Disney D23 Star Wars Wrap Up
D23 is over and there was A LOT of information about Star Wars!
While San Diego Comic Con has been the Mecca for breaking news, this year was a lighter load for “Star Wars” when compared to Disney’s D23 event. This year for Disney’s D23 event, we received a lot of information regarding the future of the franchise that Disney acquired almost 3 years ago. We received news on the upcoming films such as cast photos, posters, and other surprises. But one of the biggest announcements was the plan to give “Star Wars” the full Disney treatment with it’s very own theme park.
The “Star Wars” Theme Park
The new Star Wars theme park will be an addition to Disney theme parks in both Orlando, Florida and Anaheim, California. The park will span over 14 acres and is said to make you feel like you are a part of the “Star Wars” story.
These authentic lands will have two signature attractions, including the ability to take the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle.
The park has been rumored and discussed since Disney acquired the rights to “Star Wars” back in October 2012. Now it seems as though things have come to fruition with Disney revealing concept art for the park’s attractions over the weekend at D23. Take a look for yourself.
I’m not a frequenter of Disney parks but I admit that this has myself and probably many others very interested. Back in February 2015, CNN announced that Disney would be raising its theme park prices. I suppose that many of us can now see the reason behind this price hike as I’m sure they are recovering costs and expecting many more attendees.
“Star Wars: Rogue One” Cast Revealed
Star Wars: Rogue One has been a significant topic of discussion as it will be the first spinoff film released that ties into the “Star Wars” saga directly. While we’ve received news such as some casting announcements, Director Gareth Edwards taking the helm, and the release date of December 2016, D23 gave us the first cast photo of the film along with the announcement of many more cast members.
The starring cast list has been expanded quite a bit and has many fans excited. The cast list now includes Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, and Riz Ahmed. In addition Kathleen Kennedy (President of Lucasfilm) gave a bit more insight into the plot of the film.
“Rogue One takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe,” says Kathleen Kennedy. “It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know. Gareth is such an innovative director and I’m so excited to be working with him and the extraordinary ensemble cast he’s selected for ‘Rogue One.’”
While many may be anticipating this year’s release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it may be “Star Wars: Rogue One” that redefines the franchise. “The Force Awakens” will provide a continued story of the current franchise but “Star Wars: Rogue One” may fill in the gaps between “Revenge of the Sith” and “A New Hope” that many have discussed for years.
The Announcment of Colin Trevorrow as Director for “Star Wars: Episode IX”
Colin Trevorrow directed “Safety Not Guaranteed” which was one of my favorite films of 2012 and he’s also responsible for Jurassic World which took the record for biggest opening weekend. While the indie hit “Safety Not Guaranteed” showed his creativity and depth as a director, I believe that Disney was more attracted to him for his box office dollar potential from “Jurassic World” when selecting him to take on “Star Wars: Episode IX.”
Today at D23, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn announced that writer-director Colin Trevorrow will direct Star Wars: Episode IX, which is set for release in 2019.
The announcement was made at D23 over the weekend and even though we have yet to see what J.J. Abrams can do with the franchise, Colin Trevorrow seems like a logical and safe choice for directing the third film in the new “Star Wars” trilogy.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Cast Discussion and Poster Reveal
Of course Disney had to mention something about the “Star Wars” film in nearest proximity. As they brought J.J. Abrams on stage to introduce the cast of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the fans also received quite a surprise. As the cast took the stage, John Boyega gave a brief introduction and then revealed to the fans a new exclusive poster for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” that revealed a bit about Boyega’s character in the film Finn. While many expected Finn to be “force sensitive” and stories circulated confirming this, the poster further confirmed these stories. Alongside Daisy Ridley (Rey), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), and Harrison Ford (Han Solo), John Boyega (Finn) stands to the left holding a blue lightsaber. This confirms that Finn is indeed a Jedi and further sheds some light on the shadow surrounding the story of “The Force Awakens.”
John Boyega announced that everyone in the audience would receive one of those posters for themselves and then handed the microphone off to J.J. Abrams who introduced the next cast member. As Abrams announced Harrison Ford, you could see the excitement in his face and hear the excitement from the audience as they cheered him on. Harrison Ford entered with a smile on his face and seemed to be very happy to be working on the franchise once again. He proceeded to thank Disney for making things happen and praised J.J. Abrams and the cast for their work on the film.
Overall Disney has proven that they are now a powerhouse owning the “Star Wars” franchise. Years ago fans were expecting “Star Wars” to be over, thinking that George Lucas would never make another film and now Disney is bringing us more than we could have hoped for. It’s an exciting time for “Star Wars” fans as this generation will get to experience the films as they should be experienced, in a theater setting. I personally can’t wait for this December with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the years that follow.
What did you think of the D23 coverage of “Star Wars?”