Disney’s Imagineers have blasted the lid off of their most ambitious project yet: designing a pair of incredibly immersive Star Wars areas that are scheduled to launch in Disney World and Disneyland in 2019.
If you’re a fan of the Star Wars series, and you haven’t been following the slow trickle of news about the upcoming expansions, get ready to be excited. “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” is a 14-acre themed area that will give visitors the impression that they’ve wandered into an intergalactic trading post that was formerly in a galaxy far, far away.
A detailed 50-foot model of this upcoming attraction was unveiled at the Disney D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, that showcases the weathered alien backdrop that is currently under construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland. The yet unnamed planet will feature plenty of Star Wars staples from the films, including life-sized TIE fighters, R5 droids, and Ithorian “hammerhead” aliens who call this remote frontier outpost home.
Visitors can expect at least two rides: one where guests can help pilot the iconic Millenium Falcon, and another that places the audience in the midst of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Timeline-wise, this area is set between “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens,” and will reveal untold stories that involve the rise of both factions.
More than anything else, I am especially interested in experiencing a Star Wars world that is true to the movies, where aliens from countless worlds walk the streets, droids beep and whir as they perform their duties, and the threat of a blaster shootout between the light side and the dark could break out at any time. Disney Imagineering’s Scott Trowbridge made it clear that guests will have their own unique experiences and adventures here:
If you’re flying the Millennium Falcon on a mission and you bring that ship in all banged up, the boss man might not be too happy. When you roll into the cantina later on, the bartender might lean over and say, ‘Word on the street is that there’s a bounty on your head.’ Characters are not just on a stage. They’re living with you.
If Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is even half as incredible as it sounds, it will be well worth the hyperspace jump to the Disney parks. Good thing it opens in 2019 — I’ll have plenty of time to study up on how to speak fluent Ithorian by then!