Ever since they acquired Lucasfilm and claimed the rights to Star Wars way back in 2012, Disney has begun a wildly successful revival of the iconic franchise. Their first movie, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens shattered several box office records, going on to become the biggest film of all time in the U.S. and U.K. Riding high on the success of that first trilogy installment, Disney currently has at least three Star Wars spin-offs on the way, including next month’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and 2018’s Han Solo prequel.
These new films are just the start to Disney’s worldwide Star Wars revival, though, as the company has been rolling out all kinds of merch, both new and nostalgic, and is even developing plans to realize the world of Star Wars here on planet Earth. Back in February, Harrison Ford announced the company’s plans to build a Star Wars Land at both Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland in Anaheim. Though an extensive “first look” at the parks’ plans accompanied the announcement, the company and its Imagineers pretty much went radio silent on the project after this spring. Now, though, the company has finally announced new details about both Star Wars Lands and released some new concept art, to boot.
The official Disney Parks website unveiled new concept art for Star Wars Land at Disney World and discussed the upcoming attractions highlighted in said plans, particularly “one of the signature attractions that lets you take the controls of the Millennium Falcon.” The company also announced changes to the Star Tours ride at Disneyland, teasing that “Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm teams are currently in production to add an exciting new mission to the attraction based on elements from Star Wars Episode 8.” You can check out the high-res concept art, below.
Though the actual article doesn’t reveal too much about the new attraction, this high-res art gives enough of an up-close look at the park to drive some fun speculation. It looks as though Imagineers have opted for a desert planet atmosphere, which makes sense, given previous promises to include a cantina setting in the park. A number of colorful awnings also point to the markets proposed in the initial Star Wars Land announcement, though we’re curious to know how they will utilize that open, plaza-like space off to the right. Also, we hope that soaring X-wing isn’t just artistic embellishment – maybe it signals a new ride? After all, if Disneyland is getting some exclusive updates to Star Tours, it makes sense that some new thrills would make their way to Disney World as well.
All in all, this new information doesn’t actually tell us much concretely about the upcoming parks that we didn’t already know. It does give us hope, though, that the planned attractions will include some real entertainment, and amount to more than just a glorified Star Wars-style outdoor mall. That model did admittedly work well for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, where the park is based around shopping district Hogsmeade and originally only included three rides, one of which was just a rebranding of an old coaster. It’s possible that Disney will make up a Star Wars world so immersive that merely visiting it will be fun enough.
With an ongoing inundation of Rogue One and Han Solo news, it’s cool to see an update on Disney’s real-world prospects for Star Wars fans. Now all the company has to do is meet their out-of-this-world expectations.