Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – The New Disney’s Theme Park ⇒ Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is a themed area inspired by Star Wars, located within Disneyland Park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, and forthcoming at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The area encompasses 14 acres at each park.
Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) designed the project in collaboration with the Lucasfilm Story Group, with Imagineer Scott Trowbridgesupervising the project, Asa Kalama and Chris Beatty serving as executive creative directors, and Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo and designer Doug Chiang of Industrial Light & Magic involved as consultants. Together, the team decided to set the lands on a new planet, located within the Outer Rim of the Unknown Regions. Described as a “remote frontier outpost”, the planet Batuu has not previously appeared in other media, although it has existed within canon “for thousands and thousands of years.”
The team chose to create a newly designed world instead of using an existing planet from the films such as Tatooine or Hoth, because those locations evoked a pre-existing familiarity with guests, with Trowbridge explaining, “We wanted to build new Star Wars stories, new Star Wars destinations, but this time you could be in that story that required us to go to a new place.”
The development team drew inspiration from real-world locations, including Istanbul, Morocco, and Jerusalem, and travelled there to study the architecture, culture, and weather. The team also cited Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art for the original Star Wars trilogy as a basis for the aesthetic look of the land. WDI used in-house virtual reality programs to realize where to use forced perspective and place thematic details in relation to sightlines to hide show buildings from guest view. The story events are set between the films The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker and depict the rising presence of both the First Order and Resistance.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will have two new attractions: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, which allows riders to control the Millennium Falcon, which features a “customized secret mission”, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will place guests into the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance.
Longtime Star Wars composer John Williams returned to compose the main musical theme for Galaxy’s Edge. Williams’ theme is interpolated and arranged diversely throughout the land as ambient music, instead of in its traditional symphonic format. William Ross, who conducted the symphonic recording of the theme with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) on Williams’ behalf, was also responsible for arranging Williams’ original composition in different musical contexts for use. Ross and the LSO recorded nearly an hour of musical material at Abbey Road Studios in November 2018. The musical score for Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance attractions will feature reprisals of previous Star Wars themes written by Williams, adapted and conducted by Ross. A five-minute symphonic suite was released digitally by Walt Disney Records on May 3, 2019.
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