Alright, fine, so you’re retroactively lukewarm on The Force Awakens. You’re still whining about Leia’s Mary Poppins space-sail in The Last Jedi, about how the humor wasn’t quite at the level of a green puppet Yoda tossing around Luke’s snacks. There’s still plenty of reason to worry about Solo. You’re entitled to all those dumb opinions.
But holy sweet mother of the Rancor Keeper, take a gander at this clip from Disney’s forthcoming Millennium Falcon ride.
What you’re seeing here is leaked footage from the Falcon ride that’s coming to the Star Wars-themed Galaxy’s Edge parks in 2019 — one at Disneyland in Anaheim, one at Hollywood Studios in Orlando. (Here a more official glimpse of what they look like right now.) If this footage is legit, it shows that the ride isn’t a roller coaster, but a more immersive experience that will find guests PILOTING THE MILLENNIUM FALCON and SHOOTING AT TIE FIGHTERS and ATTACKING A BATTALION OF AT-ATs, once they successfully get through nine hours of ride-line with sweating orange Florida tourists, of course. (Book your FastPasses now.)
This “in-ride footage” — which is a term that should in no way exist — cements the Falcon as the front-runner for Galaxy’s Edge marquee attraction. The ride is a joint production of Disney Imagineers, NVIDIA and Epic Games, the people behind Fortnite, which all the cool people and Drake are playing. The footage, as you’ll hear in voiceover is rendered in 4K — or, 3.8K more than the ghosts in your car at the Haunted Mansion, which I still frankly don’t like to think about. And Disney itself has indicated the ride “lets guests take control of the Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission,” although probably not one that involves making sure Chewie is home for Life Day.
“We’ve all seen her on screen, but until you climb through that hatch, walk through her hallways, sit inside the cockpit, power her up and actually FLY her yourself, it’s not quite the same,” wrote Disney creative executive Scott Trowbridge, a guy who has a better job than you.
We have no idea what that mission is, but judging by the music, we’re dying for Vader to be involved. We’re all about knocking over the line of AT-ATs, which topple like dominoes and prove themselves again to be the Empire’s least-practical combat assault vehicles (“Imperial walkers, straight ahead, and they’ll be here in … maybe 90 minutes, oh never mind, one of them just stepped on a rock and fell over and blew up”). And from the chatter about “the dome” and shape of the screen, we’re guessing you’re in the Falcon’s cockpit, along with the new friends you’ve made waiting in line for seven hours.
Galaxy’s Edge looks sweet enough to restore the faith of even those pudgening goons who are still moaning that Last Jedi Luke was a jerk. It’ll include 14 acres of Kylo Rens and stormtroopers milling about, street markets (the SOLE PHYSICAL REFERENCE I will accept from the prequels), blue milk, a “Star Wars”-themed hotel and The Cantina, and actual replica cantina from the first movie you can walk around while sobbing out your childhood feelings, which is what we’ll all be doing, because we’ve put “develop idealistic feelings toward movies” in the brainspace where human connections used to go. (Not a bad trade, honestly.)
One major difference is that Galaxy’s Edge guests will reportedly follow a plotline throughout the park, so what you do on ride can affect what happens on another, assuming, of course, that lines are short enough to do two rides in the same day, which won’t happen until 2043.