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Star Wars Connections to Wichita

Star Wars Connections to Wichita

Via Wikipedia.com.

Happy Star Wars Day, and May the fourth be with you! Did you know that Star Wars was related to Wichita in several ways? Check out some of these cool connections here!

Harrison Ford

Okay, so you probably knew that Harrison Ford, who portrays Han Solo in Star Wars, visits Wichita pretty frequently.

If you’re lucky, you’ve run into him at Sabor, Doo-Dah Diner, or one of the other local restaurants he visits while he’s in town.

Ford visits Wichita while his planes are being serviced, and rumor has it that he owns a home in the area, too, though we can’t confirm it.

Obviously, he’s a pretty big link between Wichita and the Star Wars saga,  but probably not a surprise, if you’re a fan of the series.

 

Exploration Place’s Star Wars Exhibit

In 2012, Exploration Place hosted a Star Wars Exhibit, where visitors could view dozens of costumes and props used in the filming of the actual Star Wars movies and even take a short ride in a Milenium Falcon model. Called “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination”, the exhibit opened to the public on May 26, 2012 and ran through Labor Day of the same year. Check out some photos of the exhibit below!

A Local Doppelganger

3. A Local Doppelganger

Via huffpost.com.

On March 19 of 2015, the Huffington Post ran an article on NCAA stars that closely resemble celebrities, and while comparisons were quite a stretch, others were dead-on. Among the later was the likening of former Wichita State University  Basketball star Ron Baker to a young Mark Hamill. The article shows a photo of Baker on the court and a photo of Hamill portraying the role of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. If you’ve got to see it to believe it, take a look. The photos don’t lie.  Huffington Post ran an article on NCAA stars that closely resemble celebrities, and while comparisons were quite a stretch, others were dead-on. Among the later was the likening of former Wichita State University  Basketball star Ron Baker to a young Mark Hamill. The article shows a photo of Baker on the court and a photo of Hamill portraying the role of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. If you’ve got to see it to believe it, take a look. The photos don’t lie. 

Twentieth Century Fox - Knight and Day

4. Twentieth Century Fox - Kni

George Lucas approached several production companies with his Star Wars, but was, for one reason or another, turned away several. In the end, it was Twentieth Century Fox that took on the project. Twentieth Century Fox would also be the production company behind the 2010 film “Knight and Day” Starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. “Knight and Day” was originally intended to begin at the Wichita airport, and when production was halted, the piece sat in limbo as the “untitled Wichita Project”. When the project moved forward, this idea was scrapped, though pieces remain in the completed film. Cruise’s character mentions Wichita, and two extras in the film are credited a “Wichita airport travelers”.Diaz. “Knight and Day” was originally intended to begin at the Wichita airport, and when production was halted, the piece sat in limbo as the “untitled Wichita Project”. When the project moved forward, this idea was scrapped, though pieces remain in the completed film. Cruise’s character mentions Wichita, and two extras in the film are credited a “Wichita airport travelers”.

Emma Stone's SNL Audition for Rey in episode VII

5. Emma Stone’s SNL AuditionSN

Via Saturday Night Live Youtube.

In November of 2015, Saturday Night Live released a video, introduced by JJ Abrams, Director of Star Wars Episode Seven. Abrams tells viewers that they are about to see a series of never-before-seen screen tests. Many of these are celebrity impersonations, however, a few celebrities outside of the SNL cast do appear. Among them is Emma Stone. Stone is well-known for several roles, including that of Wichita in “Zombieland.” In the film, each of the main Characters in called by the name of their hometown, and Stone’s character hails from the Air Capital.Abrams, Director of Star Wars Episode Seven. Abrams tells viewers that they are about to see a series of never-before-seen screen tests. Many of these are celebrity impersonations, however, a few celebrities outside of the SNL cast do appear. Among them is Emma Stone. Stone is well-known for several roles, including that of Wichita in “Zombieland.” In the film, each of the main Characters in called by the name of their hometown, and Stone’s character hails from the Air Capital.

George Lucas Lives in Wichita... Kind of.

6. Goerge Lucas Lives in Wichi

George Lucas (not the one that lives here.) Via Wikipedia.com.

George Lucas both lives and Works in Wichita. He’s been recognized by the Wichita Business Journal and is very involved in the community, serving as a member on the advisory board of Wichita State University’s Ulrich Museum of Art and also on the boards of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Music at the Barn.

Of course, we’re talking about Orthopedic Surgeon George Lucas, not director George Lucas… He’s not the George Lucas you’re looking for. Seriously though, Wichita’s George Lucas is a very talented healthcare professional. If you are in need of hand surgery, you’ll be in good hands. Though this George Lucas isn’t related to the Star Wars Franchise, it’s pretty cool that Wichita has both a Star wars Doppelganger and a Star Wars name twin!Doppelganger and a Star Wars name twin!

Movie Theatre Experience

7. Movie Theatre Experience

Most of us have probably seen a star wars film at a local Warren Theatre at some point. If you’re a superfan, you might have even gone in costume. But seeing the films locally is hardly a connection. What furthers the connection however, is that George Lucas revolutionized a piece of technology that affected the way we viewed movies right here in Wichita. Do you remember seeing movies at the Warren with the THX introduction? That’s because the Warren Theatres used the THX System, by Lucas, created to maintain the highest quality standards in motion picture viewing. Pretty cool, huh?

The Big Bang Theory

8. The Big Bang Theory

Carrie Fisher, who portrayed Princess Leia in the "Star Wars" films, appeared as herself as a guest on The Big Bang Theory in season seven episode 14, "The Convention Conundrum", in which the quirky, nerdy and highly intelligent Sheldon Cooper (portrayed by Jim Parsons) holds his own comic convention when he is unable to obtain tickets to Comic Con. Sheldon references Wichita earlier in the series, during season four, episode 12. Here's the quoted scene:  

Raj: Hey, why am I in charge of phone support? Seems a bit racist.
Sheldon: A customer service representative with an Indian accent will create the impression that we're a vast enterprise that uses overseas call centers.
Raj: Oh, very clever. But still racist.
Sheldon: Duly noted, Steve from Wichita.

Local Events

9. Local Events

Wichita's kind of become a hub for nerd culture in the past few years, so finding "Star Wars" themed or related events isn't too much of a challenge. Hundreds of Wichitans recently attended the Wichita Symphony Orchestra's "The Music of John Williams", featuring hits from the man behind the brilliant scores of films like "Harry Potter", "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "Jaws" and of course, "Star Wars".

In addition, Wichita is home to the Air Capital Comic Convention, a two-day convention filled with "Star Wars" cosplays, comics and merch. Learn more on the website.

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