With Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge being called a massive flop by many media outlets and theme park fans, many have wondered why Disney didn’t just base the $1 billion land on the original Star Wars trilogy instead of the divisive sequel trilogy.
And now we have an answer, courtesy of an interview with a former Disney Imagineer J. Daniel Jenkins.
Apparently, during the initial planning stages Galaxy’s Edge was set to feature Tatooine and possibly Endor, Hoth or other planets from the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
That is, until Disney CEO Bob Iger saw the dailies for The Force Awakens and decided he wanted Imagineering to switch over to Disney-created the sequel trilogy.
The interview with J. Daniel Jenkins was conducted on the August 13, 2019 episode of the Dreamfinders podcast, and Jenkins seemingly confirms what many fans have felt to be true around the 40 minute mark…
So there was that expectation (of the original trilogy) which you know certainly I would say is probably equal with the expectations of the guests for Harry Potter.
So you have those expectations, you have the physical limitations that we had to deal with of getting that park ready for such large expansions, as toy story land and Star Wars. and then on top of the story line, the original concepts for Star Wars land was not going to be Batuu. it was going to be either one or two known planets within the STar Wars ecosphere if you will.
(…) so they had been working and I had been working on STar Wars Land and Toy Story Land simultaneously for a year and Bob Iger basically said he had seen some of the early dailies from the sequels and he said “No we’ve got to use the three new movies’ story line. We’re not going to be using the older 6 movies. just because he saw how good they were going to be.
The entire interview is fascinating. Most fans and casual park goers certainly did expect to be transported into the movies they grew up with, like Universal has done with Harry Potter.
This, coupled with the rumors of severe budget cuts made to the land, really sheds some much needed light on why Disney made the decisions they’ve made with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
And, it could be argued, what has led to its failure to connect with people on the level Disney expected it to.
Maybe Walt Disney World’s version of Galaxy’s Edge will fare a little better?
[Source: Dreamfinders Podcast]