Tickets Available Now for Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire Hyper-Reality Experience by ILMxLAB and The VOID

Tickets are now available for a new hyper-reality experience, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire by ILMxLAB and The VOID, an offering that will debut at Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort December 16, and at Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort, January 5, 2018.

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will transport guests deep into the Star Wars universe, walking freely and untethered throughout the multisensory experience with friends and family. In groups of four, teams will go undercover as stormtroopers to capture Imperial intelligence vital to the budding rebellion’s survival.

Check out the video for a first look inside the Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire experience.

Find ticket information and more for Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire now at www.thevoid.com.

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Guests can Celebrate ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ at Star Wars: Galactic Nights on December 16

Star Wars fans across the galaxy, get ready for a special celebration you won’t want to miss. Star Wars: Galactic Nights will return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on December 16 – and it will be the perfect way for Star Wars fans to celebrate the opening of the new film, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

Last Jedi Official Trailer

The film, which opens in theaters December 15, just shared a thrilling new trailer last night. Check it out above.

In case you aren’t familiar, Star Wars: Galactic Nights is an out-of-this-world event that celebrates the entire Star Wars saga.

Among many thrills in store, guests will be treated Hollywood-style to a red carpet arrival, iconic attractions with little to no wait time, amazing fireworks and projections, and experts sharing details about the Star Wars expansion coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Throughout the event (entertainment subject to change):

  • The Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, fireworks and Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away stage show will both be enhanced with special elements from the entire saga. In between, a DJ will keep things spinning at Center Stage for a Star Wars dance party.
  • The Epic Theater plays host to a special one-night-only panel discussion about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, sharing some of the excitement coming to the 14-acre Star Wars-inspired expansion opening in 2019 at Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • Park-wide, guests can step into immersive and iconic scenes from their favorite Star Wars films in a series of incredibly detailed photo locations, including two new backdrops inspired by Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
  • Star Wars: Galactic Nights features encounters with Star Wars characters like Ewoks, AWR Troopers and roaming droids; Jedi Knights teaching younglings in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple; rocketing to the stars aboard Star Tours – The Adventures Continue; and stunning projection effects on park icons such as the Chinese Theatre. At Star Wars Launch Bay, home base for Star Wars fandom in the park, you never know what denizens from the light or dark side of The Force will appear.
  • Don’t miss Darth Vader and a battalion of Imperial Stormtroopers march menacingly down Hollywood Boulevard.
  • Even more specialty Star Wars-themed food and beverage and merchandise will be available.
  • Select park attractions will be open to all guests. At embarkation points to Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, guests may come face-to-face with Stormtroopers on the lookout for a Rebel spy.
  • Come dressed in your finest Star Wars attire. Arriving park guests will walk a red carpet that runs the length of Hollywood Boulevard. The street itself will be dressed in all the trappings of a Tinseltown premiere.

Park access and activities will be exclusive to Star Wars: Galactic Nights ticket holders. Event hours on Dec. 16 are 7 p.m.-midnight. Tickets are priced at $129 adults, $124 ages 3-9 (discounts available for Annual Passholders & DVC Members). Purchase tickets at DisneyWorld.com or call 407-W-DISNEY (407 934-7639).

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer Premiere Event Tomorrow to be Held at Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort

The trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi will debut during ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” tomorrow, Oct. 9, during halftime of the National Football League (NFL) game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears in Chicago, which starts at 5:15 p.m. PDT/8:15 p.m. EDT. And today we’re excited to invite you to be among the first to see this new trailer at the place where Star Wars lives – the Disneyland Resort!

Join your fellow Star Wars fans at the Downtown Disney District tomorrow, Oct. 9, to watch the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer on a giant screen outside AMC Downtown Disney 12 Theatres. The fun begins at 5 p.m., with a live DJ, trivia and giveaways – all counting down to the trailer premiere. Following the trailer premiere, Star Wars: The Last Jedi tickets will be on sale online and at the AMC Downtown Disney 12 Theatres box office.

Disneyland Resort is your destination to experience your Star Wars favorites. Board a Starspeeder 1000 and explore the galaxy in the immersive adventure, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue; encounter some of your favorite characters and more at the Star Wars Launch Bay interactive experience; and bring your young Padawans to test their skills at Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple.

If you can’t make it to this special premiere party, tune in to ESPN to watch the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer during “Monday Night Football,” and be sure to purchase your tickets online in advance for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in theaters December 15.

New Disney Stores Bring Theme Parks to Shoppers

Disney unveiled Tuesday a prototype for its re-imagined retail store — as well as the shopDisney e-commerce site, which was previously DisneyStore.com.

The online store will sell more products featuring popular classic Disney characters and those in the hit movies from Disney-owned Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars.

The revamped stores, versions of which are currently open in Century City and Northridge in California, Nagoya, Japan and Shanghai, will also show a live broadcast of the famous parades that take place at Disney parks and a digital fireworks display each night before they close.

Disney is also partnering with brands like Coach, cookware company Le Creuset, apparel companies rag & bone, Spyder and others to sell more products geared at older parents (like me) — and not just their kids.

Some of the new things you’ll find online beyond toys and stuffed animals? A Darth Vader toaster, a Captain America popcorn maker and Mickey Mouse skinny jeans.

“Disney stores around the world will also be incorporating more product for guests of all ages, beyond their traditionally child-centric assortment,” the company said in its release.

The media giant continues to mint money from its movie division, theme parks and consumer products.

So the revamped stores, which seek to capitalize even more on the success of its Disney princesses, Marvel superheroes and Star Wars characters, makes a lot of strategic sense.

From CNN Money

J.J. Abrams to Direct ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

Disney and Lucasfilm are turning to a familiar face to take the helm of “Star Wars: Episode IX” following the exit of former director Colin Trevorrow.

J.J. Abrams, who helped reboot the franchise with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” has landed the directing job, Variety has learned. He will also co-write the film with Chris Terrio, according to a press release on StarWars.com.

“With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in the release.

Disney and Lucasfilm moved quickly to replace Phil Lord and Chris Miller with Ron Howard this summer while the film was still in production. The companies see Abrams as the perfect fit for “Episode IX,” given his proven track record in the “Star Wars” universe.

Trevorrow and Disney could not see eye-to-eye in regards to the script of the last installment in this latest “Star Wars” trilogy, sources say, and decided to part ways before getting further along in pre-production. The plan was to begin production by February 2018, but even if Abrams agreed to come back as director, meeting that start point still seems like a challenge.

Sources say producers already giving talent a heads up that there was a possibility of the shoot pushing two to three months and that once a director was announced the timeline would then be focused on.

While “Force Awakens” broke multiple box office records and “Rogue One” was hit at the box office, Lucasfilm and Disney have still had an issue with directors, dating back to when Tony Gilroy had to step in to shoot a significant amount of footage for “Rogue One” before its release. The studio has also fired Josh Trank from a standalone “Star Wars” pic and moved on from Lord and Miller, even though the film was far from done shooting.

Abrams and Rian Johnson, who helmed “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” had smooth shoots on their respective “Star Wars” productions. Sticking with someone who knows the story — and posed little trouble in production — would make sense. Abrams has also remained close to Kennedy since working on “The Force Awakens.”

Since directing “The Force Awakens,” Abrams has not committed to his next feature gig, mainly producing movies including the next untitled “Cloverfield” film that Julius Onah helmed.

From Variety

‘Star Wars Galactic Nights’ Returning in December

Star Wars: Galactic Nights will be returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios later this year on December 16 and this time it will be offering premium add-ons.

This will be the second installment of the event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and will include much of the offerings from the original held back in April of 2017.

Along with character encounters, entertainment includes enhanced versions of ‘Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular’ and ‘Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away.’

New this year there will be a sneak peek at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The Epic Theater will play host to a special one-night-only panel discussion about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the 14-acre Star Wars expansion that’s set to open in 2019 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

There will also be an opportunity to add premium add-ons to the night, including a Galactic Tasting Sampler for $30 and Jedi Recruitment package for $149.95.

The Galactic Tasting Sampler gives Guests a credential with 5 pull-off tabs to exchange for Star Wars-inspired treats including: Lightsaber churros, Root Leaf Stew, Character cupcakes—like Darth Vader chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, Charcuterie plates featuring C3PO crackers and specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

The Jedi Recruitment package includes a reserved spot in the Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, a Jedi robe, a lightsaber, name badge, a limited-edition Star Wars t-shirt and a photo with Jedi Master.

Both add-ons can be booked via 407-WDW-PLAY (407-939-7529)

Tickets are on sale now and priced at $129 adults, $124 ages 3-9, with discounts available for Annual Passholders & DVC Members.

‘Star Wars’ Obi-Wan Kenobi Film in the Works

Stephen Daldry is Star Wars’ newest hope.

The Oscar-nominated director behind Billy Elliot and The Hours is in early talks to direct a Star Wars stand-alone movie centering on Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Sources say talks are at the earliest of stages and that the project has no script. If a deal makes, Daldry would oversee the development and writing with Lucasfilm brass.

The Obi-Wan Kenobi stand-alone is one of several projects being developed by Lucasfilm and Disney that fall outside the trilogies telling the saga of the Skywalker family. A Han Solo movie is now in the final stages of shooting under new director Ron Howard, and Lucasfilm is also considering movies centering on Yoda and bounty hunter Boba Fett, among other characters.

In the original Star Wars trilogy, Kenobi is a desert-dwelling and war-weary hermit who later proves to be a wise and powerful warrior, brandishing a lightsaber. He is briefly a mentor to a young Luke before being cut down by Darth Vader, his former pupil. Alec Guinness’ portrayal of Kenobi garnered him an Oscar nomination.

The character played a central role in the George Lucas-directed prequels, which recount the origin of Vader and his betrayal of Kenobi and the Jedis. McGregor, who played the younger Kenobi in the prequels, has said he would be open to playing the character again. Sources stress, however, that since there is no script, no actor is attached.

Daldry hails from the theater world and made his feature debut with Billy Elliot, which netted him his first directing Oscar nomination. He followed that up with searing dramas The Hours and The Reader, which also netted him directing nominations.

He most recently directed episodes of Netflix’s period drama The Crown, which garnered him an Emmy nomination.

From The Hollywood Reporter

Netflix Discussing Keeping Disney’s Marvel, ‘Star Wars’ Films

Netflix Inc is in “active discussions” with Walt Disney Co about keeping Marvel and “Star Wars” films after 2019, when new Disney and Pixar movies will stop appearing on the streaming service, a senior executive said late on Thursday.

Disney announced on Tuesday that it was pulling new Disney and Pixar films from Netflix, starting with new releases in 2019. It will start putting the movies on a new Disney-branded online service that year.

Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger told analysts the company had not yet decided where it would distribute superhero films from Marvel Studios and movies from “Star Wars” producer Lucasfilm, which the company owns, at that time.

Netflix is still in discussions with Disney about retaining rights to stream Marvel and Lucasfilm releases after 2019, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told Reuters.

A Disney spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Iger said on Tuesday that the Marvel and Lucasfilm movies could go to Netflix or another streaming service after 2019, or Disney might retain the rights for itself.

Sarandos said he expected Disney’s service to be “complementary” to Netflix, which carries other family-friendly programing such as animated movies from “Despicable Me” creator Illumination Entertainment and “Shrek” producer Dreamworks Animation.

Disney’s plan to stream its content directly to consumers is “a natural evolution” for traditional media companies that Netflix expected, Sarandos said in an interview at an event to celebrate Emmy nominations for his company’s drama, “The Crown.”

“That’s why we got into the originals business five years ago, anticipating it may be not as easy a conversation with studios and networks” to license their content, he added.

Disney’s break from Netflix applies only to its film deal in the United States, where the streaming service runs new Disney movies shortly after they leave theaters.

Star Wars: Secrets of The Empire Hyper-Reality Experience Coming Disney Springs and Disneyland’s Downtown Disney

Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB, and THE VOID today announced a new hyper-reality experience called Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, which promises to plunge fans into the Star Wars universe. Created by ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division, in collaboration with THE VOID, it will open to the public at two new VOID Experience Centers at Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort beginning this holiday season. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will allow fans to move freely in an untethered, social, and multi-sensory experience, including interaction with friends, fans, and Star Wars characters.

“At THE VOID, we combine the magic of illusions, advanced technology and virtual reality to create fully immersive social experiences that take guests to new worlds,” said Curtis Hickman, co-founder and chief creative officer at THE VOID. “A truly transformative experience is so much more than what you see with your eyes; it’s what you hear, feel, touch, and even smell. Through the power of THE VOID, guests who step into Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire won’t just see this world, they’ll know that they are part of this amazing story.

“At ILMxLAB, we want people to step inside the worlds of our stories,” explained Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge of ILMxLAB. “Through our collaboration with THE VOID, we can make this happen as guests become active participants in an unfolding Star Wars adventure. By combining Lucasfilm’s storytelling expertise with cutting-edge imagery, and immersive sound from the team at Skywalker Sound, while invoking all the senses, we hope to truly transport all those who experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire to a galaxy far, far away.”

From StarWars.com

Disney Plans Unveils for Star Wars-Inspired Themed Resort at Walt Disney World at D23 Expo

After a busy exciting week at Disneyland and the D23 Expo I’m finally back.  Over the next few days I will be publishing summaries of most of the major announcements and made during D23 Expo.

The first will be the announcement of a Star Wars-inspired themed resort at Walt Disney World.”

Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, confirmed that a Star Wars-inspired resort will debut as part of the new Disney 360 vacation concept.

According to Chapek, this revolutionary new vacation experience will be a living adventure that allows guests to immerse themselves in an entirely new form of Disney storytelling.

“It’s unlike anything that exists today.” Bob said. “From the second you arrive, you will become a part of a Star Wars story! You’ll immediately become a citizen of the galaxy and experience all that entails, including dressing up in the proper attire. Once you leave Earth, you will discover a starship alive with characters, stories, and adventures that unfold all around you. It is 100% immersive, and the story will touch every single minute of your day, and it will culminate in a unique journey for every person who visits.”

Stay tuned for updates as Disney announces them.