Disney’s New ‘Star Wars’ Theme Park Attractions Will Be Based on the New Trilogy
When Disney bought the rights to ‘Star Wars’ for $4 billion, they weren’t just buying the right to make new movies. Oh, no. They were buying the rights to a merchandising empire that makes the GDP of some nations weep. The upcoming ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ is just step one in a massive grand plan, a plan that involves Disney’s beloved theme parks. Just don’t expect them to look into the past with these new rides and attractions. According to a new interview with Disney CEO Bob Iger, the new ‘Star Wars’ stuff coming to Disney parks will be based on the new movies.
The news comes from Variety, who got a surprisingly honest Iger to comment at length on their plans. It’s simple, really: they don’t want parks guests to arrive at a lavish new ‘Star Wars’ area and wonder where the characters and concepts from the new movie they just watched are. In a weird way, they‘re trying to pre-empt what happened a decade ago when ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ opened, leading guests to wonder why the decades-old ride didn’t feature Captain Jack Sparrow.
Iger does admit that development on rides and attractions based on the first six movies did begin, but they were halted when they decided change course:
We couldn’t tell them what was new. I slowed it all down so what we come forward with will have a blend of the past, present and maybe the future. Now we have a sense of what’s in ‘Star Wars 8,’ and what some of the standalone films will have in them.
It’s no secret that Disney is currently planning to bulldoze a massive portion of their Orlando-based Disney Hollywood Studios to build a new “land” based entirely on the “Star Wars” saga (the same development will see a full-fledged Pixar area built across the park). Previously, it was rumored that the area would feature a recreation of Mos Eisley (yes, complete with a Cantina you could eat in) but with Iger’s new revelations, we wonder how much of that has changed. Then again, that new teaser trailer does feature a desert planet where their could be a Cantina...
Anyway, it’s a huge investment for Disney, but it’s a necessity. With Universal Studios across town stealing countless guests with their phenomenal and meticulously detailed Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Disney knows they have to directly compete. And with ‘Star Wars,’ they actually have a world rich enough to warrant its own themed areas. Whatever movies this section is based on, it’s going to have to look spectacular. Universal raised the bar and Disney knows it (which puts a lot of pressure on their upcoming ‘Avatar’ section at their Animal Kingdom park).
Anyway, whatever gets built will co-exist alongside the classic Star Tours attraction, which was recently given a wonderful update so that it gives riders a randomized tour through locations from all six previous films. In this way, the old and new will coexist in one place. This is a very interesting time for the cross-section of theme park aficionados and ‘Star Wars’ fans.