Sunday, January 5, 2020

Marunouchi Bright Christmas 2019 - Star Wars edition - belated report part 1

Japan loves Star Wars. That's a fact. You can be a die-hard fan, like me. Or you can be a typical office lady quietly sporting a Darth Vader smartphone case. Or a 12 year old girl wearing a Rogue One t-shirt. Or a 4 year old kid with an R2D2 lunch box. Or an average grandma drinking her coffee out of a rebel mug. Because everyone loves Star Wars.

So when the annual Marunouchi Christmas display in Tokyo was just around the corner (in November 2019), both young and old, boys and girls, men and women, locals and aliens, they all jumped for joy when the theme for 2019 was announced.

Star Wars.

I am telling you about it now, because... well, I was busy. Traveling to exotic planets lands far far away is not going to get done by itself, you know? But now I'm back and can finally show you how Tokyo was getting in the mood for The Rise of Skywalker. My rant review of The Rise of Skywalker is here, by the way.

There were eight different stations and at each station you could get another stamp for your collection in a fancy little booklet.

Episode journey stamp rally, they call it. I love me a good stamp rally, and before I knew it, I was on the train to Tokyo. Bullet train, no less, to collect all my precious stamps. After all, the full name of this Christmas Special was Precious For You.

I met up with friends at Tokyo Station and we went off in search of different Star Wars themed attractions.

All the sites were conveniently located around Tokyo Station, but not all of them were easy to find. Especially not easy for country bumpkin like us, who come to Tokyo once in a very blue moon.

But we managed.

We started off in the Oazo Building. That location was familiar to me because of the Maruzen Bookstore. I used to spend buckets of money there, once upon a time. And I did this time, as well. Tradition...

At Oazo you could relax around this installation:

Yep, they had porgs. No porgs, no life. People could sit on huge cushions around this installation and just chill. Some were sleeping, others were busy playing games on their smartphones. The usual Tokyo Sunday morning stuff.

The whole Marunouchi Bright Christmas 2019 was a love letter to Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker, but who cares? It looked pretty, nonetheless.

Nearby were two cute domes supposedly representing BB8 and C3P0. We looked for R2D2, but that dome turned out to be in a different location.

Here's BB8 "Galaxy Dome", as they called it:

Maruzen (the bookstore) also had a Star Wars poster exhibition. It was quite hard to find and even the bookstore staff didn't know where it was. Turned out the posters were hanging on different floors just by the escalators. Most people totally overlooked them.

Maruzen threw us a curve ball by having lots of exclusive merchandise. I wasn't prepared to hand over my credit card quite so soon at the very first stop. But, tradition!!! I did. No huge surprise here.

I really wanted this:

But as it was The Last Jedi (and not exclusive), my common sense eventually kicked in and I bought other things instead. All I can say is that my awesome towel collection is growing.

Of course stormtroopers! What did you think?
I also got this one:

There were plenty of other things too, from LEGOs to books to toys, and so on...

After the Oazo Building we walked through the underground passages to Marunouchi Building. The passages had more stuff to look at.

The next installation was the most famous one of all. The huge star destroyer Christmas tree. When we got there in the morning, the place was still virtually empty. The pop-up shop wasn't even opened yet and there were hardly any people around.

It looked nice, but the real fun started at 5:00 P.M. when the light and sound show got going.
The "tree" was still blue:

And then it turned red:

And then it went completely blank and the light mapping started:

What can I say? It was fun.
We ended up watching it several times.

And I promise (PROMISE!) I will continue this story tomorrow!

See, I did it!
Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

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