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Disney offers an early look at its Star Wars theme park in new video

Why it matters to you

Ever since Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, fans have been wondering when Star Wars would be added to the Disney theme parks, and now we have our first look at what's planned.

A galaxy far, far away is going to get a lot closer in 2019, when Walt Disney Parks opens its new Star Wars attractions in Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

During last weekend’s Star Wars Celebration event in Orlando, Florida, Lucasfilm and Disney released a new video and some concept art offering an early peek at what’s being planned for the massive expansion of Disney’s parks to accommodate the Star Wars universe. The media was accompanied by a brief description of the setting for the Star Wars attraction and how it will inform the story unfolding around the attraction’s guests.

According to the official Disney Parks Blog, the Star Wars attraction will be set on a planet “somewhere on the Outer Rim — lying on the edge of the Unknown Regions.”

“The remote village was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes, but the prominence of the outpost has been bypassed with the rise of hyperspace travel,” reports the Disney blog. “Now home to those who prefer less attention, it has become a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders, and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. It’s also a convenient safe-haven for others intent on avoiding the expanding reach of the First Order.”

Instead of setting the attraction on one of the known planets from the Star Wars universe, the Disney Parks Imagineers opted to create an entirely new narrative set in the franchise’s continuity, set chronologically around the time of Episode VII – The Force Awakens and this year’s Episode VIII – The Last Jedi. Even so, guests can expect to see more than a few familiar elements from the films — including the Millennium Falcon, which is expected to be the focus of one particular attraction that will let guests fly the iconic ship into battle.

“It would be easy to think we should revisit some of our favorite places. But if we were to go to those places — Hoth, Tatooine — we know the stories that happened there, we know whose stories they are, and we know we’re not in them,” said Scott Trowbridge, the team lead on the project (as reported by Entertainment Weekly). “That’s not what we wanted to do.”

One of the most ambitious expansions of the Disney parks to date, the Star Wars attraction has been in the works for years now — almost from the moment Lucasfilm and the Star Wars properties were acquired by Disney in 2012. The Star Wars attractions are expected to officially open in 2019.