A lot has been reported by us here regarding the upcoming Disney theme park expansion area Galaxy’s Edge, soon to open in Disneyland, Anaheim and later at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, Florida. While the Disneyland version is opening first, the Disney World iteration has an extra advantage.
Said advantage is in the form of a hotel connecting to the Galaxy’s Edge area, themed after the same franchise as the expansion itself: Star Wars. Disney Parks and Resorts have really outdone themselves in developing this new themed area, which invites guests to an even deeper level of immersion.
In order to hype Disney park-goers and Star Wars fans, the House of Mouse has recently released a couple of mini-videos showcasing concept art of the Star Wars Hotel’s interior. Said videos touch up the “realism” of the location by portraying some moving images to simulate the hotel in “reality”.
The first video above shows a mock-up of a family-size hotel guest room. Forget the pampered luxury of most accommodations; this hotel plays up the Star Wars motif to the hilt, with bunk-beds that evoke Japanese capsule hotels and a monitor disguised as a window, displaying breathtaking views of space.
Next is a look at what appears to be a hotel passageway. Even here, the video-screen “windows” are in evidence, providing the illusion that the hotel is a spaceship travelling to space, meeting other vessels in its course like that Rebel blockade runner above. Imagine the production work regarding that.
The Disney World Star Wars Hotel will be connected by exclusive passageways to Hollywood Studios’ Galaxy’s Edge area when both attractions are finally open. It will feature park “cast members” portraying characters constantly, and playing out unfolding storylines day after day. Guests will thus experience Star Wars like never before.
On March 5, the last three episodes for season 4 of Star Wars Rebels will air on Disney XD. And with that, the much-beloved CG animated series that chronicled the early struggles of the Rebel Alliance against the Galactic Empire (before the Battle of Yavin) will come to an conclusion.
But that many not be the end of all animated Star Wars; Disney and Lucasfilm couldn’t possibly let go of such a popular mainstream story media. This might be the rationale for a recent trademark filing by the company, encompassing a multimedia range that could only mean a new series.
The trademark in question is named Star Wars Resistance. From the title alone, one can guess that this potential new animated cartoon will now chronicle a new time of conflict in the Galaxy far, far away: the low-intensity war between the Imperial remnants of the First Order and the Resistance.
News of the trademark filing was brought up on Twitter by Jordan Maison, though he also opined the possibility that rather than an animated thematic sequel to Star Wars Rebels, Resistance would be the title of the new live-action Star Wars series being developed for Disney’s upcoming online streaming service.
One bit of information supporting the animated nature of Star Wars Resistance is that according to Maison the filing took place shortly after Lucasfilm Animation posted a job listing for talented animators to join their studio team, with references to Rebels and its prequel trilogy-era predecessor, Star Wars: Clone Wars.
In addition to the already-ending Star Wars Rebels, Lucasfilm Animation is also working on season 2 of the short animated web series Forces of Destiny, which features the female characters of the franchise. A CG-animated spinoff, LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, is apparently getting new episodes in the future.
We gave a warning about the possible eventuality of it back in early January, regarding the resumption of the final season of Star Wars Rebels this month. We knew Rebel General Hera Syndulla (Vanessa Marshall) would be rescued from the Empire, but at the cost of one of her teammates.
Season 4 of Rebels continued this Monday with a double episode airing, “Jedi Night” and “DUME”, where the Rebel unit of Ezra Bridger (Taylor Gray) launch a rescue of the captive Hera, spearheaded by Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze Jr.), her second-in-command and now lover. They even admit it freely now.
Unfortunately, death predictions were spot on, and in the climactic sequence of “Jedi Night” Kanan dies when he remains to Force-manipulate the Rebels’ escape craft while standing on an exploding fuel depot. His tragic passing serves a dual purpose though.
As revealed in the next episode “DUME”, Kanan both ensured the escape of his friends and the destruction of the depot, which holds fuel for the TIE Defenders, saving the Rebel organization and Imperial fighter-craft production. Governor Pryce (Mary Elizabeth McGlynn) tries to downplay this with a victory parade for the death of a Jedi, though her superiors are unconvinced.
Meanwhile, Hera and Ezra are devastated by the loss of Kanan, though Ezra finds renewed motivation upon meeting the unusually intelligent Loth-Wolf DUME, inspiring him to return to the Lothal Jedi Temple for helpful secrets. Thankfully Hera recovers from her own grief, and the stage is set for future confrontations.
The next couple of episodes in the final season of Star Wars Rebels (“Wolves and a Door”, “A World Between Worlds”) will air on Disney XD next Monday, February 26. The last three episodes will come on an epic 1.5-hour season and series finale to air next month, March 5.
There have been so many announced new rides, attractions, and whole expansion areas being developed across the numerous Disney theme parks not just in the US but around the world, that it’s getting hard to get them all straight. Not to worry; they’re enumerating them quite neatly over in Tokyo.
Bob Chapek, Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts, took to the stage during the D23 Expo at Tokyo Disney Resorts recently, and shared with the excited audience a nice summary of what to expect from their theme parks in the future. Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel are the upcoming park upgrades.
First to be featured was Galaxy’s Edge, the highly-anticipated Star Wars themed park area, which Chapek says will be “seamlessly connected” to a Star Wars hotel at least in its Disney World version at Hollywood Studios. Anaheim’s Disneyland will get one too, being constructed north of Frontierland and due 2019.
In terms of Marvel, the next important news for Disney World is a ride themed after Guardians of the Galaxy in EPCOT: an E-Ticket indoor roller coaster, one of the world’s longest. They’re even explaining the Marvel-EPCOT connection with a backstory: Peter Quill/Star-Lord visited there as a child, pre-alien abduction.
Speaking of Marvel coasters, Disneyland Paris is getting into the action too. They’re closing down the Aerosmith-themed Rock ‘n’ Roller coaster and restyling it as an Avengers attraction. Chapek adds that Hong Kong Disneyland will also get Marvel ride #2. This one’s themed after the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Finally, Pixar’s taking over at Disney California Adventure back in Anaheim. Aside from the Toy Story Land expansion, Paradise Pier will also become Pixar Pier. On April 13, a limited-engagement Pixar event will also be celebrated in DCA and Disneyland itself: Pixar Fest. That’s a lot to look forward to.
In the Star Wars films done by Lucasfilm under the Disney umbrella, some old discarded ideas have found new life. The X-Wing fighters used by the Resistance in The Force Awakens for example, were supposed to be the original concept drawing passed over for the look in the original trilogy.
With the second Star Wars Story movie Solo, coming this May, another recycled mechanical design from the days of Lucasfilm under George Lucas is about to see the light. This was supposedly revealed through the product preview of some Solo tie-in merchandise at the soon-to-conclude 2018 New York Toy Fair.
These Solo: A Star Wars Story toys are from Mattel, which is manufacturing them under their Hot Wheels toy line. One of them is a dead ringer for a design submitted by Colin Cantwell for a spaceship that would later become the Imperial Star Destroyer. His design drawing appears below.
As seen in the illustration, while the general planes and contours of the pitch and the final appearance in the films is pretty close, this Cantwell design looks more like a space aircraft carrier than a battleship, with its open launch ports opposed to the Star Destroyers’ underside deployment bays.
The small fighter craft in the illustration are also another interesting element. They were supposed to be the Imperial star-fighters before the now-iconic TIE Fighter was finalized. The designs were later revamped into the Rebel Alliance’s A-Wing fighters. The Cantwell ship is now called the “Arrestor Cruiser” as of Solo.
Aside from the arrestor cruiser, another Solo toy from Mattel is the Imperial Hauler, a transport ship that can dock with the Conveyex, the high-speed train seen in the film’s trailer. Together these two vessels make for a great expansion of the Star Wars galaxy in Solo, premiering May 25.
We’ve told the story so many times before here. Star Wars – Episode VIII: The Last Jedi was a box office success ($1.3 billion and 9th all-time highest grosser). At the same time it was the most divisive entry to fans of the franchise, with so much vitriol being thrown around.
By this time, the film has ended its entire cinematic run worldwide, so now it’s time (for the still-satisfied fans at least) to look forward to the home media release of The Last Jedi. Director Rian Johnson has begun the hyping for it, by hinting at many deleted scenes included.
Now, Disney and Lucasfilm must be sensibly trying to keep the home entertainment release dates close to their corporate chests, but apparently somebody didn’t get the memo and the New Zealand iTunes site briefly slipped a March 14 release date for digital The Last Jedi before it was taken down.
Too late, though; the info has been spread through the internet and social media already. Meanwhile, regarding the physical Blu-Ray version of The Last Jedi, an inquiry made with retail chain Target gave the estimated release date of March 27.
The matter of the deleted scenes from the film that would be included on the home entertainment versions has been subject to great discussion. Mark “Luke Skywalker” Hamill notes a scene where he and Vice-Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) interact (apparently before her exit from the plot). Next is a Jedi Mind Trick by Luke on Rey (Daisy Ridley) where he punks her into believing that planet Ahch-to was being attacked. Finally, there’s a scene with Finn (John Boyega) being escorted by Stormtroopers portrayed (anonymously) by Tom Hardy, Gary Barlow of old UK boy-band Take That, and Princes William and Harry themselves. These cut sequences often become the primary reason for picking up the home versions of hit movies.
Fans of the epic space opera franchise Star Wars might be concerned about the potential movie oversaturation owing to numerous cinematic projects being pitched by Lucasfilm at the bidding of parent company Disney, but these could provide plenty of new material for use on other projects, like theme park areas.
After a dearth of new information for about a month, Disney went on its official blog to provide a new teaser image for Galaxy’s Edge, the long-awaited Star Wars theme area for Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida. It comes in the form of a nifty image.
Pictured above is the static version, depicting an indoor attraction of Galaxy’s Edge that seems to mimic the bridge of a spaceship from the Galaxy Far, Far Away. Coached by cast members in either Rebel/Resistance or Empire/First Order uniform, park guests appear to man the bridge stations, “operating” the vessel.
But the awesome part about the preview image is that Disney uploaded an animated version on video over at YouTube. True, the people in the picture remain static as seen below, but the view of space outside shows a space battle in motion, with TIE fighters and turbo-lasers flying everywhere.
Disney has revealed before that the main draw for Galaxy’s Edge in DHS is its level of story immersion compared to most other theme park areas. Guests who come in there are de facto cast as inhabitants of the Star Wars galaxy (with costume option) in and around planet Batuu.
Among the planned attractions for the in-development area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios include the iconic Millennium Falcon space freighter. The products for sale are framed as being in-universe, like a stand that sells “blue milk” (Luke Skywalker’s childhood drink on Tatooine), with no “souvenir” wares like clothing or accessories around.
Walt Disney World still hasn’t given an opening date for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on DHS, but it’s generally perceived as being somewhat later than the opening of a similar Star Wars expansion area at one of the parks in Disneyland Resort, and that’s slated to be coming in 2019.