D23 EXPO 2017 – Exclusive Interview: Galactic Credits will help track your choices in Disney’s Star Wars Land, from the Millennium Falcon to the cantina

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Last night at D23 Expo 2017 in Anaheim, California, Disney revealed the huge, incredibly detailed model for its new Star Wars expansions currently under construction at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World.

This morning before the convention began to welcome guests, I spoke exclusively with Walt Disney Imagineer Scott Trowbridge about his work leading the creative team developing the highly-anticipated Star Wars project, and how guests will interact with it when they finally get the chance to step foot inside.

WATCH – INTERVIEW WITH IMAGINEER SCOTT TROWBRIDGE:

During the interview, Trowbridge reveals new details on the new land’s immersive nature, its impact on the existing layout of Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the legacy of Star Wars in Disney parks, and what kind of locations we’ll be able to explore and characters we might meet upon visiting.

Millennium Falcon ride

Not much has been revealed thus far about the individual attractions, but Trowbridge did clear up to what degree guests will be able to control the Millennium Falcon in one signature experience.

“It’s one of the fastest ships in the galaxy and this time you’re going to be able to actually control it,” said Trowbridge. “You fly left, the ship goes left. You fly to the right and smash into that building, that is completely your choice. Though I will tell you, if you bring back the ship all banged up, the boss man might not be too happy and this is a land where those kinds of choices have consequences.”

Immersive Storytelling and Participation

When asked about more details on how Star Wars Land will incorporate guests into the story as part of the experience, enabling them to live out their own individual stories as Disney has been touting, Trowbridge offered a few more details.

“Those familiar with some of the work that Imagineering has been doing over the past couple of years, including some of the research and development work we’ve been doing, might be aware that we’ve been thinking about how do we actually bring this more participatory form of experience to life. And we have done some play tests in the past, and we have done some experiments in the past, prototypes – one probably wouldn’t be too surprised to find out that we’ve taken a lot of that thinking and put it into this project.”

Trowbridge also introduced the notion of Galactic Credits, which seems to be how your progress in Star Wars Land will be tracked.

“If you do a great job flying the Millennium Falcon, you might find a few more Galactic Credits coming your way. But if you bang the ship up and bring it back all damaged […] when you roll across the street to the local cantina, you might hear from someone in the cantina that there’s even a bounty on your head because you owe more money than you have.

But Disney is aware that not everyone will want this level of interactivity when casually strolling through Star Wars Land – and they’ve planned for that. “It is a place for those who want to participate, there’s an invitation in various ways to be a deeper part of the story. […] You can also kick back and relax in this land, if you want to.”