New patent filings reveal some of the cutting-edge technology that is being developed for the upcoming Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attractions.
Back in 2015, Disney announced that they had started work on the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attractions at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World and they are predicted to be the largest and most immersive lands that they have ever created for any of their theme parks. Due to open in summer 2019, each location will feature a huge 14-acre”remote frontier outpost” on the planet Batuu that has not previously appeared in other media. In addition, there will be a full-sized, controllable Millennium Falcon along with two towering AT-ATs that are said to be recreated with stunning attention to detail. There will also be a version of a cantina and how well visitors perform on the Millennium Falcon will influence how they are treated at the cantina, adding to the immersive experience.
In an interview for the winter 2015 issue of the official Disney fan club publication Disney twenty-three, Walt Disney Imagineering executiveScott Trowbridge stated: “Our intent is to make it feel as if you just walked into one of the movies… Bringing Star Wars to life in the physical world gives us the opportunity to play with a whole bunch of things we’ve never done before… to really engage all of the senses. What does that street feel like? What does that animal smell like? What does blue milk taste like?”
Production designer Doug Chiang (Phantom Menace, Force Awakens, Rogue One) is working with artists to create physical versions of Star Wars creatures, many of which have only been present in animated form up to this point (think Loth-cats…). In fact, a creature pen is being built to create the illusion of a lifelike encounter with Star Wars wildlife.
The DSNY Newscast is now reporting that new patent filings have revealed some of the very cool, state of the art technology that is being developed to help create a completely immersive experience. The patents reveal a mix of laser-based projection systems and augmented reality headsets that will be used to create ‘lightsaber’ effects and will probably be used within the ‘Battle Escape’ section of the attraction.
As DSNY host Jack Kendall reports –
“It wouldn’t be Star Wars if you didn’t have laser blasts all around you, deflecting off of lightsabers. So, that’s what Disney is working on, as we see in this patent, that clearly show what can only be described as a Star Wars blaster, but the patent is titled ‘Theatrical Prop for Providing Repeatable, Daylight-Viewable Muzzle Flashes. However as it goes on to explain the prop blaster is basically comprised of an extremely fast self-retracting bright light source, which means that it will convincingly give the effect of a blast, but unfortunately it would not have the continued trail of laser blast like we see fill the screen in any Star Wars movie.”
In addition there is a patent for a display system that transforms sunlit surfaces, which means that even if the surface is in direct sunlight, it will still be able to morph and change a seemingly static surface into something else with very little glare and even offer transparency,
As Kendall explains. “Imagine this technology being used to show the impact of a laser blast on a surface — a surface that did not look like a digital screen, or glass, but instead a matte coated, fixed architectural wall that all of a sudden gets a laser blast blown threw it — bearing the scars of a battle scene.”
Another patent looks set to finally show Star Wars fans something that they have wished for - real life holograms (like Princess Leia’s in A New Hope) or Force ghosts (like Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Empire Strikes Back). This new technology would allow visitors to get very close to the holograms and perhaps even interact with them.
Check out the link to the DSNY Newscast for more details