by Emily Collins
I’ve got three words for you – Star Wars Land! Oh, it’s music to my (mouse) ears. Since 1987, when, with their powers first combined, George Lucas and Disney premiered a true E Ticket attraction, Star Tours, at Disneyland, and we got a taste of what they could do when using those powers for good, there has been a distant dream that someday one attraction would morph and turn into a whole land.
Since then, the little spark of this dream has gone from gleaming dimly to burning furiously in recent years (something about Disney acquiring the entire Star Wars universe), especially after there was a teaser-licious Star Wars-inspired display at the D23 Expo last month.
If this dream became a reality, what would it look like? Where would it go? What attractions would it contain? How could you make the land an enjoyable experience for everyone – even non-Star Wars fans?
Over a series of Star Wars Land posts, I plan to lie out my ideas of what a land where droids are welcome and Darth is king, and I will ask you to dream along with me to talk about what you would like to see.
But before I do get into details in later posts, I want to answer what I think is the most important question – why?
Why should Disney make the decision to dedicate prime real estate in its parks to a land dedicated to Star Wars? Why would anyone be interested in a Star Wars land? Why even bother?
To begin, its remarkable how well-matched Star Wars and Disney are (like peas and carrots).
Both companies were started by men who wanted to entertain people ages 2 to 200 with great stories and loveable (and loathsome) characters while they dazzled you with outstanding quality and groundbreaking technologies.
Both George Lucas and Walt Disney had visions and dreams to make things that were beyond the technologies of their times, and both men had the same response – if isn’t out there, let’s make it ourselves!
Both George and Walt are considered great storytellers who had the vision and dedication to create timeless films that transcend any differences we might have, and because of that, Disney and Star Wars communities are some of the most diverse you can encounter – captivating folks from all ages, statures, and walks of life.
So, why build a Star Wars land? Because it will celebrate the pillar of both companies that I’m sure inspired the acquisition – telling a great story. Furthermore, it is an opportunity for Disney to take ownership of a great story (that isn’t its original concept) and expand on it in a tremendous fashion that will thrill guests of all ages.
Case and point – Toy Story Midway Mania. This enthralling attraction doesn’t simply retell the story we saw in the movie, but rather, it enhances the charm and fun of the concept and makes it into something original.
In the same way, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue – the newest incarnation of the Star Tours attraction – does the same thing. On our adventure with C3PO, we see the characters and settings we love, but the time line is different – it’s a new story.
It would be excellent to see what magic the Imagineers could make if they had a whole land with which to work – tell me you wouldn’t even be a little interested!
Aside from the smart match of Disney and Star Wars, the franchise offers Disney a great opportunity to grab the attention of boys, which has long been discussed as the reason why the company nabbed up Star Wars and Marvel.
But unlike some trends for little boys, Star Wars doesn’t appeal to just one age group. Little to big – most boys love Star Wars – even if just a little bit.
The same way mom and daughter can pop into the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or have afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian, dad and son would be able to share special experiences in the parks in a Star Wars land.
But as stated before, it wouldn’t just be for the guys. Star Wars gets a bad rep for being just for the boys, but on the contrary, I’ve meet a multitude of women and little girls who love the movies and expanded universe.
And with the Disney Imagineers’ talent, this land would have attractions that are appealing and exciting for everyone – which points back to the dream Walt had that day at the carrousel.
So, again, I ask: Why build a Star Wars Land? It’s simple – it’s a fun, exciting franchise with tons of outstanding characters and settings that have been captivating people for more than 30 years.
It would melt the hearts of the Star Wars geeks who have been dreaming and hoping of this for so long while capturing the attention of the casual park guest who is looking to have the exceptional experience for which only Disney is known.
You tell me: Do you think guests would enjoy a Star Wars Land? Is it a good decision for Disney?
Emily is a 26-year-old Disney and Star Wars geek who lives in Virginia. As an avid Disney and Star Wars fan, her life took on deeper meaning when Lucasfilm was acquired. She covers Star Wars in the Disney universe citing reality from the latest news and wild dreams from the depths of her imagination. In addition to writing, Disney, and Star Wars, Emily enjoys running, reading, and spending time with her wonderful husband, Chris, and free-spirited dog, Ariel.