Following their acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012, Disney looked to expand the galaxy far, far away in plenty of new and exciting ways. Of course, they intend on releasing a new Star Wars movie every year for the foreseeable future and have assembled a cohesive franchise canon that includes television shows, books, comics, and video games. All this new media is great for fans, but it only scratches the surface of what the Mouse House is planning to do with their prized property.
Taking full advantage of all the opportunities Star Wars presents, Disney is tapping into the zeitgeist's craving for more content by piecing together a Star Wars Land at their Disneyland and Walt Disney World theme parks. Construction on the various attractions began back in April 2016, and while there have been brief glimpses and teases of what's to come, full details have been kept under wraps for now. To date, the most revealing tidbits have been pieces of concept artwork to give fans an idea of the overall vision. That's a practice that continues today with the unveiling of a brand new image.
Coming courtesy of the Disney Parks blog, the new rendering can be seen on the fence along Big Thunder Trail in Frontierland. It's described as "one of the entry points to this never-before-seen planet in the Star Wars galaxy." You can check it out below:
Disney's post suggests that if viewers look close enough, they might "find hints of of some of the thrilling experiences" that will be present in Star Wars Land. It's no surprise that the Millennium Falcon is prominently featured in the picture, as one of the key selling points for the expansion is the chance to "fly" the iconic spaceship. Maybe some skilled pilot will be able to beat Han Solo's Kessel Run record. It will be interesting to see what else Disney has in store, since much like the galaxy itself, the possibilities for the amusement park are virtually endless.
Star Wars will have a very large presence at Disneyland when everything is completed. It's said that the expansion is a whopping 14 acres, making it the largest single-themed addition in the history of the resort. With all that space, there's bound to be a plethora of activities for both children and adults to enjoy. Star Wars is known for its massive cross-generational appeal, which is an element that few other blockbuster franchises can rival. Families are probably already planning their trips, so Disney wants to make sure the experience is as inclusive as it can be.
It was a no-brainer for Disney Parks to make way for Star Wars attractions; the financial benefits are endless. When the expansion opens, it will turn into a constant revenue stream that could generate billions of dollars annually. The company paid "just" $4 billion for Lucasfilm four years ago, and with all they have coming through the pipeline, that could end up being the robbery of the century. Between box office grosses, merchandise sales, and theme park visitors, this investment is going to pay off in spades.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Source: Disney Parks Blog