By this point, it’s safe to say that once again the Star Wars franchise has more than flexed its muscles at box offices everywhere. The series that so many of us grew up with has, well, grown. It has gifted an entire new generation with what are arguably the same levels of intrigue and excitement that past generations have felt, thanks to Episode VII - The Force Awakens.
As the franchise continues to grow, the demand to be closer than ever with the Star Wars universe and its characters has hit unparalleled levels. No longer are a new blockbuster film and some action figures good enough. Even video games don’t quite hit the mark in terms of immersion. It’s time for more, even beyond tie-in animated TV series such as Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.
Well, something new is certainly on its way. As Disneyland recently celebrated its 60th Anniversary with a star studded broadcast on ABC, Harrison Ford was on hand to introduce a segment that provided more insight into what is perhaps the grandest Star Wars project to date - Star Wars Land.
It’s been no secret that Walt Disney Imagineering and LucasFilm have banded together to create two new theme parks based on the Star Wars saga. This new footage however, marks the first in-depth look that fans have had so far of the upcoming theme parks. Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World will each have their own Star Wars Land and according to the video, guests will be able to board and pilot the Millenium Falcon (as well as fire the laser cannons at incoming Imperial forces), view a battle firsthand between the Resistance and the First Order; enter street markets, sets and various locales; interact with familiar characters and droids, as well as stop in at the “local” cantina. Food will be served at what the video calls “the planet’s best dinner club” and “local delicacies” such as blue Bantha milk can be found within the theme park’s markets. The segment concluded with a live orchestral medley of Star Wars music, from Episode IV right up to Episode VII.
On the surface, this initial glimpse at Star Wars Land looks interesting, but not all that enticing. Sure, controlling the Millenium Falcon and seeing a battle between Resistance and First Order forces is great, but how long will that entertain the average Star Wars fan? Paying what will surely be a costly park entry fee for the privilege of eating an overpriced meal in a Star Wars themed restaurant is hardly feeling the Force. Where are the Star Wars rides?
With all that being said, Disney has been globally operating theme parks for 60 years now and in that time, they’ve undoubtedly learned a thing or two about how to keep the public happy. Add in the experience of LucasFilm and the overall gargantuan popularity of Star Wars and there’s every chance that Star Wars Land is going to deliver in a big way - when it finally does open its doors to the public.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is now in theaters, and will be followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.