The biggest news out of D23 Expo was, no surprise, related to Star Wars. As expected, we finally learned the name of the new Star Wars expansions coming to Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios so we can stop calling it “Star Wars Land.”
Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek revealed the name to be Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and it will open at Disneyland and Disney World in 2019. Disneyland will get the new land first, and it will open later that year at Hollywood Studios.
The land’s name describes the location of this new planet which can be found, as you may have guessed, on the galaxy’s edge. The model of the new land was revealed on the expo floor. Imagineers on hand to chat with attendees noted that even though this is a planet we haven’t seen before, it’s been there for a long time and the characters we have come to know are also familiar with it, so we may find some of them there. I take that to mean we might see this new planet in The Last Jedi and/or the forthcoming Han Solo film, but we’ll have to wait and see.
As we previously knew, the lands will feature two E-ticket attractions, one that puts you in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance and one that allows guests to pilot the Millennium Falcon.
The Millennium Falcon attraction sounds like it will originate with from a deal made between Chewbacca and Hondo Ohnaka that will lead to us joining up as a flight crew. If you perform poorly, you could end up on the list of a bounty hunter.
The battle escape attraction will feature a trackless ride vehicle, a model of which was on display in the parks pavilion on the expo floor. It is a First Order fleet transport vehicle piloted by an astromech droid, which is programmed with ship schematics and security access codes.
Former Star Tours pilot Rex will make a grand return in the new land with a brand new job, serving as a DJ in the Cantina where you’ll be able to get some “farm-fresh blue milk” as imagineer Scott Trowbridge pointed out.
A big star of D23 Expo weekend was the model of the land in the parks pavilion on the show floor. The scope and detail is breathtaking. The only thing that tops the total wow factor of the model is the incredible enthusiasm of the imagineers working on the project who were hanging out to chat with fans.
We learned that the three entrances around the front of the model are specific to Disneyland’s version of the land, and the entrances for Hollywood Studios will be different in some ways due to the nature of building in Florida versus California. Watch Disney’s fly through of the model shown during the parks panel below.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is going to be mind blowing. I feel comfortable saying that even two years before it opens. The land is going to be living and breathing with character and adventure, and we might all want to become residents of this mysterious planet once 2019 rolls around.