In 2019, Disneyland and Walt Disney World will become Star Wars mecca with the opening of their tandem ‘Star Wars Land’ theme park areas. Construction is already well under way in both California and Florida and the Internet is rife with intrepid Disney and Lucasfilm fans willing to shell out cash on drones or helicopter rides in order to get a sneak peek at what’s to come. One leak was so prevalent that Disney themselves put out an official announcement rather than let the rumors spiral out of control.
With the opening of the parks still over a year away, Disney is trying to keep things under wraps. But at the recent Star Wars Celebration Orlando, the company let out a few tiny details. We now know the park will force guests to choose a side — the First Order or the Resistance — and that decision will impact your experience in the park. We also know the parks will be considered a planet; one that used to be a trade hub before the invention of hyperspace travel, and everything that happens there is considered canon.
Now, in an interview with Bloomberg, Scott Trowbridge has peeled back a few more layers. The leader of the creative development team for ‘Star Wars Land,’ Trowbridge confirmed the yet unnamed planet is new to the Star Wars lexicon. One that will include both a First Order spaceport and an ancient forest compound the Resistance has turned into their base of operations.
“We wanted to create a brand-new planet, a remote frontier outpost somewhere on the edge of wild space that is rife with opportunities for you to discover your Star Wars story. It used to be a trading port. But with the advent of hyperspace, it kind of got left behind, which made it a perfect place for those who didn’t want to be in the mainstream, our rogue’s gallery. All the interesting people? This is where you’re going to find them now.”
What’s interesting is this isn’t the first foray into wild space since Disney took over Lucasfilm. Star Wars Rebels has explored what lies beyond the Outer Rim, though not in the kind of detail that would’ve once been found in the now defunct Expanded Universe lore. Trowbridge confirming the planet was an economic center before the advent of faster-than-light travel raises some interesting questions. In Rogue One, audiences were exposed to the moon of Jedha, which contains some of the oldest architecture in the known galaxy. If the ‘Star Wars Land’ planet is old enough to exist when sub-light-speed was the fastest way to travel, it’s not a huge leap to assume it existed in concert with Jedha.
It also hints that humanity (or at least sentient life) began in the Outer Rim/Wild Space and progressed inward towards the likes of Coruscant, with Disney confirming the theme parks will be canon. Not likely to be important for the main trilogy but enough of a hook for an Old Republic television show. After all, the Lucasfilm Story Group has already set the groundwork for the Old Republic with the Guardians of the Whils, the ancient Jedi and Sith temples, and the reveal that balancing the Force probably means Gray Jedi and not the obliteration of the Sith. Hint, hint Disney.
The Bloomberg article also talks about alien cantina chefs, black market souvenirs, mysterious character meet-and-greets, the Millennium Falcon, and other sundry experiences guest will engage in. Trowbridge then drops that most of ‘Star Wars Land’ will be kept under wraps until 2019 because not only will it be tied to The Last Jedi, but the as yet unnamed Star Wars: Episode IX as well. That will be tied into the other main attraction within the park — a battle between the First Order and the Resistance.
Which side will you choose? Or will you just have to go twice to get both sides of the story? Let’s be honest, Disney is probably hoping for the latter.