We still have to wait two years until we can frolic in a galaxy far, far away, but our chances of running into a Skywalker, Fett, or Hutt just increased astronomically: Lucasfilm has announced that the Star Wars-themed land coming to Disney parks in California and Florida will officially become part of the canon.
The news, which is sure to be met by a collective squee among Earth-bound aficionados, was made at Star Wars Celebration, taking place in Orlando, a few miles from where construction has already been under way for a year.
The panel included several Disney Imagineers alongside Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo, one of the architects of the Star Wars galaxy, and Doug Chiang, who leads the art department and is providing film-quality concept art for the dual 14-acre worlds.
“We wanted to build new Star Wars stories, new Star Wars destinations, but this time you can be in the story,” said Disney’s Scott Trowbridge. “We want you to discover your own Star Wars story. That requires going to a new place with lots of new stories to discover.”
At that point, Hidalgo proclaimed that Lucasfilm’s Story Group, which maintains continuity across the entire franchise, from the films and TV shows to books and games, determined that “new place” is just a hyperspace jump from Jakku.
“We had to not only figure out where this place is on the galactic map but what it’s history has been throughout galactic history,” said Hidalgo.
“It’s a bit off the beaten path. I’m not going to tell you where it is, but I will tell you that it is on the map. For those Star Wars cartographers who always obsess over where it is, know that we obsess over it, too, and know that putting a dot on the map brings a lot of history to it, and we’ve begun examining what the ramifications of its location are.”
Trowbridge also filled in a few details of the new land, er, planet. “It’s a remote frontier outpost somewhere on the edge of wild space,” he said, before breaking into what is destined to become a Wookieepedia entry. “This used to be a vibrant trading port back in the old sub-lightspeed days. But now with the advent of hyperspace, its prominence has fallen and faded a little bit, which made it a great spot for those who didn’t want to be on that mainstream path — the smugglers, the bounty hunters, rogue adventures looking to crew up, the people who don’t want to be found… basically all the interesting people.”