Ashley Eckstein/Wes Jenkins Disney Springs Meet & Greet

David Eckstein-Schoemann, Reporter

This past Monday, I took a little trip to Disney Springs near Orlando where they were holding a special meet and greet with Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano from “Star Wars,” and costume/apparel designer Wes Jenkins as they showcased new plush Disney characters called nuimos.

From the moment I set foot out of the car, I was amazed at the number of fans that wanted to show their appreciation for one of their favorite characters. Everywhere I looked, there were Ahsoka t-shirts, unique lightsabers, and even some custom merchandise that fans made from scratch. Seeing this firsthand deepened my appreciation for the Star Wars fandom. 

Courtesy of David Eckstein-Schoemann.

Disney Springs security and staff handled the event wonderfully. They made sure everyone present wore a facial mask and adhered to social distancing guidelines. Hosts Ashley Eckstein and Wes Jenkins followed these guidelines by standing behind a booth. Thankfully, they were allowed to take pictures and sign autographs for fans. 

Disney Springs is a fun location with its wide variety of shops and entertainment centers. But the best part of the experience in my opinion was interacting with the fans. Seeing them show their appreciation for all the hard work that both Eckstein and Jenkins put into their creations felt deeply satisfying. 

I met some fans as they were waiting in line, and  I was amazed at all the things they knew and the things they created. It forms a sense of camaraderie that you can’t find online. I know many people view Star Wars fans as intolerable fanatics who are resistant to even the slightest of changes. While this is true in some of the dark corners of the internet, you can’t deny that in real life most fans are kind, funny, and creative people who bring joy to those around them. 

Overall, it was a fun event! One that brought people together even during unfavorable circumstances due to the pandemic. Times like this remind me that, even when things seem bleak, people can still continue to come together and create something pretty awesome!


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