The most famous hunk of junk in a galaxy far, far away will be in your hands at the upcoming Disney Parks expansion Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The highly anticipated ride Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run will allow you to do more than just step into the iconic cockpit and watch the stars get stripped away as you head into lightspeed. You get behind the controls yourself.
The Imagineers behind Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge described the immersive experience of the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run at their Star Wars: Celebration panel in Chicago, which takes guests on an experience “unlike anything we’ve ever offered our guests before.”
The Definitive Millennium Falcon
Since it first blew onto the scene in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, the Millennium Falcon has remained an iconic image in pop culture history. But while there have been many versions on the big screen, in games, comic books, and toys, we’re about to get introduced to the “definitive” Millennium Falcon at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
“The one you’re going to see at Battu is the definitive Falcon,” Star Wars VP and Executive Creative Director Doug Chiang said at the Star Wars celebration panel. “This is the real deal. It is breathtaking. Just being there and being amazed at standing in front of it, because it’s so powerful.”
“Even before guests get to climb aboard that iconic cockpit, you get to see the Millenium Falcon in all her glory,” Walt Disney Imagineering Executive Creative Director Asa Kalama added. But “it gets even better when you step inside.” Kalama continued:
As soon as we started developing Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, we knew it was something we had to do, to step aboard the Millennium Falcon. But we knew that wasn’t enough that you get to ride the Millennium Falcon, but also we wanted to give guests the opportunity to control the Falcon. So basically the guests are going to get to load into that iconic cockpit and take controls of the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy and it’s going to be unlike anything we’ve ever offered our guests before.
The Falcon Changes Based on How You Pilot It
When guests step aboard the Millennium Falcon, they take on a different role in the ship’s crew. There’s the glamorous role of the pilot, but there’s also a part as an engineer and a gunner. The pilot has the most responsibility to keep the ship in mint condition, as how they fly can affect the state of the Falcon. But engineers play an important part as well, repairing the ship when it takes damage, while the gunners must shoot down attacking TIE fighters. Kalama said:
As a pilot you have the opportunity to either steer the ship left or right or up and down, and it’s truly up to you to get out of the way of those spires, for example. If you don’t, you smash into them, alarms will go off, sparks will fly and it’s up to the engineers in the back of the cockpit to work furiously to get things in order. We’ve got TIE fighters coming left and right, it’s up to the gunners to work those lasers and blasters to truly defend the ship.
“Everybody has a very important role to play, and it’s up to you and your flight crew to determine the fate of the ship,” Kalama added.
But the remarkable part of the experience is that once the ride is over, the story continues. Kalama describes how your path out of the cockpit through the “iconic hallway” will look different based on how you fly. “If you had a clean run, it’s going to be pristine in pristine condition. If you banged into everything that there is to bang into, lights are going to be broken, sparks will be flying, you’re going to hear coms about the damage you’ve done.”
Two different routes have been made based on the quality of flight, as can be seen by the graph below. And more so than walking through a damaged hallway, guests who fly badly will face the wrath of Hondo Onaka, who is a “phenomenal boss but he doesn’t take too kindly to people bringing back his ship in rough shape.”
Galaxy’s Edge opens in Disneyland in Anaheim, California, on May 31, 2019, and in Orlando, Florida, on August 29, 2019. For much more on the park, check out our full written breakdown and listen to this episode of our /Film Daily podcast.
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