Audiences reeled at the size and destructive power of the AT-AT war machine when it was revealed in the 1980 sci-fi epic “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.” The AT-AT, which stands for All Terrain Armored Transport, has long been the largest piece of artillery standing in the way of the Rebel Alliance’s guerilla war for galactic liberation. Now, “Star Wars” fans will get a glimpse at a full-sized AT-AT when Disney’s planned Star Wars Land opens in 2019.
The announcement came in the form of a post on the official Disney Park Blog written by George Savvas, public relations director for Disneyland Resort. The post includes an image showing two massive AT-ATs under construction and a video revealing concept art that estimates how the completed attraction will look. The AT-ATs are surrounded by steel girders, which implies they will be part of an indoor attraction. The video makes it seems as though the attraction will take place inside a metallic hanger.
"We’re also creating two incredible new signature attractions: one that lets guests take the controls of Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance," said Savvas.
The Star Wars Land attractions are currently planned to launch in the Orlando, Florida-based Walt Disney World and Anaheim, California’s Disneyland Resort. Star Wars Land will transport visitors to a never-before-seen trading outpost before being ushered into numerous adventures depicted in the “Star Wars” films.
The attractions are scheduled to open in 2019, the same year the yet-titled “Star Wars: Episode IX” is set to debut in theaters, capping off the current Skywalker trilogy. The parks will span 14 acres and will be the largest attractions devoted to one franchise ever built by Disney.
The AT-AT originally debuted in “The Empire Strikes Back,” the second “Star Wars” film in the original trilogy. The walker’s design was based off a long-extinct breed of hornless rhinoceros that roamed Eurasia, China and the Balkans during the early to late Oligocene epoch, roughly 34 to 23 million years ago, and was the largest land mammal in history. Industrial Light and Magic, Lucasfilm’s visual effects and animation studio, animated the walkers using stop-motion animation, studying the walking patterns of elephants to get the animation just right.
(via The Hollywood Reporter)