New details and images from the galactic attraction at Disneyland and Walt Disney World
Yoda is going to Disney World.
Frank Oz will reprise his role as the wizened green Jedi at the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction opening this year at Disney’s theme parks.
The Imagineers who have been designing the world made this and other revelations at the Star Wars Celebration fan gathering today in Chicago.
Josh Gad — who introduced himself as someone you know “from movies” — moderated the presentation, providing a new glimpse inside the closed barriers of the hottest ticket in the galaxy.
“Not every character that we hear is a character we can see,” said Scott Trowbridge, the Imagineering creative executive in charge of Galaxy’s Edge. “Sometimes those voices come to us from…”
“Maybe the Force?” said Imagineering creative director Chris Beatty. “The force is a very mysterious thing and sometimes maybe Jedi from the past can visit us and be part of your experience. Maybe a small, green Jedi …”
“… Darth Maul?” Gad joked.
“Noooo…” Beatty said.
“Yoda!?” Gad exclaimed. “Please tell me what I think I want to hear. Who’s voicing Yoda for this world?”
“I think the name you want me to say is Frank Oz,” Beatty said, confirming the original actor and puppeteer would be recording audio that guests will hear, with the ancient Jedi offering them insights from the beyond.
Rise of the Resistance
Here’s a new piece of concept art showing off the Resistance shuttle that will take guests “off world” to be captured by The First Order — resulting in a ride that’s a desperate escape from a Star Destroyer filled with Stormtroopers and AT-ATs.
This “hammerhead” Ithorianalien will be an animatronic brought to life by Disney’s Imagineering team.
Here we have a first look at what that will look like. “He is everything you want out of an Ithorian,” said Beatty.
“He’s big and his gritty and he has an amazing personality. He’s not necessarily the nicest guy on this planet. He’s the head of the black market. So if you really want that obscure, one of a kind, unique piece of merchandise, this is the guy you’ve gotta seek out.”
Beatty said guests will have to communicate with the creature (and his human assistants) in order to haggle for items. “You’ve got to barter for it,” he told the crowd. “You actually have to work to purchase something from his shop.”
Here’s concept art of what the shop will look like.
Inside Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, the walls and shelves will be strewn with objects that aren’t necessarily for sale — relics that are Easter eggs and references to other movies and stories, including a familiar looking Wampa.
Galactic Coca Cola
Star Wars, meet cola wars.
In addition to all the otherworldly original beverages that can be found in the local cantinas and restaurants, the creators revealed that Coca Cola is redesigning its logo and packaging to make it fit in to the galactic world.
The sodas will have packages that resemble “thermal detonators,” and the logos will be inscribed in Aurebesh, the Star Wars language and alphabet.
Here you’re looking at Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, and Dasani water in a Galaxy’s Edge commercial for the soft drinks.
Fans of the original Star Tours ride at Disney parks will remember this springy droid named RX-24, a.k.a. “Rex.”
He was not the most competent pilot, and when the ride was revised, Rex found himself out of work. But he never left the hearts of some Star Wars fans.
In Galaxy’s Edge, Rex returns as the DJ who keeps things lively at Oga’s Cantina.
Among his admirers is Lucasfilm story group member Matt Martin, who told the Star Wars Celebration crowd that he drafted a backstory for how the robot came from piloting shuttles to spinning records.
“The short story is Rex flunked his way out of Star Tours, and eventually through some misadventures, he found his way to the Rebellion in the final battle of the galactic civil war, the battle of Jakku,” Martin said. “In an epic TIE Fighter chase, he ends up crash landing on Baatu. There he is rescued by the local droidsmith Mubo, where he is repaired and made into a DJ for Oga’s cantina.”
Paul Reubens, best known as Pee-Wee Herman, was the original voice of Rex, and he has come back to record new dialogue for the droid.
“We were super excited to bring him back and no one was more excited that Paul,” said Imagineering story editor Margaret Kerrison. “He brought in a lot of inspiration and new lines for us. Let’s just say you will be thoroughly entertained in Oga’s Cantina.”