At the “Journey Into Imagineering” pavilion offered by Disney Parks and Resorts for D23 Expo 2013, Imagineers had a great deal of fun teasing fans about the possibilities of a “Star Wars” attraction (or more) in the Disney themes parks.
While no news was released – as Disney had announced prior to D23 Expo, there was a “Star Wars” exhibit that addressed the fan fervor. It featured numerous crates stenciled with inside jokes – notably “Orange Harvest: Speculation Beyond Imagination.” Not only was that the name of the exhibit, the title is a play on “Blue Harvest: Horror Beyond Imagination,” the code name used during the filming of “Return of the Jedi.”
Of course, it was the “Orange Harvest” crate that also held provocative pile of “project blueprints” practically spilling out of it. Another sign the exhibit was good fun, especially as the blueprints were tantalizing close but not available for close inspection. What was identifiable were the words “scooter” and “Jedi,” along with what looks like drawings of vehicles.
Plus, the crate’s shipping address was “1401 Flower Street,” referring to the Glendale, Calif. home to Walt Disney Imagineering – which “Journey Into Imagineering” replicated for D23 Expo 2013. It’s another in-joke, as the crate of “Star Wars” materials has arrived at its WDI home. With “some assembly required,” as yet another crate indicated.
Here’s a look at what the other crates offered.
Astromech Droid: Most obvious to D23 attendees visiting the Journey Into Imagineering pavilion was the open crate that read Caution: Contents may wander during transit. Handle with care! R2-D2, wearing a WDI nametag that identified him as being from Naboo, was wandering the show floor and posing for photographs.
Of course, not all references at D23 Expo’s “Star Wars” exhibit was as obvious, especial to fans looking for news about “Episode VII” or, especially important for the Disney Parks and Resorts pavilion, about new projects for the theme parks. Wookieepedia, the “Star Wars” Wiki, helps decipher some of these tongue-in-cheek clues.
620C Racing Engine Components: The Radon-Ulzer 620C turbo engines were turbine engines designed for use in podracers. Young Anakin Skywalker, in “Episode I: The Phantom Menace” raced with such an engine in a customized podracer; a slave at that point of the Saga, Anakin secretly salvaged the engine and built his podracer to compete in the Boonta Eve Classic.
Bantha Milk: Also referred to as blue milk, this is the sweet drink Luke Skywalker enjoys on Tatooine early in the first “Star Wars” film, now known as “Episode IV: A New Hope.”
C-3PO: A fun reference to C-3PO was present in an “upset” crate, placed upside down. It read “Caution: Contents May Panic During Transit,” a teasing reference to the droid’s frequent state of distress in light of near-constant upheaval.
Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes: Also known as the Cantina Band, these characters are introduced in the “Episode IV: A New Hope.” The contents listed – 1 Kloo Horn, 1 Gasan String Drum, 1 Dorenian Beshniquel, 2 Fanfar, 1 Bandfill, and 1 Omnibox. – refer to musical instruments.
Lightsaber Assortment Lot of 12, 6 Blue, 5 Green, 1 Purple: There are 12 members of the Jedi High Council, made up of Jedi Masters. The lightsabers’ colors of course, may also have meaning: the blue lightsaber may refer to Jedi Guardians; the green lightsabers may refer to Jedi Consulars; and the lone purple lightsaber refers to Mace Windu.
The crate also warns, “Please watch hands, arms, legs, and head.” While it’s tempting – and perhaps prescient – to see this a future attraction warning, D23 officially says, in its “Easter Eggs” article about the Expo exhibit, that these body parts were lost in various light-saber battles across the “Star Wars” films.
Rancor Food: The Rancor, a giant repto-mammal, is first featured in “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.” Luke Skywalker is thrown into a pit with one to entertain Jabba the Hutt. Luke, however, kills the beast.
Series 401 Hyperdrive Motivator Class YT-1300 Freighter: A lightspeed thrust initiator produced during the early years of the Republic, the Series Hyperdrive Motivator is referenced as the Millennium Falcon’s primary hyperspace propulsion system.
Thermal Detonator: Princess Leia activates the thermal detonator – a grenade-like weapon – in “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi” as she attempts to rescue free Han Solo from his Carbonite encasement.
As the National Disney Travel Examiner I attended the D23 Expo on a media pass to provide first-hand coverage. Look for more recap coverage to come, including photos and video, now that the event has concluded.