Star Wars at Disney is pretty cool as is. They have such attractions as an updated Star Tours and The Jedi Training Academy stage show. There is also Star Wars Weekends, where Hollywood Studios is transformed into a Star Wars themed park, almost during these weeks  All of that, however, is nothing compared to what Disney has planned for its all-Star Wars Park expansion. Construction has been underway for under a year and along the way Disney has teased the park with concept art and some official words laying out some of the best key attractions; including a full scale Millennium Falcon, life size ATATs, and cantinas where robots, aliens and rebel scum are abound. Cool, right? Well, according to revealings from Star Wars Celebration, the park is going to be far cooler than anyone could have possibly imagined. How cool? Well it’s not exactly Westworld but it’s pretty darn close. A park where your decisions have consequences! Oh, and Lucasfilm has announced that the Star Wars-themed land coming to Disney parks in California and Florida will officially become part of the canon.

Saturday afternoon at Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017, Disney Parks and Lucasfilm presented “Star Wars & Disney Parks: A Galaxy In The Making.” Announcements were made during the panel including details on a new Star Wars: The Last Jedi segment in Star Tours: The Adventures Continue and a lot of new information and concept art from Star Wars Land.

The panel included several Disney Imagineers alongside Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo, one of the architects of the Star Wars galaxy, and Doug Chiang, who leads the art department and is providing film-quality concept art for the dual 14-acre worlds. They first discussed the setting and place that this part of the Star Wars Universe takes place in.

“We wanted to build new Star Wars stories, new Star Wars destinations, but this time you can be in the story,” said Disney’s Scott Trowbridge. “We want you to discover your own Star Wars story. That requires going to a new place with lots of new stories to discover.”

At that point, Hidalgo proclaimed that Lucasfilm’s Story Group, which maintains continuity across the entire franchise, from the films and TV shows to books and games, determined that “new place” is just a hyperspace jump from Jakku.

“We had to not only figure out where this place is on the galactic map but what it’s history has been throughout galactic history,” said Hidalgo.

“It’s a bit off the beaten path. I’m not going to tell you where it is, but I will tell you that it is on the map. For those Star Wars cartographers who always obsess over where it is, know that we obsess over it, too, and know that putting a dot on the map brings a lot of history to it, and we’ve begun examining what the ramifications of its location are.”

Chiang also showcased some new concept art during the panel and in a YouTube video:

The panelists also filled in a few details of the new land, er, planet. “It’s a remote frontier outpost somewhere on the edge of wild space,” he said, before breaking into what is destined to become a Wookieepedia entry. “This used to be a vibrant trading port back in the old sub-lightspeed days. But now with the advent of hyperspace, its prominence has fallen and faded a little bit, which made it a great spot for those who didn’t want to be on that mainstream path — the smugglers, the bounty hunters, rogue adventures looking to crew up, the people who don’t want to be found… basically all the interesting people.”

While not too many details were revealed about the attractions in the park — it’s been wildly known already there would be a cantina, a chance to fight Stormtroopers, and, best of all, the ability to fly the Millennium Falcon. What was revealed, however, was the surprise at just how interactive the park is going to be We’re talking next-level interactions, where there are consequences to your actions in this world and on the rides. This is where the Westworld-esque comparison begin…

The Walt Disney Imagineers wanted to build new Star Wars stories, new Star Wars destinations and put the guests in their own stories. As guests move throughout the land, they will encounter the presence of the Resistance and the First Order, but also the inhabitants of the world who may not be of either affiliation. You’ll be able to engage with them, interact with them, and go on adventures with them. You will be able to build a reputation in the Star Wars universe that will follow you around.

And action… oh how there will be action. Disney is working with stunt designers on the Star Wars films to design the action we’ll see in the world. They will be creating action scenes in real time around you. Using rooftops, ladders,…etc  You won’t be sitting watching it like a typical stunt show, a chase sequence may happen impromptu, or a big fight scene might happen on the roofs above you.

The Disney-Lucasfilm also promised more updates as we get closer to the park’s 2019 opening. They will likely show more at D23 Expo in July 2017

Category: Cool Stuff

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