If you ignore the movie making, the character licensing, the TV show making, and the cryogenic freezing, the various mouse-branded theme parks are easily the most important of Disney’s grand business schemes. It’s no wonder, then, that Disney is eager to bring its new Star Wars movies into its theme park family—a family that already includes Aerosmith, The Twilight Zone, and some old space movie called Star Wars.
According to Variety, Disney and its army of Imagineers started working on new Star Wars rides based on the existing six movies not long after buying Lucasfilm, but Disney CEO Bob Iger quickly decided to scrap everything and focus only on the new films. He didn’t want fans who had seen The Force Awakens to go to Disneyland and be disappointed by a Millennium Falcon with a round radar dish instead of the sexy new rectangular one. Unfortunately, nobody at Disney could start milking the Star Wars cow until J.J. Abrams had finished planning out the new series, so it sounds like we’re still pretty far off from The Force Awakens and any subsequent Star Wars movies from having some kind of presence at Disney’s parks.
Once they do, though, that presence will be “significant.” Referring to how much Star Wars crap he intends to fill Disney’s parks with, Iger said, “We bought the thing. We can do that now.” Yes, he called Star Wars “the thing,” just in case anyone was worried that Disney would be treating Star Wars with some kind of special reverence.
Also, the Variety article mentions that Iger says he has been reminding Abrams that The Force Awakens “is a $4 billion movie,” since that’s how much Disney paid for Lucasfilm. After all, the future of Star Wars depends on this movie being a hit, what with this being the first time in decades that a madman who can’t be told not to do things isn’t in charge of the series. Iger later added, “It’s an unbelievable privilege and unbelievable responsibility to take a jewel and treat it in a way that is respectful of its past but brings it into the future.” See, that sounds like special reverence, but it also sounds like a guy reminding a certain director about how successful his movie has to be in order for him to keep his life.