Star Wars Land is scheduled to open in 2019, so we still have a while to wait, but Disney shared some early details as part of Star Wars Celebration. In both the promotional video above and the panel below, Disney Imagineers and Lucasfilm creatives shared concept art and information about the new park.
According to the Disney Parks blog and the panelists, Star Wars Land will be set in an all-new location that hasn’t been seen in the films. This new location is described as a remote outpost somewhere in the Outer Rim, which “was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes.” Now that hyperspace travel has left it behind, it’s instead “a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers,” as well as “a convenient safe-haven for others intent on avoiding the expanding reach of the First Order.”
“Basically, all the interesting people,” joked Scott Trowbridge, the Disney creative portfolio executive in charge of Star Wars Imagineering, “Basically, all the interesting people are here.”
Asa Kalama, executive creative director for Walt Disney Imagineering, explained, “We’re creating a place that is an extension of the Star Wars Universe – not a recreation of an experience that you might have seen on screen, but something totally brand-new.”
Doug Chiang, Lucasfilm vice president and creative director for Star Wars, described the park as “a 14+ acre movie set that’s real.” He said he wanted to bring the sensation that he gets on a movie set – that “you can completely get immersed” – but in a real-world, multidimensional setting.
Guests will be able to drink blue milk, eat meat grilled by a rigged-up podracer engine, and – perhaps most excitingly – drive the Millennium Falcon as part of a crew. However, their performance as a member of the Millennium Falcon crew will follow them through the park.
“This is a world in which choices matter,” said Trowbridge, “and so if you do [bang up the Millennium Falcon], there are consequences.”
“If you bring a ship back pretty heavily damaged,” said Kalama, “chances are somebody’s not gonna be too happy about that.”
“You can essentially build a reputation in the Star Wars universe,” summarized Pablo Hidalgo.
Both familiar faces and new characters will show up in the park.
“It’s going to be connected to things that you’ve known and loved, characters you’ve known and loved, but also some new ones that we can’t wait to introduce to you,” said Wendy Anderson, who handles live performance for Disney Imagineering. “Of course, we’re going to have a presence of the Resistance and the First Order, because that’s Star Wars. But then you’re also going to have people who just live here.” Both types of characters will “interact with” and “engage with” guests – including by getting into fights in front of them.
The panel shared some stunt footage from a practice in London, which seemed to show a woman with a broom fighting off some Storm Troopers. “We’re using rooftops, we’re using ladders,” said Anderson. “Man, you’re gonna feel like you’re in the thick of it. You’re not gonna sit in a chair and watch it happening. You’re gonna be standing right in front of it.”
“For those who are looking to delve a little bit deeper…there are gonna be a ton of opportunities to help out and support the Resistance,” said Kalama, “lots of smugglers and bounty hunters who are looking for a little bit of help and might be willing to offer you a side job, and for those of you who are interested in supporting the First Order, that will absolutely be an opportunity as well.”
“This project is the most ambitious project I’ve ever seen in the history of Walt Disney Imagineering,” said Chris Beatty, executive creative director for Walt Disney Imagineering. “It is on a scale that is unprecedented.”
How is the park sounding to you all? Are you excited about the immersive experience, or still not sure?
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