities from throughout the six “Star Wars” films and “The Clone Wars” TV show.

On its last weekend, I ventured out to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to take in the intergalactic festivities a final time for this year, armed with a camera and zoom lens to capture a close-up view in a day’s worth of excitement throughout the event.

Let’s take a photo journey…

Jeremy Bulloch
A first stop for many at Star Wars Weekends are the celebrity autograph locations around Echo Lake.

Jeremy Bulloch
On this final weekend, Jeremy Bulloch, the original Boba Fett, was there.

Michonne Bourriague
This name might not be instantly familiar to all Star Wars fans, but her character is.

Michonne Bourriague
The bounty hunter Aurra Sing had little screen time in the Star Wars movies but is memorable nonetheless.

Princess Leia
Taking a step away from celebrities, character meet-and-greets are hugely popular both with Star Wars fans and everyday park guests. Princess Leia was tucked away inside Darth's Mall, a shopping area. She certainly deserves a close-up.

Princess Leia
Just like the Star Wars celebrities, characters frequently sign autographs. It's a moment that is always amusing when captured on camera, particularly for villains who don't seem like the autograph type.
Princess Leia Minnie Mouse
Minnie Mouse wouldn't let Leia have all the hair bun fun.
Princess Leia Minnie Mouse
Even when approached by a blaster-wielding guest, Minnie's quick to hug.
Queen Amidala
Queen Amidala doesn't let either Leia outdo her 'do.
Ewok, Chewbacca
But when it comes to hair (or fur), you can't beat Chewbacca and an Ewok.
Another autograph.
And another. I don't think pink is Chewy's color.
Ewok, Chewbacca
Though both showed their sensitive sides when paying extra attention to a sleeping baby.
Anakin Skywalker
Anakin looks sufficiently distressed.
Anakin Skywalker
But still found time for an autograph.
Jango Fett
Jango Fett was busy capturing prisoners.
Jango Fett
And signing autographs.
Darth Maul
Darth Maul is evil.
Darth Maul
And signs autographs.
Stormtroopers patrol the area.
And... well, you know.
This Jedi trained a few young Padawans.
And, yes, signed an autograph.
Darth Vader
It's not every day you can size up Darth Vader.
Darth Vader
Lord Vader was not pleased.
Asajj Ventress
Likewise, Asajj Ventress said talk to the hand when asked for a photo. Never trust a Sith.
R2-D2, C-3PO
Back in Darth's Mall, C-3PO and R2-D2 joined the photo opportunity. (No autographs from these two.)
Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker hung out in front of a rather wrinkly Tatooine.
Cantina band
The Cantina band briefly met guests exiting the Star Tours ride, a surprise for all.
Jedi Mickey Mouse
Those wanting more character and celebrity fun had to simply hit the Hollywood Studios streets as Jedi Mickey surfed his way out to begin the motorcade.
Princess Leia Minnie Mouse
Continuing our close-ups, Princess Leia Minnie was all smiles. (Isn't she always?)
Goofy Vader
Darth Goofy was followed by a herd of Jedi.
Donald Duck Stormtrooper
Stormtrooper Donald Duck looked particularly fluffy.
Young Jedi
These young Padawans were trained quickly in the ways of the Force.
Kid costume
But the Padawans didn't realize they were being tailed.
The impressive 501st Legion took part with fans in high-quality and unique costumes.
Like this one.
And this one.
Mon Mothma
And throw in a Mon Mothma too.
How about a Wookiee other than Chewbacca?
Emperor Palpatine
Emperor Palpatine threatened the crowd.
And then came the Stormtroopers. Lots of them.
Chewbacca wasn't threatened by anyone, not even the blazing Florida heat.
A calm Jedi waved in reassurance that those Clone Troopers behind her were nothing to fear.
Aayla Secura
Aalya Secura was looking rather blue, as usual.
Tusken Raider
A baby Tuken Raider. Awww, how cute...?
Ewoks are a better definition of cute.
Kit Fisto
Kit Fisto decided to show up.
Darth Maul
But not even an appearance from Kit Fisto can put a smile on Darth Maul's face.
Jeremy Bulloch
Jeremy Bulloch made his grand appearance in the motorcade with his screen counterpart Boba Fett following closely behind.
Boba Fett
Boba Fett is always on duty.
Daniel Logan
Young Boba Fett was thumbs up next.
Michonne Bourriague and Aurra Sing
Aurra Sing actress Michonne Bourriague arrived with her character.
Michonne Bourriague and Aurra Sing
Aurra Sing herself wasn't taking any chances, giving the evil eye to everyone.
Michonne Bourriague
But Michonne Bourriague was all smiles.
Even the flag bearers were elaborately dressed.
Asajj Ventress
Asajj Ventress always looks smug.
Nika Futterman
But her voice, Nika Futterman, was genuinely excited.
Ashley Eckstein
Likewise Ahsoka Tano voice actress and Star Wars Weekends co-host Ashley Eckstein was happy to see her fans.
James Arnold Taylor
The same goes for Obi Wan Kenobi voice and Star Wars Weekends co-host James Arnold Taylor, reaching out to those who appreciate his talents.
Jango Fett
Jango Fett tends to reach out for an entirely different reason, and not a good one.
Darth Vader
And then there's Vader, looking as menacing as ever.
James Arnold Taylor, C-3PO
Up on stage after the motorcade, James Arnold Taylor really should be careful when pointing a light saber at his face.
Daniel Logan, Jeremy Bulloch
The Boba Fetts size each other up.
Ahsoka Tano, Ashley Eckstein
Ashley Eckstein matches Ahsoka Tano with a Her Universe shirt.
Double the Ewok. Double the fun.
Nika Futterman
And they all ride back down the road, a second chance to see the celebs up-close.
More celebrity fun can be found in the Stars of the Saga presentations, beginning with a humorous Disneyfied introduction featuring Stormtroopers.
Darth Maul
But when one Stormtrooper called Darth Maul out as not being so tough, he made an appearance...
Darth Maul fights Stormtroopers
...that did not end well for the Stormtrooper.
James Arnold Taylor
James Arnold Taylor hammed it up with a few of his many, MANY cartoon voices.
Jeremy Bulloch, James Arnold Taylor
Jeremy Bulloch met him on stage with a bounty hunter-style threat.
Jeremy Bulloch, Michonne Bourriague
But Bulloch was far more loving to Michonne Bourriague.
Jeremy Bulloch, Daniel Logan
And he was far less interested in hugging Daniel Logan.
Jedi Mickey, Jeremy Bulloch
Everyone loves a hug from Jedi Mickey.
Jedi Mickey, Daniel Logan
Jedi Mickey, Michonne Bourriague
Jedi Mickey, Jeremy Bulloch, Daniel Logan, Michonne Bourriague, James Arnold Taylor
In the end, James Arnold Taylor led a rousing rendition of the Mickey Mouse Club theme song.
Michonne Bourriague, James Arnold Taylor
Daniel Logan
Jeremy Bulloch
Female Han Solo outfit
And in the end, fans further celebrate their love for all Star Wars characters and celebrities by arriving to Star Wars Weekends in their own clever takes on costumes, like this female Han Solo.
R2-D2 outfit
And this R2-D2.
R2-D2 and C-3PO outfits
And R2-D2 again, this time with C-3PO. Clever.

Star Wars Weekends 2012 may be gone, but fans of the franchise needn’t wait too long for more with Star Wars Celebration VI just a couple months away, where tens of thousands of fans are expected to convene in Orlando to see even bigger celebrities, buy more collectibles, and wear more elaborate costumes.

More photos from Star Wars Weekends 2012:

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