Disney Imagineers gathered with Lucasfilm employees to talk about their partnership and the upcoming Star Wars Lands coming to Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Star Wars and Disney Parks: A Galaxy in the Making panel took place at Star Wars Celebration Orlando on Saturday. From Disney Parks, we had:
- Wendy Anderson, Creative Director at Walt Disney Imagineering
- Scott Trowbridge, Portfolio Creative Executive / Studio Leader at Walt Disney Imagineering
- Asa Kalama, Executive Creative Director at Walt Disney Imagineering
- Chris Beatty, Executive Creative Director for Walt Disney Imagineering
And representing Lucasfilm, we had:
- Doug Chiang, Vice President / Executive Creative Director at Lucasfilm
- Pablo Hidalgo, Creative Executive at Lucasfilm
We have full video of the panel at the end of this post, but I’d like to cover some of the highlights that stood out to me.
Will you be able to fly the Millenium Falcon?
Yes, and no. Yes, in the sense that someone in your group will be fully piloting the Millenium Falcon. There will be other guests, or crew, in the Falcon with you who will have various tasks.
What planet are we visiting?
The panelists were very vague on this answer, but basically we’re visiting a new planet located somewhere in the Outer Rim. This planet hasn’t been made known to us in Star Wars canon, yet. The Imagineers stressed the need for a new planet over an old one. They said if we were to visit an old planet, we’d know the story there. More importantly, we’d know that we aren’t a part of that story. Imagineers wanted a new, unheard of planet to tell a new, unheard story, featuring you.
The detailing on this planet will be immense. You’ll have unique interactions with the locals as you explore all it has to offer. From a design perspective, you’ll see a marketplace that has unique uses of items that the locals have collected throughout the years, by either honest or nefarious means. You might even see a pod racing engine cooking meat to buy!
Who lives on this planet?
Basically those who don’t want to be found. This new planet has become a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. It’s also a convenient safe-haven for others intent on avoiding the expanding reach of the First Order. These “no questions asked” characters are looking to fill an open spot or two on their crew, will you have what it takes?
What is your story, anyways?
This was quite possibly the most interesting portion of the panel, for me. The panelists discussed how the decisions you make while visiting this planet will have an effect on how locals of the planet treat you. Can’t fly the Millenium Falcon well? Chances are you aren’t going to be a top recruit for other characters in the land. Fly the Falcon a bit too well and take out First Order ships? You might just have a bounty on your head!
You’ll also be put in the middle of the action. As we know, drama can break out at any moment in a Star Wars film, and Star Wars Land looks to be no different. Disney live entertainment is working with the stunt teams for upcoming Star Wars movies to learn and implement fight scenes into Star Wars Land. These fight scenes will take place on rooftops, ladders, anywhere you can imagine, action is around the corner.
Disney has long-touted the technological power of MagicBands and My Disney Experience. While it’s not fully realized in the parks yet, a MagicBand could end up serving as a sort of diary, logging your interactions, accomplishments, and failures as you interact with the new land to build a reputation for you!
For more details straight from the source, check out our full video of the panel below.
Here’s the video that they blocked on copyright claims from the panel above.