Since the first golden words crawled across the screen in 1977, humans have longed to know what it would be like to visit a galaxy far far away. Well, thanks to the magic of Disney, our dreams can come true. Star Wars Land is under construction in both California and Florida and it’s promising fun for all ages.
One of the more impressive features is the addition of life-sized AT-ATs, a version of which was recently seen in the 2016 Star Wars franchise installment, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The commercial (and critical) success of that spinoff film (the first such Star Wars spinoff movie of its kind) reassured Disney’s choice to purchase the Star Wars property for around $4 billion in 2012 - and it doesn’t look like the Mouse House will be cutting any corners, with the upcoming Star Wars theme park experience.
The AT-AT rumor has been swirling all week, and Disney has just officially released a video showing two such real-life AT-ATs being constructed.For those in need of a refresher on their Star Wars terminology: “AT-AT" is never spoken in any of the films and the machines are instead referred to as "Imperial Walkers". They first appeared in The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke Skywalker helped destroy the giant by wrapping its legs with a tow cable from his T-47, causing the it to trip and fall. They also appeared in Return of the Jedi and have since been a symbol of the Empire’s overwhelming might and power.
AT-AT is short for “All Terrain Armored Transports” and they stand 22.5 meters tall.The “head” of the AT-AT serves as the cockpit and is armored with blasters and laser cannons to ward off enemies, as it transports troops held in the “body” area. George Lucas claims he got the idea for the Walkers from the massive tripods from H.G. Wells' 1898 novel The War of the Worlds. There is a variant of the design, officially called AT-ACTs, which was technically the model of AT-AT seen in Rogue One, but for the casual Star Wars fan, the traditional AT-AT design will be just fine for the Disney park adventure.
When can we experience these larger-than-life treasures? According to the video, sometime in 2019. Too long to wait? Don’t worry, Disney has us covered with tons of Star Wars-themed shows and spectacles in the meantime. The park will host the annual Star Wars Celebration this coming April, where superfans are the first to hear of any big announcements, should there be any. There’s also plenty of Star Tours and First Order Burgers to be had as well.
Star Wars Land is an exciting new addition to the Disney parks, and might just be the perfect answer to Universal's hit Harry Potter World. With both worlds up and running, it's a good time to be a geek.