The Star Wars-themed hotel that’s coming to Disney World in Florida will connect directly to the Galaxy’s Edge expansion at Hollywood Studios, Disney announced today at D23 Expo Japan. The fully-immersive hotel sounds like… A lot.
From the moment guests arrive at the hotel, [Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Bob] Chapek said, their journey through space will begin as everyone boards a starship and departs together for a multi-day Star Wars adventure. An opening date for the new hotel has not yet been announced. But it can’t come too soon — we’re ready to vacation in a galaxy far, far away.
At D23 Expo Japan, Disney Marketing President Ricky Strauss revealed that J.J. Abrams will begin filming Episode IX this coming summer. A special greeting from Abrams and some behind-the-scenes footage from Solo: A Star Wars Story was also shown.
No coverage of Solo: A Star Wars Story would be complete without asking on the film’s turmoulous director issues, and Entertainment Weekly does go there, with the usual vague and polite responses from Kathleen Kennedy and Ron Howard on the issue of original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s droid L3-37 in Solo: A Star Wars Story is “a self-modified droid,” co-writer Jon Kasdan tells Entertainment Weekly. “The idea is that she’s sort of a mutt, if you will, of various parts of different kinds of droids who has improved upon herself.”
“She’s a complete individual in the galaxy,” Jon Kasdan says. “We wanted to have it be a completely different kind of droid than you’ve ever seen in the movies. And we definitely wanted it to be a female. We thought it was more than time for that.”
She has a “working relationship with Lando” that is “very sophisticated” and has evolved over the years, Lawrence Kasdan says.
She’s very smart and advanced for a droid, “and Phoebe is hilarious and brilliant and really helped bring that character to life in ways that are funny and surprising,” Ron Howard says.
There is a thing throughout the relationship you just can’t put your finger on. And that’s Qi’ra. Every time you think you have got her number you realize you haven’t at all. [Laughs] Which is really hard to play. The goal is that the shadow of Qi’ra is there in Han as a character that we know. This girl is another texture that makes up who he is when we first meet him.
“What [Ford] did so beautifully for Alden was he talked a lot about what he remembered when he first read Star Wars, and what George had done with Han. Who the character was and the conversations he had for so many years with George about how that character developed,” [Kathleen] Kennedy says. “He gave Alden that kind of insight which was invaluable. There were several times in the course of making the movie where Alden would actually recount some of the things that Harrison had pointed out. I think that was really, really helpful to him.”
We also get confirmation that Solo is keeping Han’s backstory as an orphan, and how that played into his bond with Rey in The Force Awakens.