Anaheim, California (CNN) – "Adventure, hey, excitement, a Jedi do not want those things," Yoda tells Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back.
The long wait – which may have started with "playing" at "Star Wars" while she was a kid in the schoolyard – is almost over. A big and ambitious story opens this summer in Disneyland, California and Disney World Florida in the fall. The opening dates have not been announced and the two sites will be almost identical.
The new hope and promise is to do the one thing that 10 (and that counts) feature films, shows, books, games and others have never been able to produce: a fully physical and immersive experience with the look, the sensations , sounds, smells and sensations. even the likes of "Star Wars". It's a detailed 14-acre playground and architectural precision with characterful interactions, unique food and shopping that you will not find outside the parks. And of course, rides.
As a film critic, this glimpse of Disney's largest single-theme park expansion in the history of parks contains revealing. If you want to enter the park without knowing the history of the destination, its design and some of its Easter eggs, keep this story after your first visit.
For now, you can go to sleep on your vintage "Star Wars" bed sheets, reassured that many super talented and talented Lucasfilm, Disney Parks and Imagineering (the creatures and rides division) have been recruited for the planning and realization of what will be the parks. "Most immersive experiences, built to delight and inspire the violent" Star Wars "fans as much as visitors who do not know their Jabba since their Jawa.
Let's start with the location of this place in the far galaxy. The park is calling the Galaxy & 's Edge expansion and, like all movies, it will show most of us a new planet.
It is called Batuu, a planet similar to Earth, full of ancient petrified giant stumps (up to 135 feet in the parks), located in the unexplored outer edge. Its main town, Black Spire Outpost (named after a mysteriously dark tree stump), was once along the main trade route, but has now become a haven for smugglers and traders.
The First Order has also arrived, in search of evidence of the Resistance. A theme park attraction does not normally require a story or calendar – and for some guests it does not matter – but it's "Star Wars," which is primarily an epic myth. To be authentic, a fictitious destination such as Batuu must fit on a galactic map and fit into the established narrative calendar. In this chapter, however, you are invited to be a character.
Call all smugglers, rebels and soldiers
Rise of the Resistance involves an epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.
Disney / Lucasfilm
There will be two interactive attractions (called "rides") in both parks that combine and propel the technological mastery of Lucasfilm and Disney in hyperspace. Each one is massive in scale.
One is called Rise of the Resistance and it's a "cinematic experience" with a walk inside, as described by Disney's Creative Director John Larena. Your adventure will take you into the corridors of a rebel base in ancient sacred caves (shades of the base on Yavin 4) and on a troop ship where you will be captured by a Star Destroyer, and then thrown in a block of prison cells, where you belong, rebel rebel.
Many of Rise's surprises are still secretive, but cameos include Rey, Poe, Finn, Kylo Ren and BB-8, a score from John Williams, these Rebel Classic Blue Panelboard Fighting Cards, blue, a normal sized AT-AT carriage ride and a huge Star Destroyer shed with a window overlooking the space. This will be one of the longest rides in the park and will require Disney cast members to join the action.
Ticket prices at Disneyland California are increasing ahead of the much anticipated expansion of Star Wars.
The other attraction, Run Smugglers, will allow you to fly the Millennium Falcon in cargo mission (spectacular break for the biggest spoiler). The most autonomous part of Galaxy's Edge will undoubtedly be with the moored Falcon, of real size, more than 100 feet long, perfect for a movie, which can be seen from every angle, even from the darks. ;up.
Even an occasional fan of "Star Wars" will make sense of the famous Falcon white corridors, decorated with Chiclet panels, then in the main hold, where you can sit in front of the holographic "Let the Wookiee win "dejarik (aka chess) board.
Is that the blaster blazon helmet that Luke wore when he felt the Force? In addition to distance education, did he practice? The only thing more moving than anything that works in the most famous cockpit of history (real or imaginary), where the control of commands is not encouraged, it is necessary, starting with the jump to the speed light.
This Smugglers Run mission is led by a next-generation animatronic, Hondo Ohnaka, a character from "Star Wars" who has only been performed in animated films (TV series "Clone Wars" and "Rebels") , books and games. As a crew of six, you perform a mission aboard the Falcon, which is fast enough for you, old man.
The level of your collective success depends on your ability to drive and get you out of trouble. Smugglers Run is so varied that, as in a video game, every turn will be unique.
Why is everyone trying to get to Batuu?
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will be Disney's largest single-theme land extension.
Disney / Lucasfilm
Even if the runners wish to take a speeder through the moon of the Endor Forest, do a pods run on Tatooine or ride a tauntaun on Hoth, the team behind Galaxy's Edge has decided to create a new planet rather than recreating old stories. where the story could go.
And yet, all this is very familiar, because "Star Wars" has its own aesthetic that is reproduced in detail in Black Spire Outpost, a delicate balance between the recognizable and the new. The architecture is rounded. The doors are moving away. The buildings are marked by battle and dotted with pipes, ducts, air ducts and wires. The font of the Arabic-ish alphabet movies will be translated to guide you to the bathrooms or FastPass lines.
Apart from the areas of resistance and first order, the appearance and in situ design of the city recall that of Mos Eisley and Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine and Takodana from episode VII, as much as real-world cities such as Marrakesh, Istanbul and Kathmandu.
The Medina-style layout is complete with a market souk and vendor booths selling exclusive souvenirs to Batuu.
Black Spire Outpost will be as animated as the planet-city Coruscant, and not just because of all the guests but because of all that the park will provide: special effects, animatronic droids and acting creatures, and Members of the Disney cast who will embody local characters.
Anyone working in Galaxy & # 39; s Edge will be able to mix and match costume elements according to their personal tastes, from a variety of patterns, a first in the Disney parks. The black, brown and gray palette and fashion would fit in the background of any movie scene.
And there are so many Easter eggs. The bright-eyed fan will spot familiar vehicles, weapons, droids and creatures and revel in those they've never seen before. A classic creature will be easy to spot: a dianoga, the one-eyed water snake of the garbage compactor scene in episode IV, will make its appearance over a water fountain.
A new immersion will be available via the new Galaxy Edge mode of the Disney Play app.
Customers are invited to create a profile and use the application to hack doors, translate foreign languages and receive missions and messages from characters. The application, with its easy games and easy-to-monitor transmissions, can keep any guest on the long list – "in the universe" and on Facebook.
These are droids, lightsabers and other memories that you are looking for
Savi's Workshop will sell customizable lightsabers.
Disney / Lucasfilm
The vendor's booths will not look like a typical shop. The toys will appear by hand, and your new knitted Rey doll, canteen instrument or roaring tauntaun will not be delivered in a plastic box.
A store reserved for creatures is where you can have your own porg speak, among other extraterrestrial pets. Personally, I hope replicas of Jyn Erso's dolls of "Rogue One".
There will be clothes that look like Star Wars, but t-shirts with the inscription "Star Wars" will probably be sold outside of Galaxy's Edge. You have it? The people of "Star Wars" do not know "Star Wars". Of course you can wear what you want (although nothing looks like a blaster, by park rules).
Among the specialty shops, one will be a haunt of rare and exclusive antiques from the galaxy, such as classic lightsabers and artifacts honoring the ancient Sith and Jedi lineages.
Another store will allow you to tailor a mini BB unit or a R2 astromech droid of different colors (about a foot tall, a few inches away). Elsewhere, you can build a lightsaber from different models and Kyber crystal colors.
Forget the astronaut ice
Oga's Cantina will be offering adult drinks to the biggest fans of "Star Wars".
Disney / Lucasfilm
Do not expect to find Ffries or nachos sold on Batuu.
The menu "in the universe", created especially for Black Spire, includes sticky ribs of kaadu (this animal, that Jar Jar Binks appears on the screen, has the taste of pork) and endorians fried tip-yip (chicken ). And the spicy hummus, pita and meatballs made by Earthlings at Impossible Foods are absolutely delicious. No Boba Fettucini on the menu, though.
Blue milk, presented less than appetizing in "The Last Jedi", will be on tap, a creamy, fruity, herbal milk-based formula. Other non-alcoholic beverages include an Arnold Palmer-esque Tatooine Sunset, a refreshing Sarlacc and Moof Juice.
And since we are in a spaceport on the outer periphery, there is a cantina. Do not expect wanted men or laser saber dissections.
Oga & # 39; s Cantina is a refined bar that is also suitable for families. It serves blue milk and biscuits for kids and plays an 80s-era Bollywood playlist spun by DJ R-3X – a former droid pilot known to many fans of the former Star. Horse riding (which does not leave).
But if you want to enjoy the unique exception to Disneyland, which is not usually alcoholic, you can have a Funty Tauntaun, a rum punch Yub Nub, an Outer Rim margarita, a blue Jedi Mind Trick and a pink Fizz Bespin , bubbling and pink, among others, in the cantina.
All these details give rise to something quite epic.
When Black Spire Outpost will be fully operational, the experience of its visitors promises to evolve the ever-expanding "Star Wars" universe into a new dimension, with all the humor, adventure and the enthusiasm we have enjoyed for 45 years.
The Disney and Lucasfilm immersion strategy in onion skin will delight fans of all levels, which is fundamentally the definition of great art and storytelling.