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2019-04-15 14:22:33

Brian Truitt USA TODAY

Published 2:16 PM EDT Apr 13, 2019

CHICAGO - The only thing that might get Star Wars fans more jazzed than watching the Millennium Falcon flying around in a new movie is flying it themselves.

Hosted by Josh Gad, a Star Wars Celebration panel Saturday showcased new details and additions coming to the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land opening at California's Disneyland May 31 and Florida's Walt Disney World Aug. 29. The goal is for it to be the ultimate Star Wars playground, said Asa Kalama, executive creative director of Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, one of the two main rides planned. We wanted an opportunity for you to live your own 'Star Wars' experience.

There's an emphasis on authenticity and guests living their best Star Wars life, but Galaxy's Edge is also paying tribute to the stuff people love the most. The attraction will have fan-favorite characters like alien pilot Nien Nunb and Jedi master Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz) and new music composed specifically for Disney Parks by John Williams.

Galaxy's Edge will take guests to Black Spire Outpost marketplace on the new planet Baatu. Creators wanted to explore a new environment that wasn't a reflection of legendary characters, like Tatooine for Luke Skywalker or Mustafar for Darth Vader. It wasn't about Luke or anybody else's journey. It was about your journey, said Chris Beatty, executive creative director of Disney Imagineering.

The marketplace guests can visit at Black Spire features places where people can design their own lightsabers, buy space meat by an old pod-racing engine reimagined as a spit and purchase Coke and Sprite bottles in the form of a thermal detonator. And using Disney Parks' Play app, guests turn their mobile device into a data pad: You can hack droids, scan various props, translate galactic languages found in the land and eavesdrop via a tuning tool.

Oga's Cantina features strange and out-of-this-world drinks, Beatty said, plus house music spun by the droid DJ R3X (voiced by Paul Reubens) and new tunes by Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes, the band from the infamous Mos Eisley Cantina.

More: These are the 'Star Wars'-themed beers, wines you may see at Disneyland, Disney World

Among the anticipated attractions in Galaxy's Edge, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance takes guests aboard a First Order Star Destroyer and features new trilogy movie characters like Rey (Daisy Ridley), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and droid BB-8.

It is one of the most complex attractions we or anybody else has created, said Scott Trowbridge, portfolio creative executive for Disney Imagineering. Because it's 'Star Wars,' it's going to be epic.

And the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run allows visitors to pilot the iconic starship, either by steering, playing engineer and fixing problems, or acting as gunners on a mission given to you by animatronic space pirate Hondo Ohnaka.

Everybody has a very important role to play, Kalama said, while Lucasfilm executive creative director Doug Chiang emphasized how the theme-park Falcon matches the specs of the movie version: It's the real deal.

More: Worried about crowds at Star Wars Land? So is Disney, and here is what it's doing about it

More: Disneyland, Disney World ban smoking and vaping as they prepare for opening of new Star Wars Land


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