Speaking at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Iger also revealed exclusive new video footage of the 14-acre attractions, which he described as “by far the largest lands we’ve ever built.” (Watch the video above.)
While speculation had centered on a June bow in California, Iger said the timeline had been accelerated “in light of the tremendous demand.” The areas of the company’s theme parks will tie in with a major promotional push around Star Wars, whose concluding installment in the original nine-film concept of George Lucas arrives in theaters in December.
Iger said one of the feature elements in the new areas is an interactive experience called “Rise of the Resistance,” whose technological complexity and sophistication he praised at length. “It will blur the lines for our guests between fantasy and reality and put them right in the middle of the Rebellion,” Iger said. “No one has ever attempted anything of this magnitude,” he declared, recalling early meetings he held with the company’s design team after the 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm. Asked what he wanted from Galaxy’s Edge, Iger recalled replying, “Make sure they’re ambitious. I think they have certainly taken that word seriously.”
The theatrical launch of the still-untitled final Star Wars installment will also be accompanied by the debut of spinoff series The Mandalorian on the forthcoming subscription service Disney+. Despite reaping tens of billions in revenue from Star Wars in recent years, Disney managed to lose money on spinoff feature Solo in 2018 and continues to encounter pockets of pessimism online about the last main feature installment, The Last Jedi, in 2017.