Exclusive: 75 Photos from Disney World’s Star Wars: Galactic Nights!
ComingSoon.net was invited to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida to experience the exciting one-night-only party Star Wars: Galactic Nights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! The gala event on December 16 featured character interactions, a dance party, tasty Star Wars-inspired food, fireworks, and an extensive panel featuring park experts with new details on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the amazing new extension coming to both Disneyland and Disney World in 2019! Fans also got to participate in a scavenger hunt, see a special version of the Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away stage show enhanced with elements from the entire saga, and got special access to rides including Star Tours, Toy Story Mania and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. It was a ton of fun and you can check out an exclusive gallery below with over 75 photos of our Galactic Nights experience, including new Galaxy’s Edge preview photos!
During a presentation on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, we learned lots of new details and saw new concept artwork, much of which was supervised by Lucasfilm’s own Doug Chiang, who was design director on The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, as well as a concept artist on The Force Awakens and production designer on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Chiang is helping to seamlessly bridge the gap between the storytelling of the films and the experience guests will have on their visit to the Galaxy’s Edge planet of Batuu, including to-scale, real-world versions of X-Wings and the Millennium Falcon (see gallery below), all of which is built to last as its explored by the millions of guests who get to hop onboard.
“Film sets are meant to be temporary, they only need to last a week or maybe a month, however long it takes to shoot it,” said Chiang during the panel. “Construction for the parks, however, are completely real, and require a level of authenticity that is unparalleled. For instance, we’re building a whole fleet of X-Wings. The movie versions that we make are props. They’re made out of wood and fiberglass and foam. The versions that you’re going to see in the parks are the real deal. They’re made of a 4-inch aluminum over a steel frame, just like real aircraft. If you actually mounted engines on them they could really fly! The versions you’ll see in the park are identical to the versions you see in the movie, the only difference is they’re built for real. All the details are absolutely authentic. The bolts are really bolts, the latches are really latches. We even went so far as the graphics [in Aurebesh] actually say something, they’re not just for decoration. That level of authenticity creates a completely immersive experience.”
Other designers and Imagineers spoke about the process of designing Batuu, a gateway planet/trading outpost located on the outer rim, which takes its visual inspiration from original Star Wars designer Ralph McQuarrie, as well as research trips made to Istanbul and Morocco to give it that romantic, exotic and slightly dangerous feeling. They took thousands of photos in ancient marketplaces (see gallery below for a few of these reference photos), and worked to make every aspect of Batuu feel in-world, from the water fountains to the food (there will be both blue and green milk!) and even the gift shops. You won’t be buying ordinary Star Wars merchandise or T-shirts at the gift shops, but rather special figures and vehicles (like an AT-AT) built by Batuu’s female Toydarians (see photos in the gallery)! The toys are inspired by designs from films like The Force Awakens, Rogue One and The Last Jedi.
They also showed a brief flyover video of the current construction state of Galaxy’s Edge, some of which we could see peeking out over the fence of the construction area. Check out the video below to view the video!
Both east and west coast versions of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will allow guests to visit a remote trading port on the edge of wild space, where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life – and where guests will find themselves in the middle of the action. The lands will feature two major attractions that put guests in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Each attraction – and even the land itself – will offer guests the chance to immerse themselves in the Star Wars universe like never before.
One attraction will make you feel like you’re on a Star Destroyer inside a hangar bay. The second attraction will give guests the opportunity to fly the Millennium Falcon, piloting the ship, shooting blasters or preparing for hyperspace – all while completing a critical mission. But how you perform on the mission holds even bigger stakes: perform with skill and you may earn extra galactic credits, while bringing the ship back banged up could put you on the list of a bounty hunter. End up on Harkos’s list and you may face a problem if you show up at the local cantina!
Guests will also encounter many familiar faces inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, including BB-8, Chewbacca, members of the First Order and – among many others – Rex, the troublesome pilot you may remember from Star Tours, who takes on a new role in this land as the DJ at the cantina. At the cantina guests will be able to try unique concoctions like blue milk. Nearby, they’ll also be able to acquire trinkets and treasures from across the galaxy.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in 2019, first at the Disneyland Resort and later in the year at the Walt Disney World Resort. A Star Wars-inspired resort will also debut as part of the new Disney 360 vacation concept. This new vacation experience will be a living adventure that allows guests to immerse themselves in an entirely new form of Disney storytelling.