There’s lots of Star Wars Land news coming out of Florida this weekend thanks to the Disney Parks panel held at Star Wars Celebrations. We’ve got new images, clips, and comments from the panel, and we’re going to break down all that good stuff. Let’s start with the 30 second video of a drone fly-over of the in progress Star Wars Land in Anaheim.
Great shots, as brief as they were. I captured this shot of what we’re assuming is the millennium falcon site. It’s definitely more sharp and clear than the stills we captured form the news chopper footage. You can see more definition on those two symmetrical openings. Tell us what you see Fresh Baked!
Here’s a shot of the pool. We finally get to see its depth and surroundings. They did in fact close off that area that looked open for a long while. It’s since been covered at least partially. Comments suggest they’ll be pouring concrete over it next. Interestingly, one of the panelists said the PIT is not for swimming. Clearly that’s a nod to us, am I right?
Here’s a shot coming around the right of the battle escape building an in to the front portion of the land if you’re entering from frontierland or fantasyland. You can see the millennium falcon off in the distance.
We also got 4 new pieces of concept art and a cool shot of the walkers inside the battle escape attraction.
New view of the walkers. Helps maybe give you an idea of the scale. This looks to be taken at ground level, near their feet. It doesn’t look like they’ll have any ability to articulate. Neck looks fixed. There are no knees. Gotta have knees if it’s going to so much as bob around a bit.
This was described at the panel as being a BBQ that is built from a used pod racer. Looks to me like something you might find at a Mongolian BBQ. I expect this will be an actual dining location, though I think it’s likely the food wont be prepared here like it is done at a Mongolian BBQ. This is probably aesthetic only.
This is another new piece of artwork revealed, though I don’t see that it’s showing us anything specific, other than of course the attention to detail, even just for a walkway. Perhaps to bazaar type area, maybe a restaurant. Lots of ad hoc pipes etc. that areweathered. Those are drinking fountains it appears. Perhaps drinking whatever it is in those cannisters!??!
There’s the falcon through the arch. If the exterior falcon is here, then we can expect that queue and show building to be somewhere out of frame to the right and probably back a bit. This also puts us just on the other side of the battle escape building.
Similar to an image we’ve seen previously, this is an example of the bazaar type setting we’ll find for shops etc. There’s a droid at the lease line for what looks to be a fruit stand. That’s fun. I do wonder though at what point the commitment to theming will end in relation to what we’re seeing in the concept art. For example, I don’t see any tie fighter bubble blowers here. Or t-shirts. You know what I mean. This is 100% theme, 0% reality. Where is that line being drawn?
We got some detailed pencil drawings of in the park, on the ground with the guests cast members. As this is a new planet (to us), with new stories, most of the cast members we encounter in the parks will be new to us as well.
This is possibly a bounty hunter or a rebel. Full costume. Hair and makeup too?
This one is likely a traditional costume with removable head type thing.
This is a screen grab of one of the more curious clips from the panel. It’s a stunt workshop where they are preparing for a fight that will take place in the park. Not sure if it’s on stage, or streetmosphere. She’s wielding a broom, likely a shop worker fending off what appear to be Stormtroopers. I’m really hoping this happens on the street, because that would be the true definition of immersive theming.
Now let’s talk more about some of the comments made during the panel.
They all went to great lengths to say that this will be all new. A new planet (still no name yet), new stories, new destinations. They didn’t want to put us in a story we already know the end to. They want us to PARTICIPATE in a new story. New to us anyway, as Pablo Hidalgo also made sure to remind us that this location is not new to the galaxy. It IS on the galactic map, though he won’t yet say where, and it’s been there for thousands of years.
They describe it as a place that is off the beaten path. The kind of place you got so that you won’t be found. Wendy Anderson described it as a sort of underworld. Doug Chiang described the land as being like a massive movie set, where all details are considered. But rather than just a 2d set, where if one were to turn around they’d see cameras and crew etc., this movie set is 360 degrees.
He used the term “world building”, which I just love. Part of the reason we love Star Wars, or other similar worlds like Marvel and Lord of the Rings, is the idea of this complete universe, where everything has a back story. If they’re applying that type of design here, I’ll be in love.
When discussing the Millennium Falcon attraction, they confirmed we’re not riding passively, like one does on Star Tours, but we’ll be in control. Certainly not EVERYONE though, as there can be only so many actual pilots. By the sounds of things, guests will be responsible for the levels of turbulence you feel on-ride, and the ships condition when you land. I guess everyone lands at least lands.
Part of the immersive levels they’re hinting at is what happens if you DO have a rough landing. It was inferred that a character just might follow you out of the attraction and in to a restaurant or something if you damage the falcon. To chastise you I suppose. Then Anderson did a Chewbacca impression, thus inferring that HE would be the one to follow you around? If this is the case…hell yeah. That sounds awesome.
It was also mentioned that a bounty hunter may ask for your help, or you could even join or assist the first order? And something to the effect that guests can build a reputation?? I’m not sure if this was meant to be taken literally, but choosing a side does sound kind of like an ability to customize your adventure in the park. In reality, this may sound familiar to some, as it is quite close to the experience we had at Legends of Frontierland.
Ian and I had a conversation about this not long ago when we were at the Golden Horseshoe. At the time I had suggested that Legends was not a test for a deeper experienced in Frontierland, but rather a test for a similar experience at Star Wars Land! Just think, a Legends of Frontierland like experience that never ends. If you choose, you can delve deep enough in to the “game” to where one could have an all day Star Wars Land adventure. This is the kind of thing that makes me VERY hopeful.
Finally, here are some small things I picked up during the panel that stuck out.
Blue Milk was mentioned, as in… we’re getting it.
There will be droids throughout the land. Some old, some new.
When discussing AT-AT’s in the battle escape attraction, Trowbridge made sure to say that they were SOME of the AT-AT’s.
Real lightsabers. Well, real-ish anyway. They wouldn’t go in to details again, but the host did kind of lose his ish a little when talking about it, as he had already seen one. Not sure if this the usual over-hype of a host, but I’m willing to be optimistic.
And there will be MORE revealed at D23 in just a couple of months.
So there you go Fresh Baked. Those are our observations on the images and clips we’ve seen coming from the Disney Parks panel. I have to see it’s all very positive as far as I’m concerned. Everything appears to be lining up for a land that is as focused on the environment as it is the attractions, and that’s how a Disneyland land should be.