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Disney World and Disneyland almost had two very different versions of ‘Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’

Disney World and Disneyland were close to having different versions of ‘Star Wars’ experiences.

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Kylo Ren and stormtroopers at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World.

A photo of Kylo Ren and stormtroopers at “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World.”

Herb Scribner, Deseret News

Disneyland and Walt Disney World almost had two different versions of the “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” experience, executives said in a new interview this week.

What’s going on?

Walt Disney Imagineering’s portfolio executives Scott Trowbridge and Robin Reardon said in a recent webcast interview with the Themed Entertainment Association that the original plan for “Galaxy’s Edge” to be unique and original.

  • “Early on, you can imagine the conversations we had about Tatooine, Hoth or Dagobah — all these classic places that we have seen in Star Wars storytelling in the past. But for us, from the very beginning, we said, ‘No we don’t want to do that,” Trowbridge said, according to WDWNT.
  • “We wanted to build a place that felt like it was the perfect stepping off point for your adventure. A place rife with opportunity, rife with possibility.”

Different locations:

The executives said there was a consideration for there to be two different versions of “Galaxy’s Edge,” according to The Orange County Register.

  • “We did have a moment where we considered building a different project in each location, but it was a very short moment. We pretty quickly realized that the right thing to do was for us to build sister versions of the same place on each coast,” Trowbridge said.
  • “We knew that it was going to be more inefficient to design two different things. We built two of everything at the same time,” Reardon added.

‘Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’ almost included Endor, Tatooine

Former Vice President of Walt Disney World Dan Cockerell recently confirmed in an interview with WDW Radio that “Galaxy’s Edge” was originally going to tie into the movies. But it was Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy who asked for the change, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • Cockerell said (via ComicBook.com): “Kathleen Kennedy, her point of view was, there are way more Disney ‘Star Wars’ stories ahead of us than behind us. So we really should think about, do we want to build a Tatooine and build what all the 50-somethings remember ‘Star Wars’ is? Or do we want to build something else which is going to appeal to all the upcoming generations who are going to know the new stories?”

  • Originally, Endor and Tatoooine were considered as potential locations for the park. Per WDW News Today, a display at the D23 Expo showed a speeder bike experience that would have put people on a ride that would have been similar to what happened during the Battle of Endor in “Return of the Jedi.”
  • And the park would have had a Jabba’s Palace dinner show.