D23 Expo 2015: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Poster and Themed Lands Revealed

Joey Sack ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Actors Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong'o, Daisy Ridley, director J.J. Abrams and actor Harrison Ford of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Photo Credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
Actors Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong’o, Daisy Ridley, director J.J. Abrams and actor Harrison Ford of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Photo Credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

The Force is strong with Disney’s D23 Expo, as both a poster for the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens was revealed, along with plans for Star Wars-themed lands at Disneyland in Anaheim and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando. So let’s take a look at what these bits of news mean for Disney’s plans for the Star Wars saga.

Photo Credit: Star Wars on Twitter
Photo Credit: Star Wars on Twitter

The poster, created by Drew Struzan, the artist behind many classic movie posters, including the Indiana Jones and Star Wars films, is drawn in his same classic style. The poster is divided between light and dark, and features Finn (John Boyega), Rey (Daisy Ridley), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford). Finn and Kylo Ren stand on either side of Rey, lightsabers drawn, with Finn wielding Anakin Skywalker’s original lightsaber that Luke Skywalker lost during his fight with Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back. This makes it much clearer that Finn will, at some point or another, receive the weapon, indicating that Luke Skywalker may train him in the ways of the Force. Featuring Han Solo on the bottom left indicates that the old Corellian smuggler will play a vital role in the film and Finn and Rey’s parts in it, perhaps even more so than Luke Skywalker or Leia Organa, two of the other returning characters. It would make sense, with Solo’s former career as a smuggler and Rey’s life as a junk collector, that the two would cross paths and work well together, with Finn likely thrown into the mix due to conflicts between the First Order and the Resistance. The two suns on the left side of the poster are indicative of Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine, which means that the main characters may end up there at some point in the movie, while the X-Wings and TIE Fighters on both sides of the poster indicate the conflict brewing in the film. A lot of this is merely speculation, but the big thing this poster does for Star Wars fans is to give them yet another taste of what is to come: a return to the old while embracing the new. The poster is drawn by a veteran poster artist, drawn in his particular style, and features a fairly classic pose for such a poster. If this poster had been released at the time as the other Star Wars films, it would have fit right in with those posters. This is a visual treat for anyone who loves Star Wars and the classic posters that are legendary in their own right. We can only hope that the high quality of this poster translates to the big screen this December.

CEO Bob Iger announced the park at D23 on Saturday. Photo Credit: Disney
CEO Bob Iger announced the park at D23 on Saturday. Photo Credit: Disney

The more important news to be discussed is plans for Star Wars-themed lands to be built in Disneyland and Disney Hollywood Studios. Concept art shows the Millennium Falcon docked on a landing platform, as well as a lush, diverse-looking spaceport populated by aliens and droids from a thousand worlds. According to Disney chairman Bob Iger, “nothing in land will be out of character.” This is keeping in the tradition at the Disney theme parks to have everything fit with its surroundings, to immerse guests in the world that the team at Disney works to create. There will be a cantina, and though there haven’t been any rides announced as of yet, one can be sure that there will be attractions galore that tap into the immense power of the Star Wars saga. These plans for a Star Wars area at two of its main theme parks are not much of a surprise, given how much Disney has invested in the continuation of the saga, and it shows how much confidence they have in the films they have lined up. There is no official timeline for the construction of these lands yet, but given recent construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which saw the park’s Sorcerer’s Hat taken down, the company will probably want this portal into the Star Wars universe to be completed as soon as possible.

Keep checking Emertainment Monthly for more analysis of Star Wars-related news. May the Force be with us, always.


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