Former Walt Disney World VP Dan Cockerell confirms Galaxy's Edge was to originally be based on Tatooine and located in Echo Lake

Apr 28, 2020 in "Star Wars Galaxy's Edge"

Posted: Tuesday April 28, 2020 3:21pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

WDW Radio has a great interview with former VP Dan Cockerell on how the concept for Star Wars Galaxy's Edge took a major change in both story and location.

Most interestingly, Cockerell confirms that original plans called for the Star Wars themed land to be based on the original movies - specifically Tatooine, and to be located on Echo Lake taking over the Indiana Jones Stunt Show and beyond.

You might remember way back in August 2015, shortly after the announcement was made that Star Wars would be coming to the parks, we had reliable information that the land would be built on Echo Lake - leading to this overview of the plans.

There was then some surprise in early 2016 when it became clear that the land would actually be built on the Streets of America and the backlot.

The WDW Radio interview also confirms that Kathleen Kennedy, the president of LucasFilm and protege of George Lucas, convinced Disney boss Bob Iger to switch the concept to the future stories, and not to use the original movies as the basis for the land.

Both the change of location and concept remain a controversial subject among fans. Many believe that Galaxy's Edge would have been far more effective if it used familiar stories and characters, and that the aging Echo Lake area would have been a better location, leaving the backlot available for a huge Pixar land to feature Radiator Springs and the much-talked about Door-coaster concept from Monsters Inc. The WDW Radio interview also reveals that Dan Cockerell, who at that time was the VP of the park, convinced Disney to abandon the Monsters Inc. coaster in favor of more family friendly attractions with lower height requirements.

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*Grand Admiral Thrawn*May 11, 2020

I see your point on Jar Jar and young Anakin. I agree the land should have been based on the original trilogy. Every fan loves those ones.

larryzMay 09, 2020

For the IQ, the mean, median and mode are set at 100.

Ravenclaw78May 09, 2020

That depends on where you set the bar. He didn't specify whether his par was the median, mean, mode, or some arbitrary below- or above-average value.

larryzMay 09, 2020

A few extreme outliers can really skew the mean.

bryanfze55May 09, 2020

That is an astute analysis. I resign myself to the subpar group, along with all those who dislike The American Adventure.

Tony the TiggerMay 09, 2020

Ok, I now agree with all of you about Kathleen Kennedy. I blame her for literally almost everything.

MisterPenguinMay 09, 2020

Technically, only half the people have a subpar intelligence.

bryanfze55May 09, 2020

That’s because most people possess some mix of subpar intelligence and lack of taste.

Imagineer45May 09, 2020

I do not know if "great ratings" were the proper words to use, as I would have gone with large crowds. I always go to the American Adventure and love the show, but part of what makes it neat is the ability to get away from the masses. I have watched the show with only a handful of other people before. Having places like this are part of what makes Epcot great, but the 30k+ people there daily still need attractions to go to.

WDW ProMay 08, 2020

I would say it's now on indefinite hold. Previously it was seen as a crowd control initiative for the expected incoming crowds for SWGE. There had also been some early stage planning into developing areas near the Fantasmic area. Both were designed to increase capacity at the park.

peter11435May 08, 2020

based on?

eggMay 08, 2020

That’s wonderful, although the American Adventure doesn’t get great ratings. And Tron at MK of course.

Czar63May 07, 2020

The prequel was horrible. Darth Vader was a wining sniveling brat and Jar Jar Binks? The original trilogy and the sequel, in that order, were the best. Galaxy Edge should have been based on the original three. It is loved by all.

RSoxNo1May 06, 2020

I was told that Scott Trowbridge pushed for the new trilogy.