For Ann Morrow Johnson, an architect and artist at the moment making the unimaginable actual at Disney Parks, there’s rather a lot to like about Star Wars. “As an Imagineer, I’m positively the kind of one that enjoys strolling across the Parks, and I really like that the trash cans are themed to the identical surroundings that you simply see on the castles or any of the lands. Star Wars is that on steroids,” she tells StarWars.com. “I believe in case you take a look at any of the scenes of the flicks — all the things from an ice-cream maker to the species within the background — I simply suppose there’s such depth and grit of specificity in worldbuilding. It’s an unimaginable universe to discover.”
Johnson is exploring that universe, or galaxy far, distant, in a way by no means beforehand tried as government producer and inventive director of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, the immersive trip expertise opening 2022 at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will provide followers a two-night itinerary, by which friends discover themselves touring aboard the Halycon starship and residing out their very own Star Wars story. If that appears like one thing solely Star Wars followers may dream up, that’s as a result of it was.
“This challenge is a extremely enjoyable one as a result of it actually did generate out of basic, blue-sky, Imagineers sitting round speaking about what could be enjoyable. What are the varieties of experiences that we simply suppose our friends, or frankly, we, need to expertise on the planet? And so this positively got here out of a dialog about, ‘Don’t you simply need to sleep on a starcruiser? Like, how cool wouldn’t it be in case you received to dwell out a Star Wars story over a number of days?’”
A journey on the Halcyon will go one thing like this. You’ll arrive on the Galactic Starcruiser Terminal at Walt Disney World and test in for a two-night expertise earlier than coming into a Launch Pod for transport to the celebrities. (You’ll even get to observe from home windows because the world beneath will get smaller and smaller.) Following the leap to hyperspace, you’ll quickly dock with the Halcyon, board, and the story begins. However to paraphrase a well-known Star Wars quote, that’s solely the place the enjoyable begins.
“Over your two-day, two-night trip, you’re going to get to not simply wield a lightsaber and learn to function the controls on the entrance of the ship. It’s doable, as a result of it’s Star Wars, that issues would possibly go awry and over the course of these two days, two nights, you’ll be referred to as into motion to really get wrapped up in that total galactic battle. And relying on which path you select — the way you select to play, which characters you select to work together with, the place you select to be at any given time — will decide the story that you simply dwell out and get to see unfold.” To wit, Johnson says that friends can align with the Resistance (the story is ready between Star Wars: The Final Jedi and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, similar as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge) or betray them. As for a way that impacts one’s trip, we’ll have to attend to search out out.
One driving aspect for Johnson and the whole workforce bringing Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser to life is immersion. It’s their purpose to make followers really feel like they’re actually on a starship in Star Wars. “You might be actually on board a ship,” she says. “If you look out the window, you will notice a galaxy far, distant. If you’re on the entrance of the ship, you’ll see us transferring ahead. When you’re on the starboard facet, you’ll see it transferring to the facet. On the port facet, similar deal. And identical to another cruise, we’ve got an itinerary. So we’ve got a set checklist of planets that we are going to go to. It’s doable that we’d take a detour or two if we discover ourselves in surprising circumstances. However it is possible for you to to see these planets, different ships, possibly the occasional asteroid discipline, out the window as we cruise from place to position. On board we’ve got an entire host of characters who’re becoming a member of us on our journey, and that’s all the things from the crew of the ship to a couple people that you simply would possibly acknowledge from the flicks, and so they’ll want our assist over the course of our journey.” Who would possibly these film characters be? “I can inform you that it’s doable we’d run into Rey, Chewbacca, and if we play our playing cards mistaken, Kylo Ren.”
The immersion issue doesn’t cease there. The makers of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser need followers to be lively members. “We’re encouraging our friends to be in full cosplay,” she says. “So if you wish to have Twi’lek lekku and a full gown, we’re all for it aboard the Halcyon. After which we are going to deal with you just like the well-heeled galactic traveler that you’re.” And you’ll be touring in model.
When you’re questioning simply what sort of ship the Halcyon is, suppose extra Lando’s elegant Millennium Falcon, and fewer Han’s beat-up hand-me-down. “That is the Coruscant, Canto Bight, Dryden’s yacht, Orient Specific of house,” Johnson says. “The meals, the eating, the general expertise is an upscale, refined model of Star Wars that friends haven’t gotten an opportunity to step into but.” Whereas all of it appears like a dream trip for Star Wars aficionados, Johnson additionally factors out that Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser shall be simply as fulfilling for many who can’t inform their Wookiees from their Ewoks.
“I deeply consider that this must be enjoyable for individuals who love Star Wars and the individuals who love them,” she says. “So when you’ve got by no means heard of Chewbacca earlier than, otherwise you’ve by no means heard of a lightsaber earlier than, our purpose is that you simply nonetheless have a good time. If you wish to sit again, drink an area cocktail, and watch all of it occur, that’s superior. Have a unbelievable house cruise.”
The opening of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser shall be thrilling for the Star Wars trustworthy and Disney Parks lovers, but in addition the results of years of labor for Johnson. As somebody who fell in love with the worldbuilding of Star Wars, she’s most wanting ahead to seeing followers expertise the main points and hidden surprises that await. “There are such a lot of issues to like, from the characters that we’re creating to the music we’re engaged on to the tastings with the cooks,” she says. “However I gotta say, there’s this one design element within the Crown of Corellia eating room the place our friends will get to see a repulsor column. The Halcyon was constructed way back, proper when repulsors had been first en vogue, and in a form of starcruiser-modernism manner, the Halcyon celebrates the expertise by inserting its repulsor columns within the heart of the Crown of Corellia eating room for everybody to see. As a design fan and Star Wars nerd, these two issues coming collectively has been extraordinarily enjoyable to see coming to life aboard the ship.”
Dan Brooks is a author and the editor of StarWars.com. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Comply with him on Twitter @dan_brooks.
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