The Millennium Falcon that will be one of the main focal points of “Galaxy’s Edge” may never actually take flight, but to the “would-be Reys” and “young Han Solos” who will take its cockpit, this will be THEIR Falcon, that will jump to Hyperspace at will, through that signature Disney magic.
“Now, the Millennium Falcon is flying to our galaxy,” said Pablo Hidalgo of the Lucasfilm (Star Wars) Story Group, speaking on a digital extra entitled “The Millennium Falcon: From Page to Park” on the Target Exclusive 4K edition of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
“If you’ve ever wanted to experience it – and I’m not talking about a movie set where you see the plywood that’s holding up the set; where you see where one area of the Falcon stops and in order to get to the next area, you have to go to a whole different soundstage,” added Hidalgo. “The Millennium Falcon that’s at Galaxy’s Edge is the Falcon.”
Like the Jolly Roger in “Peter Pan,” or the Hispaniola in “Treasure Island,” the Millennium Falcon is several generations’ pirate ship; a conduit to imagination and adventure.
“When we first started development of ‘Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge,’ one of the things we knew on day one was we have to make the Millennium Falcon a key part of this experience,” said Imagineer Scott Trowbridge. “It’s a fan favorite ship; some would even say it’s a character, it has that kind of iconic status in the world of Star Wars.
“When guests arrive at Black Spire Outpost, this remote frontier trading port on the planet Batuu, nestled in one of our docking bays, you’ll find the Millennium Falcon.”
Do you remember the first time you saw the Falcon; really looked at the ship? No doubt, you said something to yourself like, “What a hunk of junk!” or “That one’s garbage!” And, in comparison to crafts like a TIE-fighter or X-wing, it does kinda look like something that was cobbled together.
But, universally speaking, it only takes one single jump to hyperspace for a fan to understand Han Solo’s statement: “She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid.”
Forget simply seeing the ship jump to light speed in a film. How about flipping switches and handling the controls as stars streak by the cockpit of the Falcon.
Guests at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World will soon have that chance.
“We’re going to give them this amazing opportunity to step aboard the Millennium Falcon,” said Trowbridge. “You can explore the chess room; you can really be immersed in that environment.
“There are 200 some odd button knobs and switches on the inside of the cockpit, and they all do stuff. So it truly is an interactive experience, you fly left and smash into that building… go under that thing, versus over that thing that’s completely up to you,” explained fellow Imagineer Asa Kalama.
“You’re the gunners… and if you don’t fire back on those tie fighters fast enough, they’re going to riddle the hull with laser bolts.
“[Meanwhile] the engineers in the back, it’s really up to them to keep the whole Falcon in working order, so they’re back there furiously working away at their various systems,” he said.
So, just like it was in the movies, how well guests fly the Falcon will have “real consequences” in their own Star Wars adventure.
“When our fans, when our guests, when our visitors to this planet have an opportunity to not just see the Falcon, but step inside, my hope is that their reaction is very similar to mine, which is, oh my gosh, here it is for real and I get to be a part of its story and make it a part of my story,” said Trowbridge.
And, apparently, there’s a Dejarik table. I’m completely sold. Now “Punch it, Chewie!”