In recent years Star Wars has become a big part of the festive season with the releases of ‘The Force Awakens‘ (2015), ‘Rogue One‘ (2016) and ‘The Last Jedi‘ (2017) in mid-December. After a break last year, the third and final part of the sequel trilogy comes to an end this Christmas when ‘The Rise of Skywalker‘ finally sees the light of day.
Force Friday III at the start of September marked the start of the journey towards the ninth film in the Skywalker saga, and last month saw the introduction of Marunouchi Bright Christmas when that area of Tokyo was transformed into “a town full of various events and shimmering illuminations.”
Three dome-shaped Star Wars tents appeared on Marunouchi Naka-dori Street on the 16th and 17th November but don’t worry if you missed that as they have since been installed at the Marunouchi Oazo Shin Tokyo Building.
You could step inside the droid head-like tents to either just sit down or take photos and the golden coloured dome had a Christmas tree and some lightsabers inside ready for cheesy shots like the two below!
Marunouchi Brick Square was next with an exhibit called Eternal Snow which was basically a sparkling crystal snowflake on a base displaying the logo for the main nine Star Wars films. On first look there didn’t appear to be a Star Wars connection but closer inspection revealed that there was a load of characters, starships and planets within the decoration.
For two months the ground floor inside and around the Marunouchi Building was awash with Rugby World Cup stuff. Since November 7th though it has been transformed into an area (loosely) devoted to the mammoth franchise known as Star Wars. The giant rugby ball is still outside though! A Christmas tree known as Rising Tree is the centrepiece of this area even though it’s actually located in the corner! The name is something to do with it stretching towards the galaxy and representing an inner struggle between dark-side and light-side with its different daytime and nighttime scenes.
Just a few metres from that tree was a pop-up shop selling some exclusive merchandise. It was so crowded when I was there though that I couldn’t really get near to any of it. Maybe a good thing for my wallet though! It wasn’t the only shop as there were a few other small stands throughout the area too. Goods being sold included t-shirts, hoodies, jewellery, stationery, bags, towels and so on.
Other things of note include a collection of precious items owned by one of Japan’s foremost Star Wars collectors. I’m not sure if this one (below), which was in the main pop-up shop, was that particular collection or not.
There’s a large Lego-made Darth Vader and R2-D2 in the Shin Tokyo Building as well as a large poster exhibition (45 posters) at Maruzen Marunouchi’s main book store. Booths where you can “experience the magic of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” are also on offer in the Marunouchi Building but I’m not exactly sure what that entails. I’ll have to return to investigate some of the stuff I missed on my first visit!
In some ways the Back To The Future pop-up cafe I went to a few years ago was a little lame but at least it had some quite imaginative food and drink offerings. That doesn’t seem to be the case though at Rise Crystal Cafe where the themed dishes are centred around pasta, taco rice, sandwiches, parfaits and milk drinks with vague relations to Kylo Ren, R2-D2 and BB-8. I’d love to see an in-universe cafe or restaurant similar to what is at Galaxy’s Edge at the Disney Parks in California and Florida but I guess that is highly unlikely. Despite my negativity here I may still try and dine out at this restaurant in the next few weeks before it closes on December 25th.
Japan is obsessed with all things cute so it’s no surprise that there is an object known as Kawaii Uchū (cute universe) which is basically a pink and orange bodied Chewbacca sat on a kawaii motif with two out-of-shape droids either side. This was accompanied with ‘Christmas In The Stars‘ coming out of the speakers which is the title-track from the 1980 Star Wars Christmas Album. It was located on the 3rd floor of Shin Marunouchi Building.
Marunouchi OAZO is the closest of all the exhibiting places to Tokyo Station and home to an object called Harmony of Lights which is supposed to resemble the planet of Ahch-To where Luke trained Rey in ‘The Last Jedi‘. Other than the Star Wars net curtains and a solitary Porg, I failed to really feel anything here which shouldn’t be the way as one is supposed to feel the force under the object above the tree-like structure.
Heading back to where I started at Yurakucho Station were a couple more Christmas-related objects. First up in the Kokusai Building was a life-size R2-D2 (with a Santa hat on) surrounded by a load of fake presents!
The final place I sought out was on the basement floor of Nijubashi Square. I couldn’t really work this one out but I think the light-side (blue) and dark-side (red) booths have characters that move along with the movement of the public members standing in front of them.
With the Christmas illuminations lighting the pedestrian-only street (Marunouchi Naka Dori) it makes for a lovely wander at nighttime. The Star Wars-themed exhibits are nothing too special to be fair but they do help attract people and create a nice atmosphere around this very pleasant area of Tokyo.
Click here to read ‘Doing The Star Wars Tokyo Metro Stamp Rally In One Day……By Bicycle!’
Click here to read ‘#ForceFridayIII – The Journey Towards ‘The Rise Of Skywalker’ Has Begun’
Click here to read ‘The Star Wars Identities Interactive Exhibition Has Arrived In Tokyo’