Fortune magazine is honoring Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy as one of their selections for 2015’s Most Powerful Women. (She’s #42.) They’ve published a lengthy profile, which includes the interesting factoid that “more than half of her 18-person executive team, with whom she meets weekly, is female.”
During Disney’s biennial D23 Expo, Bob Iger stormed the stage to the tune of John Williams’ titular Imperial March to deliver arguably the biggest news of the Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios panel: Dual, 14-acre themed Star Wars lands in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida and the Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California.
From the official press release: “I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” said Iger. “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”
A true collaboration between Disney Imagineering, ILM, and Lucasfilm, the Star Wars land will be a truly immersive and authentic experience. Both lands will feature two signature attractions, one of which is piloting the Millennium Falcon on a clandestine mission. Iger stressed that every element would feel as if you were a part of the world: restaurants, storefronts, and entertainment would all feature galactic characters for an authentic interactive experience.
And yes, there’s going to be a cantina.
Later Saturday, during D23 Expo’s Parks and Resorts panel, additional details on the recently announced Star Wars Land were revealed along with more immediate changes coming to the domestic parks towards the end of this year.
Season of the Force
Season of the Force will be a limited-time, seasonal event in 2016 at both Disney World and the Disneyland, bringing new Star Wars experiences to both parks. At Tomorrowland in Disneyland, guests will have an opportunity to partake of Star Wars-themed entertainment, food and beverages, and new merchandise. The popular Space Mountain coaster will be turned into Hyperspace Mountain with a temporary Star Wars layover in which you’ll get to experience a high-octane X-Wing battle. On the other side of the country, guests of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be treated to a new fireworks spectacular set to John Williams’ memorable Star Wars scores.
Star Wars Launch Bay
Also at both parks will be the newly created Star Wars Launch Bay that will be located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. The Launch Bay will be a hub for interactive experiences for guests that want to learn more about The Force Awakens, as well as an opportunity to purchase special merchandise and food. It’s expected to open late this year.
The ever-popular Star Tours: The Adventure Continues will see a new update later this year in both U.S. parks. (Information on the update availability coming to the international parks is currently unknown.) The anticipated updates will be include locations and characters from The Force Awakens.
At this point, the Star Wars invasion is real and it’s happening. I’ll see you all in the pit.
Disney’s own convention, D23 Expo, began today in Anaheim, and George Lucas was inducted as an official Disney Legend. (Bonus: Be sure to check your Star Wars app for a George emoji.)
Of course, The Force Awakens has a sizable presence on the con floor, where the highlight may very well be Captain Phasma’s armor.
At least she is today: We can certainly expect something from the live-action panel tomorrow. Our own Mandy will be there!
If you’ve been poking around fandom at all the past few days, you may have run across comedian Amy Schumer’s “risqué” GQ spread featuring Star Wars. (That’s the tamest picture at right, though none of them are particularly shocking if you’ve ever been exposed to a base level of frat-boy humor. I do like to assume we’re all adults here.) I haven’t written it up (beyond a tweet) before because, quite frankly, I thought it was just kind of dumb and clearly a publicity play.
It certainly bothered many who thought that Lucasfilm may have been involved, though. So here’s their brief statement on the matter:
It’s not surprising that GQ would want to capitalize on the cultural cachet of Star Wars, but Lucasfilm and Disney did not authorize, participate in or condone the inappropriate use of our characters in this manner.
GQ probably isn’t going to get sued over this, but you can rest easy knowing that LFL did not sign off on a lightsaber blow job. (For the record, I find folks using this as an excuse to slam Amy Schumer’s looks just as inappropriate, so don’t bother to play that card here.)
George Lucas is among those who will receive Kennedy Center Honors this year, it was announced today. Other honorees include Cicely Tyson, Rita Moreno, Carole King and the Eagles. They’ll be celebrated at the Center’s annual gala on December 6 in a ceremony that will air on CBS December 29th.
Before that, however, Disney will name Lucas a Disney Legend at D23 in August.
Vanity Fair isn’t the only magazine borrowing some Star Wars mojo this month. Wired today has ‘the definitive oral history of ILM,’ with George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg, Dennis Muren and more. (Including J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson.)
Mary Franklin in the news. Alaska Dispatch profiles our favorite Celebration organizer, with shoutouts to the Star Ladies, Bossk, and Sex with a Rodian.
Kathleen Kennedy says a new Indiana Jones movie is in the cards… One day. “When it will happen, I’m not quite sure,” she told Vanity Fair. “We haven’t started working on a script yet, but we are talking about it.”