D23 Expo 2019: Inspiring Women Behind Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge
D23 Expo 2019 had so many unique opportunities to hear from all the perspectives that go into making your favorite stories come to life. This weekend we heard from women who were involved in the ongoing world building of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Panelists included Catherine Powell (President of Disney Parks Western Region), Kria Theiler (Vice President of Disneyland), Carrie beck (Lucasfilm Live-Action and Peoduction), Robin Reardon (Walt Disney Imagineering PortfolionExec Producer), Margaret Kerrison (Managing Story Editor, Walt Disney Imagineering), and Anisha Deahmane (Assistant Producer, Walt Disney Imagineering).
Find out some great Easter Eggs about the making of Galaxy’s Edge and some great new details about the future!
“So much is about creating a culture of a place” that still feels a part of the Star Wars universe. “You’re the point of view character” shared Lucasfilm’s Carrie Beck as the core of creating the narrative of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
They wanted to capture the bucket list of Star Wars DNA of what is essential from past and future. “On the other shows and films no matter how much is known we try to be flexible” and stressed that they try to integrate in concert with the films elements as surprises as time goes on.
Anisha Deshmane, assistant director in Imagineering, talked about the Data Pad experience as something they wanted to bring to life ways to take on a role through customization on the app and learning about the society on every level. “I got this Cantina gossip. I needed people to know this gossip in the land.” She said about including backstory for Oga who got into a shoot out with her lover who was caught with another.
EASTER EGG MISSION REVEAL: Guests can look for a piece of DJR3X’s memory on the data pad experience in Oga’s cantina.
Discussions about attention to detail centered around things like are shoe laces real in space.
Cast is encouraged to create their backstory to be a part of the Batuu lore.
Citizens of Batuu dont live in the Black Spire Outpost, they commute there to work. They can be from 3 different areas to create different backgrounds like if they have creature guests, if they’re from a village of River folk. It’s a living community.
Kris Theiler, vice president of Disneyland, encourages women who want to work in operations, “it’s a supportive environment. My function is to keep that and it’s a big focus.” She said about the female leaders that cane before and looking to the parks future to help other women. “Our slogan is we work while others play. There’s flexibility within that. We like to find the times that work with people in their lives. We want to keep women in operations and have a family.”
Robin Reardon, Disney Parks West president, “imagineering is interesting because we are part design team and construction team” the key is collaboration and bringing to the table your skillset while respecting and listening to others with different skill sets.
The Women of the Star Wars Universe inspire the land in many ways, “Its important to have diversity from all points of view and exploring territory that has not been covered already.” Shared Carrie Beck. Not only with women but just including a diversity of characters no matter the gender or species of droid type.
Margaret Carrison, story editors imagineering, “You have the opportunity to choose from a whole plethora of characters.” Not only that but even some guests create their own Black Outpost characters. “You’re inspired to be the spark to make a mark in the galaxy”
“The land itself works like a Back Lot” Beck revealed a point of pride at how families have gone and shot their own stories of being part of Batuu.
“We want to make it as current as we possibly can” Deshmane shared. Anything from items and stories from the films and streaming shows will be seen but unfold along the way.
“There’s a storyline for every land. We are in the process of doing that for every land.” They want to have a version of “Bright Suns” for another area and make it authentic for the entire park. Imagine being a princess in Fantasyland of your own neighboring Kingdom and not just dressing up as a canon Disney Princess.
The Halcyon is “All Star Wars, all the time. It’s a new form of a multi-day experience.”
The team wants to surprise guests and themselves and see how they can evolve. “Writing your own story is really fun– to be able to have that fodder to build their experience”
The Digital aspect of Disney Play will be where we see the latest parts of the story unfold quickly. “This is the first time we see it be part of the experience and push the rest of the story to be something new and unique. We are going to start to see that become integral of the experience.” Anisha Deshmane pointed out about the digital integration. It’s a shared experience “It’s for everyone. People who want to float on the surface level or dive in.” It has the capabilities to invite you to look up, search for things and ask questions while visiting while not feeling obligated. There’s something for everyone.