The Galaxy’s Edge land could have been a wilder Star Wars experience.
As park-goers enjoy a newly reopened Disneyland and the Star Wars-themed area, a newly released book showcases the scores of ideas considered for the Disney parks but never used.
Walt Disney: Imagineering
As fans of Walt Disney Imagineering well know, the designers often create enough unused ideas for an attraction to fill an entirely new theme park. The Galaxy’s Edge area was no different.
The new book The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is now detailing what went into creating the popular land, including many concepts from original Star Wars locations to rides and attractions never built.
It details a key issue, which was the argument on using an established world like Tatooine or Endor or creating somewhere original. Eventually, it settled on Batuu, home to the Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and the highly popular Rise of the Resistance rides.
Yet, there could have been concepts such as a massive platform holding a TIE fighter to play into the story of the First Order having recently taken the planet over. Also, stormtroopers would have been accompanied by drone probe droids.
The Falcon ride would have used multiple missions and, like Star Tours, shifting them up so it would never be the same ride twice.
Also, there were plans for a speeder bike chase ride through the city streets utilizing the same technology as The Animal Kingdom’s Avatar: Flight of Passage ride.
A unique attraction would have been Banthas taking guests on a slow tour around the land and moving as if they were real four-legged beasts.
Dining and entertainment
Other touches would have included Elee, a massive robotic beast that would move around the park for meet-and-greets with guests.
The ‘Kalikori Club’ restaurant would have given guests an interactive dining experience complete with Twi’lek dancers and a massive tank featuring a mix of holographic and audio-animatronic alien creatures.
That same underwater tank would have been used for the built Oga’s Cantina, along with a Hutt overseeing it all. There was also the concept of a robotic alien bartender that would respond to guests.
There were also plans for a stunt show culminating in actors playing Rey and Kylo Ren engaging in a lightsaber duel. While Star Wars showed a version for the “Media Day” event at the park’s opening, it never became a regular show.
A final notable concept would have been guests taking a “dark turn” down an alleyway into a seedier part of the city populated by bounty hunters. This would have included a mini-ride of guests boarding six-person craft firing at targets.
Can they be built?
The reason none of these concepts came to life is a familiar one for Disney park fans: The dreams on paper running into the costs and reality of making them work.
The Elee beast would have been complicated to pull off, and the technological aspects of several attractions would have been daunting. Indeed, Rise of the Resistance had its opening delayed several times due to how complex its multiple special effects are.
Progress in the construction of all the Disney Parks has been affected by the pandemic-related shutdowns. Disneyland in California just reopened after 13 months, while the parks in Paris and Japan have been subject to multiple closings.
This obviously has affected any construction progress, and likely, Disney delays a few theme park plans as it recovers from the blow to tourism in 2020.
Yet Disney fans know that Imagineers never throw anything away. So some of these ideas may end up becoming part of a Disney park in the future to give guests a fantastic adventure in this Galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars: The Art of Galaxy’s Edge by Amy Ratcliffe now on sale.