A panel of Disney and Lucasfilm bigwigs — Walt Disney Imagineers execs Wendy Anderson, Scott Trowbridge, Asa Kalama and Chris Beatty, as well as legendary “Star Wars” designer Doug Chiang and Lucasfilm creative exec Pablo Hidalgo — took the stage to divulge as much as they could about the parks coming soon to California’s Disneyland and Walt Disney World in Florida.
Here’s what we learned during the hour-long panel:
1. Star Wars land won’t re-create locations from the movies
“We wanted to build new Star Wars stories, new Star Wars destinations,” Trowbridge said during the panel. “It’s a new planet. It’s a new place.”
Trowbridge stressed that the land has always been there — we are only just now able to consider experiencing it — and also shared some details about what the land entails.
“It’s this remote frontier outpost,” he said. “This used to be a vibrant trading port … but its prominence has fallen and faded a little bit,” he said. This means only “the most interesting people” will be there.
2. But there will be familiar elements
While the land didn’t appear in the films, it won’t seem entirely foreign. “There will be a presence of the Resistance and the First Order,” Anderson explained.
Visitors will also be able to visit the franchise’s most iconic aircraft. “We’re not just going to let you ride in the Millennium Falcon, we’re going to let you control the Millennium Falcon,” Kalma said. “You are your flight crew are going to be responsible for piloting.”
There will many Astromech droids hanging around — some new and others familiar. And yes, blue milk too.
3. It’s on the map
The creators of the land want fans to know that they care deeply about the details.
“It’s a bit off the beaten path,” Trowbridge explained, not revealing exactly where. Still, he assured, “For those Star Wars cartographers who obsess over where it is, know that we obsess over it too, and know that putting a dot on the map brings a lot of history to it. We have discussed what the ramifications to its location are,” he said.
4. It’s still on track to open in 2019
Although it was already announced, the panel confirmed that both lands are on track to open in 2019. “It feels like it’s a little bit away,” Trowbridge told the audience, but promised, “It is the most epic attraction we have ever undertaken.”
5. But right now it still looks pretty bare-bones
To wrap up the event, a video screened, showing the current state of the parks. Watch it — and a teaser filled with concept art — below.