Disney Parks on Saturday offered the first detailed look at its coming Star Wars attraction at California's Disneyland. The reveal at the D23 fan expo in Anaheim, California, included an announcement of the new park area's name, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
The multi-acre expansion will "transport guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before Wild Space," the company said. Among the new rides is one that lets guests fly Han Solo's iconic ship, the Millennium Falcon.
Disney is also working on new attractions featuring Marvel and Pixar characters. Watch a video preview of Galaxy's Edge below, via Disney. Bonnie Kristian
Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher remains hospitalized after suffering a massive heart attack Friday while traveling by plane to Los Angeles. Her brother, Todd, reported Saturday that she remained in intensive care. "We have to wait and be patient," he said. "We have so little information ourselves." Well wishes poured in for Fisher from fans and her Star Wars costars alike. Harrison Ford said he was "shocked and saddened" by the news, and Mark Hamill tweeted that he sends "all our love" her way. Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca, also tweeted his thoughts and prayers for "everyone's favorite princess." Bonnie Kristian
Sure, (most of) the Star Wars movies themselves are great, but the toys are also huge part of the franchise's success. That's why fans wanted to know where their Rey toys are. The central character in The Force Awakens, played by Daisy Ridley, has been conspicuously absent on toy store shelves. Amid backlash, Hasbro committed to adding Rey to the movie's Monopoly game.
"It seems preposterous and wrong that the main character of the movie is not well-represented in what is clearly a huge piece of the Star Wars world, in terms of merchandising," director J.J. Abrams told reporters Saturday after a Television Critics Association panel, Entertainment Weekly reports. "I read that she wasn't in the Monopoly game and was quickly making phone calls about this because if it were true — and it is true, and now Hasbro, of course, has said they're going to put Rey in — it doesn't quite make sense why she wouldn't be there. She's somewhat important in the story."
Yes, "somewhat important," indeed. Julie Kliegman
Stephen Colbert, like many of us, is super pumped to see the new Star Wars movie this weekend, but he worried that The Force Awakens may be confusing for some. So The Late Show host took it upon himself to give a primer on the plot to Chinese viewers, who may not be all that familiar with the force.
"Star Wars is the story of a simple farm boy who buys two robots," Colbert said Friday. "One looks like a garbage can. The other is programmed to be scared all the time for some reason."
It only gets sillier from there. Watch below. Julie Kliegman
As we inch closer to the Dec. 18 Star Wars release and inevitably get more wrapped up in the franchise's lucrative marketing campaign, it's time to admit something important: The toys aren't just for kids.
Let the geeky adults of Saturday Night Live remind you in the fake commerical below. Julie Kliegman
A terminally ill cancer patient didn't think he'd live to see the new Star Wars movie — so Disney let him see it early
Two years ago, Daniel Fleetwood, 32, of Spring, Texas, was diagnosed with a rare connective tissue cancer called spindle cell sarcoma. In September, he was informed he only had two months to live. His lungs were covered in tumors.
Fleetwood didn't think he could make it to Dec. 18.
The significance of Dec. 18? That's the U.S. release date for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Fleetwood, who has been a huge Star Wars fan since he was 8 or 9, wanted as his final wish to live to see the newest installment in the series.
"I just love Star Wars," Fleetwood says. "With everything I got I love Star Wars."
Fleetwood's wish went viral, reaching the ears of Disney and the movie's director, J.J. Abrams. They gave Fleetwood permission to watch an unedited cut.
From wife Ashley Fleetwood's Facebook page:
To all our wonderful supporters, friends, family, and awesome strangers: Daniel's final dream was just granted!!! Today the wonderful Disney, Bad Robot, and Lucasfilm teams made his final dream come true, Daniel just finished watching an unfinished version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens!!! We would like to thank the awesomely talented J.J. Abrams for calling us yesterday to tell us Daniel was getting his wish granted! Lastly I want to thank ALL the amazing people who helped make this happen!!! May the force be with you all #forcefordaniel [Facebook]
Even Luke Skywalker got in on the action. Jeva Lange
I just read this and am elated for Daniel & his family! Thanks to the powers-that-be for making his dream come true. https://t.co/ImiAdyBxf8
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) November 5, 2015
The highly anticipated final trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released Monday night, featuring a few words from Han Solo, lightsabers, and Darth Vader's salvaged helmet. Tickets for the film went on sale a few hours before the trailer's debut, and so many fans were clamoring for seats, Fandango, AMC Theaters, and other websites suffered from loading issues and site outages. Directed by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be in theaters Dec. 18. Catherine Garcia
Two 14-acre Star Wars areas are coming to Disney theme parks in Anaheim and Orlando, the company announced Saturday at the D23 fan expo. Expect an immersive experience like Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The Star Wars areas will mark the largest-ever themed expansions for Disney parks, the Los Angeles Times reports.
"We knew it needed to be big. We knew it needed to be great," Disney CEO Bob Iger said. "And we knew it needed to be every bit as thrilling as the films are going to be. So we’re going to transport guests to a whole new planet." Julie Kliegman