Star Wars flooded D23 Expo 2015! More than just all the cool Star Wars “stuff” (and there was plenty of it), it seemed every division of the company seemed to have exciting Star Wars news.
Disney Interactive: Previewing the new Disney Infinity 3.0 on the show floor, Disney Interactive had a number of game systems set up where you could explore for the first time on the Infinity platform the world of Star Wars. Both Twilight of the Republic and Rise of the Empire were available for play encompassing the universe of the first six movies. At a press preview of the games, one of the designers said that the original character voices for Twilight of the Republic were actually used in the game. Disney Interactive also previewed EA’s Battlefront, one of the most anticipated games ever as it introduces a canon considered part of Star Wars canon. They also revealed a special Darth Vader PlayStation 4 bundle for both Battlefront and Disney Infinity: Star Wars.
Studios Division: Everyone knew that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would be on the docket of the live action studios presentation, but most didn’t expect to see Han Solo in person! Harrison Ford came out on the stage after they revealed the new Drew Struzan poster promoting the movie. At the end of the presentation, everyone in Hall 23 received a copy of the new poster. In addition, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn announced the cast of the first Star Wars Stories movie – Rogue One. Rogue One details the actions of a group of Rebel commandos who steal the plans to the Death Star that Princess Leia ends up delivering to the Rebellion in A New Hope. It features such powerhouse actors as Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, and Diego Luna. And the director of Episode IX was revealed as Colin Trevorrow who recently directed Jurassic World.
Theme Parks Division: Perhaps the biggest news got leaked by Bob Iger a few hours early at the studios presentation – the theme parks are going to build a land based on Star Wars! While having been rumored for a while, Iger confirmed that a 14-acre area would be added to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World allowing guests to not only visit the Star Wars universe in person, but fly the Millennium Falcon. This will take years to build so in the meantime, the parks division announced a number of smaller Star Wars themed enhancements to the park. Star Wars: Season of the Force at Disneyland will be a themed overlay to Tomorrowland where guests can try Star Wars themed treats and experience a new overlay to Space Mountain called Hyperspace Mountain. The parks are also revampeing Jedi Academy to feature characters from Star Wars Rebels. Could the Inquisitor and Kanan be part of it? And coming in late 2016 is another new adventure in Star Tours which will include scenes from The Force Awakens.
Star Wars is coming full “Force” to Disney and soon you’ll be able to experience it in person on both coasts! It’s an exciting time to be a Star Wars fan.