Contents Tourism – Star Wars Planes

As it is May 4th today, and an opportunity to discuss Star Wars (May The Fourth Be With You – May the Force be with You), in the next of my posts on contents tourism (if you don’t know what contents tourism is, please see my post about Tanigawa and Ichi-no-kurasawa), I will be focussing on ANA’s Star Wars planes.

I was delighted to be part of team that initially came together for a workshop held at Tokyo’s University of Foreign Studies in July 2018. This ultimately led to the book Contents Tourism and Pop Culture Fandom: Transnational Tourist Experiences, in which I have a chapter, ‘Contents Tourism in Plane Sight‘.

My focus in that chapter and in this post is on planes – noting that while contents tourism primarily involves fans travelling to places related to a particular element of popular culture of which they are a fan, there appear to be cases where not only are the means of transportation the site of contents tourism, but possibly that the vehicle (and its organisation) are taking part in contents tourism (in a form of cosplay).

As I discussed in a post about taking picture of planes in Japan, I became interested in the liveries of planes in Japan and began to research this area. Having grown up with Star Wars, I found it particularly interesting when ANA, a Japanese airline, started using Star Wars details on its planes. I’m not going into great detail about the hows and whys here – it’s in my chapter mentioned above. And since I wrote that another airline has also started to use Star Wars on its planes. But the key points I would highlight are that, if you look at what some airlines put on their planes (see the Jonanjima post, for example), the question shouldn’t so much be why would ANA put Star Wars on its planes, but why wouldn’t it.

As yet, I’ve not travelled on any of the Star Wars planes, but I have managed to get some photos of them…

Approaching Narita Airport
At Haneda Airport
The view of the above plane with the R2-D2 livery from the other side
Close up at Haneda Airport
C3-PO plane at Haneda Airport. Is this becoming a form of cosplay?

Although I’ve not been on an ANA Star Wars plane, I did come across the Star Wars influence on another ANA flight when checking details about the planes in the ANA fleet…

Sadly I didn’t get to catch the Millennium Falcon.. but it’s probably a better addition to the fleet than a blue whale which used to be on the listing (ANA had a plane with a blue whale livery)

See my other posts relating to Contents Tourism, by clicking here.

A Star Wars plane also gets mentioned in my novel FOUR.

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