Imagineers and LucasFilm members hosted a special panel tonight at the Star Wars Galactic Nights event called Inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. During the panel, a few tidbits were given to attendees about the upcoming 14-acre land coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We’re going to break down a few of those details below.
The panelists were:
- Scott Trowbridge – As Portfolio Creative Executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, Scott oversees the strategic concept development and integration of the Star Wars franchise across all lines of business—including merchandise, food & beverage, marketing and operations.
- Eric Baker – As Creative Director at Walt Disney Imagineering, Eric is responsible for developing stories and ideas for Disney theme parks and other Disney venues, as well as bringing these stories to life—from props to creatures. Some of his past projects include Tortuga Tavern, the extended Haunted Mansion queue and Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.
- Margaret Kerrison – As Managing Story Editor at Walt Disney Imagineering, Margaret is responsible for the overall story direction in the Star Wars portfolio in which she guides and manages Star Wars-related story initiatives throughout all Disney lands, resorts and attractions. Margaret’s works also includes Hyperspace Mountain in Disneyland Park and Grand Avenue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
- Jon Georges – As an Executive Producer at Walt Disney Imagineering with over 30 years of experience, Jon has produced many projects around the world in addition to his current work on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge—including the recent updates to Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom park.
As far as huge announcements were concerned, we didn’t really get much information beyond the name of the village we’re visiting. Back in November of last year, Disney announced the name of the planet we’ll be visiting when we pass through the tunnel from Grand Avenue and enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Much like Pandora – The World of Avatar, there are two names guests will have to keep in mind when trying to pinpoint where they’re at within the galaxy far, far away. The planet we’re traveling to is named Batuu and the specific village that we’ll be walking through is named Black Spire Outpost. The village got its name from the large, black spire located in the middle of the village. As the story goes, smugglers and travelers would use the black spire (seen below) as a wayfinding location for meetups. Here’s the official description from Disney:
Black Spire Outpost is the name of the village inside of the upcoming Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at both Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The village is closely associated with the geological formations that surround it. As the largest settlement on the planet Batuu, Black Spire Outpost is an infamous stop for traders, adventurers, and smugglers traveling around the Outer Rim and Wild Space. Off the beaten path, this outpost has become a haven for the galaxy’s most colorful — and notorious — characters. Widely known for the petrified remains of its once towering ancient trees, the spires now stand guard across the river valleys and plains and have long captured the imagination of travelers to this planet. To the first settlers, these petrified spires became more than just landmarks; they became the heart of the outpost itself.
Panelists continued with a few new details, including that we’ll be boarding a second ship within the land. The new ship is called a Resistance Troop Transport and is full-size and guests will be able to walk into the ship.
Beyond those details, panelists talked about how extensive the work is that they’re doing to bring an authentic location to life. They talked about a character, Nien Nunb, who will play a big part in our Galaxy’s Edge adventure. In order to make the experience authentic, Imagineers traveled to Kenya to find the original voice-actor and have him record dialog.
Speaking of the movies, Imagineers and LucasFilm team members are working extensively with the teams working on the Star Wars films. Over 5,000 people are working on Galaxy’s Edge worldwide, including individuals at the famous Pinewood Studios in the United Kingdom. Imagineers are working with the same prop developers that are working on the movies, including capturing content in tandem with the studio to create an authentic experience.
Speaking towards older details, Imagineers talked a bit about the two full-size AT-AT’s that guests will encounter in the First Order Battle Escape attraction that we first spotted about a year ago.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in late-Fall 2019.