17 June 2013

Call for Intergalactic Travel

Have you ever stopped to take note of this bulletin board display case along the exit ramp from Star Tours to Tatooine Traders? It features several pieces of concept art and storyboards from Star Wars – Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. It even contains a script page with dialogue between Qui-Gon Jinn and Padme just after they had landed on Tatooine. Perhaps it is time to see some fresh or revolving content in this area.

The Phantom Menace display has sat, undisturbed, for over a decade now. It wasn’t refurbished as Attack of the Clones or Revenge of the Sith came and went from the big screens or even when all six feature Star Wars films were released on Blu-ray. Even the popular children’s program, The Clone Wars, hasn’t been able to penetrate this bulletin board. Just because something hasn’t been changed in a number of years, however, doesn’t mean that the time hasn’t come to move forward with some fresh artifacts.

Star Tours is set in an area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios that is comprised of facades, as seen from the incomplete trees of the Ewok village, the hollowed out AT-AT Walker, and the exposed framework inside Tatooine Traders. These areas are put together as hot sets, so it makes perfect sense to have pieces of concept art or upcoming script pages post about in various corners. In fact, the bulletin board display cases are relatively thin that they could line the entire walkway from Star Tours to Tatooine Traders without disrupting the flow of traffic.

Unlike other galleries at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, showcases that are filled with costumes and props from recent Disney productions and iconic films, this could be a much more workaday display taking a nod from the one current bulletin board. So, what would I fill these bulletin boards with? Star Wars has a lot of new material coming down the pipe in the next few years that could be used as gallery fodder.

Episode VII could be utilized just as the current display focuses in on Episode I. Concept art, script pages, and storyboards would tantalize the imagination of fans who are anxiously holding their collective breaths. As the new trilogy moves forward this case could be updated every couple of years.

Star Wars Rebels, the animated series taking place between the prequel and original trilogy coming in 2014 from the pen of Star Wars The Clone Wars’ alum Dave Filoni, is certain to tempt the youngest to the most seasoned fans. Character studies, vehicle concept art, and storyboards would be easy preview items to use as previews. This selection could be rotated with each new season of the series.

Star Wars comics are coming back into their own and the landscape of Star Wars videogames is constantly changing, making both excellent treasure troves to pull from. Pencil work from comics, maps from upcoming game releases, and all sorts of concept designs could be highlighted. While comics could be changed from month to month, I wouldn’t ask the Studios to keep up with such a vicious pace. Instead, perhaps a changing of displayed materials once every six months could be in order.

There are so many venues in which Star Wars is currently expanding its universe that it only makes sense to give the various media forms their own way to speak to guests in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. From film to television, printed media to video games,  and even to the oft-rumored Star Wars land, why not make the most of the rabid fan salivating (of which I am one) by giving them a taste of what is to come from a galaxy far, far away.

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