All indications have been that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will be like no other theme park experience we've ever seen. However, it also will be like no other Star Wars experience we've ever had, as the park promises to be more real than the films. I attended a special panel over the weekend where several members of the team creating Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge spoke about the process. Lucasfilm Creative Director Doug Chiang says that the park will be an even more authentic experience than the films, because everything in them will be completely real. According to Chiang...
Film sets are meant to be temporary they only need to last maybe a week or a month or however long it takes to shoot it. Construction for the parks however are completely real. It requires a level of authenticity that is unparalleled.
Basically, movie sets only look real because they're shot in such a way to make it look real. As an example, Doug Chiang showed the audience at Galactic Nights at Disney's Hollywood Studios two different shots of the Yavin-4 set from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. One was taken from the same position as the camera that did the filming, showing what appeared to be a hanger built inside a cave. The other was taken from the other side, showing an obvious movie set. Such an approach won't work when it comes to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge because guests will be viewing every aspect of the new land from every angle. This means it can't just look real, it has to actually be real. As an example, Chiang described an actual fleet of X-Wing fighters that will be more real than anything ever put on film.
For instance we're building a fleet of X-Wings for real. The funny thing is the movie versions that we make are props. They're made out of wood and fiberglass and foam. The versions that you're going to see in the parks are the real deal. They're made of a four inch aluminum over a steel frame just like a real aircraft. When you knock on it it doesn't give, it just feels like the real thing. I like to think that if we actually mount an engine on these you could really fly.
The same thing is true for the Millennium Falcon, which will be a key location in the new Star Wars land, as one of the major attractions will put guests in the pilot's seat of the famous spacecraft. Creative Executive at Walt Disney Imagineering Robin Reardon explained how guests will be able to actually board the Falcon and walk down its halls, see the chessboard, and see everything else we've come to know as being part of the famous spaceship.
With everything new that we learn about Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, we only get more excited about the experience. Galaxy's Edge is set to open at both Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios some time in 2019.