Unless you’ve been living on a moisture farm on Tatooine, you’ve probably heard of Disney’s ambitious plans to bring an immersive Star Wars-themed land to both Disney World and Disneyland. While some details and concept art have been released since the land was announced at the last D23 Expo in 2015, we just received the biggest glimpse into what the land will be like. This year’s D23 Expo was held in Anaheim this weekend, and the Disney Parks & Resorts “Galaxy of Stories” exhibit on the show floor featured a model of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (the official name for Star Wars Land).
It is massive. And it is amazing.
While Disney has previously announced that the 14-acre land will be the biggest expansion in the history of both Disneyland and Disney World, the model really lets you understand the scale that Disney is working at. It seems like Disney’s goal is to create a completely immersive experience where guests can have their own Star Wars adventure. I only was at D23 for a single day this year, and I spent over an hour just pouring over the model for Galaxy’s Edge. The first thing that struck me was just how huge and detailed the model was. The model was easily 50 feet wide (if not more), and it featured hundreds of human silhouettes scattered throughout the land that helped give an idea of what the scale was for this model. In technical terms, it’s a half inch model, so it’s 1/24th scale. Basically, there is going to be plenty to explore when Galaxy’s Edge opens in 2019.
The model lays out the story for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – This is a remote trading post on the Outer Rim of the Galaxy. Literally on the “Galaxy’s Edge.” Before the advent of lightspeed travel, this was an important hub, but now the trading post is passed over by most respectable galactic citizens. That leaves Galaxy’s Edge a great place for those looking to not be found, like rebels, scoundrels, and bounty hunters. A veritable hive of scum and villainy. On the leftmost side of the model is a forested area with some ancient ruins. The Resistance has decided to use these ruins on Galaxy’s Edge as a makeshift base, well hidden from the First Order. On this side of the land, you’ll find Resistance starfighters, including Poe Daemeron’s black X-Wing. I’m also guessing that this is where you might be recruited to join the Resistance in a battle aboard a Star Destroyer, which is one of the land’s marquee attractions.
The rightmost side of the model shows the city center. This is where you’ll find the cantina, shops and restaurants, and an alien named Hondo searching for pilots for the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy: the Millennium Falcon. The second attraction puts you and a flight crew in the cockpit of the Falcon as you embark on a secret mission. Your success and failure will have consequences: pull the mission off, and you’ll get paid handsomely in Galactic Credits. Damage the Falcon, and you might have a bounty hunter (or worse, a Wookiee) after you. This rightmost side of the map is also where the First Order has landed, having heard rumors of the Resistance setting up a base. Watch out for Stormtroopers on your way to the Cantina.
The model on display is the Disneyland version, and the Imagineers made it clear that there are actually not too many significant differences between Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and Disney World. The main difference they emphasized was that Disneyland’s has three entrances (going from left to right on the model: Critter Country, Big Thunder Trail, and Fantasyland), while Hollywood Studios feature two entrances into the land.
That’s it for our tour of the Galaxy’s Edge model. Stay tuned for more post-D23 coverage and analysis. Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!