A galaxy far far away is slowly but surely becoming a reality at the Disneyland Resort in California, as well as Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. Throughout the course of the past week, we got a slew of news – including new concept art, ride details, merchandise, and fleshed out story elements!
The biggest take away for the incredibly ambitious and immersive experience that is Smugglers Run, is the now confirmed A1000 animatronic figure.
Simply put, the figure is stunning. The 7 foot tall animatronic will use all electronic motors, and have 50 separate points of movement, to create an extremely fluid and lifelike performance – and if you’re doing the math at home, it will be Disney’s second most sophisticated animatronic figure, only behind the Shaman in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora.
This is Hondo Ohnaka – a character from the TV shows Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. He’s an infamous space pirate, walking a thin line between working with the rebellion, and the empire. In the que of Smugglers Run, he will explain that he’s worked out a deal with Chewbacca, to use the Falcon to smuggle precious items across the galaxy, but he needs a crew. He promises that if the job is completed smoothly, it will make you, and him, lots of money.
But the star of the show has to be Rise of the Resistance – the trackless dark ride that promises not only state of the art storytelling technologies, but also thrills, and plenty of character moments.
This attraction has will have an extensive que experience, with the story beginning the second you enter the line. Early in the que, a three dimensional BB-8 will shine a hologram message from Rey (played by Daisy Ridley), asking guests to join her on a dangerous, off-planet mission, led by the famous resistance pilot, Poe Dameron.
From there, around 50 guests will be ushered into a resistance transport ship, piloted by an animatronic Nien Nunb, launching you off into space, but while on this trip, your ship will be intercepted by a First Order tractor beam! From here, you’ll get off of your first ride vehicle (which is now docked inside a Star Destroyer), and be moved along by Storm Troopers into a detention center, where the ride really begins.
Pictured above is Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, a space that promises to be much more of an experience, than a typical theme park gift shop. First off, you will not be able to purchase anything with the words “Disney” or “Star Wars” on it, but rather, buy items that really would be present inside an outer rim outpost. At the Den of Antiquities, guests will interact with a fully realized alien animatronic, and be able to haggle, and have discussions about the rare items found in his shop.
Another area to explore will be the Droid Depot, where guests can design and create their very own droids. From the looks of this concept art, guests will interact with the touch screens underneath the caged BB-8, to design their droid, then wrap around the corner to build their creations with the cast members behind the counter. This experience looks to be similar to the Banshee adoption situation inside Animal Kingdom’s Pandora.
The Droid Depot seems to be working in conjunction with a larger story going on within Merchant’s Row. The final new shop we learned about, is Savi’s Workshop – where guests will be able to design and create their own, truly unique, movie quality, lightsaber.
Savi is a new character, created specifically for Galaxy’s Edge. Himself, along with a group of gatherers, have dedicated their lives to recovering hidden kyber crystals, in an effort to restore peace between the light and dark sides of the force. Depending on what crystal you choose to power your lightsaber, you will be able to unlock special experiences hidden throughout the entirety of the 14 acre new land. At this point, however, it is not clear on how the lightsabers will actually work. Although Disney has filed permits detailing a potential projection lightsaber affect, as of right now, nothing along those lines can be confirmed.
All that is just scratching the surface of the new news in regards to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. We got our first official look at the Cast Member outfits, as well as some of the food and drink offerings that will be available at the lands launch – to hear a full discussion on that, and more, feel free to check out the most recent episode of the Disney Deconstructed Podcast!
Thanks for reading, and may the force be with you.