Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser closing?


“The relatively straightforward idea for an ultra-themed hotel wound up — thanks to a combination of hubris, mismanagement and greed — as perhaps the greatest Disney theme park disaster ever…”

george lucas what GIF
 
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Another failure for old Kathleen. Rumor is if the new Indy doesn’t break 900million Iger is withholding her annual multimillion dollar bonus as well.
 
I am such a sucker for OT Star Wars I would have paid stupid money just to stay at an immersive Hotel Death Star, Tatooine, Hoth, Bespin or even Yavin IV or Dagobah. Just give me staff that don't break character. I don't even need the LARP.

Why is Disney so intent on displacing everything OT instead of building on it?
 
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Slightly off topic, but I really wish WB would have moved forward with their Idea to build a full sized Hogwats/hotel. That would fit right in to the Harry Potter movies that we all love, right down to staying in the correct "dorms" in our perspective houses to eating dinner in the great hall. I don't know about you guys, but that has multiple visits appeal to me.

This Starcruiser crap, yeah, I didn't even want to go ONCE!
 
I am such a sucker for OT Star Wars I would have paid stupid money just to stay at an immersive Hotel Death Star, Tatooine, Hoth, Bespin or even Yavin IV or Dagobah. Just give me staff that don't break character. I don't even need the LARP.

Why is Disney so intent on displacing everything OT instead of building on it?
Probably because they see the ST as the future of Star Wars and are banking on the kids growing up with the ST to become the Star Wars fans of the future, sort of like what happened with the PT fans who were kids when it first came out.
 
I sincerely doubt that gamble will pay off.
I'd be more surprised if it doesn't. You have to consider that all of the hate and vitriol against the ST is from a minority of fans. There's almost certainly a lot more casual fans who enjoyed the sequels and who have kids who are big fans of them. All you have to do is compare the way the prequels were received back when they first came out to how they're looked at now. Those kids that grew up on the prequels have grown up and, in part, helped make shows like The Clone Wars a success along with other shows set in the pre-OT period successful and popular.
 
I'd be more surprised if it doesn't. You have to consider that all of the hate and vitriol against the ST is from a minority of fans. There's almost certainly a lot more casual fans who enjoyed the sequels and who have kids who are big fans of them. All you have to do is compare the way the prequels were received back when they first came out to how they're looked at now. Those kids that grew up on the prequels have grown up and, in part, helped make shows like The Clone Wars a success along with other shows set in the pre-OT period successful and popular.

I think there is some truth in that but it won't be as strong as with the prequels.

The Prequels had a lot of specific annoyances & frustrations. But the bones of the storytelling & world-building were very solid.

The ST has no such framework. Disney was taking franchise planning lessons from Vin Diesel.
 
Isn't the moral of this that fans want a more direct re-creation of what they've seen and enjoyed on-screen than a half-a$$ed "experience?" I haven't gone to Galaxy's Edge at Disney, but I've read complaints that people would rather it have been directly based on Tattooine and/or some other established on-screen Star Wars locations rather than something that was just made up for the park. I have been to Universal's Harry Potter rides and was very impressed at the attention to detail. I wasn't even a Harry Potter fan at the time (my girlfriend was), but it was impressive based on what I'd seen in the few movies I'd watched, and I really enjoyed the experience. I've actually watched all the movies multiple times now, and watching them after going to Universal makes me even more impressed with their attention to detail. Galaxy's Edge and the Galactic Starcruiser hotel both seem to me like Disney just made something different from the movies/TV so they wouldn't have to put in the effort to try to make an accurate Star Wars experience.
 
Isn't the moral of this that fans want a more direct re-creation of what they've seen and enjoyed on-screen than a half-a$$ed "experience?" I haven't gone to Galaxy's Edge at Disney, but I've read complaints that people would rather it have been directly based on Tattooine and/or some other established on-screen Star Wars locations rather than something that was just made up for the park. I have been to Universal's Harry Potter rides and was very impressed at the attention to detail. I wasn't even a Harry Potter fan at the time (my girlfriend was), but it was impressive based on what I'd seen in the few movies I'd watched, and I really enjoyed the experience. I've actually watched all the movies multiple times now, and watching them after going to Universal makes me even more impressed with their attention to detail. Galaxy's Edge and the Galactic Starcruiser hotel both seem to me like Disney just made something different from the movies/TV so they wouldn't have to put in the effort to try to make an accurate Star Wars experience.
Having been to Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland I can say that I didn't feel that it was cheap or half-assed. Could it have been more? Sure. But that they did deliver was pretty cool, in my opinion. To me, there was not that much that really screamed PT and not OT, outside of the rides that is, and what theming there was you could just squint and pretend that it was OT and not PT. And it's not like it's a separate admission, it's included with the price of admission so there's not even that to complain about.

The Starcruiser is a different story, it's very much set in the ST and is a separate admission. But I'd argue that the price of admission was the biggest issue followed by the general lack of repeatability. Even if it was set in the OT I doubt that it would have attracted significantly more guests, not enough to have made a difference and kept it open. It's just too expensive for most people and just not a very good deal considering that a week long cruise cost the same or less, even a Disney Cruise is about the same price or less. Then add that it's kind of a one and done experience, it's not enough to keep all but the most die hard of well off fans from going back.
 
When my friends and I went to Galaxy's Edge (Disney World) back in 2019, we went to Galaxy's Edge and Wizarding World of Harry Potter back to back, and who did a better job obviously came up in conversation. (Worth noting they were both designed and set dressed by the some of the same individuals, Disney swiped them up after they nailed it at Universal.)

We felt Universal did a better job at immersing you specifically into the HP movies/sets, but Galaxy's Edge did a better job immersing you in the world of Star Wars (the food, ren-faire type character interaction, lightsaber building, etc). Which ones better will depend on what you're after at the park, though my friends enjoyed the Galaxy's Edge park slightly better— but we also got a really great experience that I haven't been able to replicate the other couple times I've been. We were asked to help smuggle Chewbacca out of the park, my friend sold him out to some questioning Stormtroopers, she was then grabbed and ejected from the Resistance side of the park by the wookie, and we had several interactions that stemmed from that later in the day— it's that kind of interactive charm on top of the ambience that makes the park great (to me) and it's what had me interested about the Starcruiser— BUT the price point was the prime reason I never marked it down as a future vacation plan.

I agree it should have been themed better (this looks more in line with a Star Trek type cruise than going on a ship during war time in the OT and ST) but even more than that I agree it's the price that caused this failure.
 
I agree it should have been themed better (this looks more in line with a Star Trek type cruise than going on a ship during war time in the OT and ST) but even more than that I agree it's the price that caused this failure.
I thought that the theming was pretty good for what it was. I've seen a lot of complaints about how it didn't look Star Wars but what could they have done differently to make it more Star Wars looking? It's not like we've seen the likes of this in any of the movies or shows to date. Overall, we've had very few glimpses of what civilian luxury starships look like in the Star Wars universe. What we've mostly seen are military vessels, both Rebellion and Imperial. The closest equivalent to the Starcruise we've seen is Amadala's ship and even then we've only seen a bit of inside one of her ships, and a smaller one at that. The fact of the matter is that we don't have much of a design language for a state of the art, luxury liner in the Star Wars universe because we don't see much of how civilians in the core worlds live until Andor.
 
I've been twice.

It was the most ambitious and formally unprecedented project in the history of the company. It was a miracle it existed at all, regardless of how long. Getting a new idea into a company this big, and this risk averse, is a herculean effort. For me, it elevated Star Wars to the level of ritually participatory myth, and the most painful part about seeing it close has been the reaction from folks who really have no idea what the the thing is. Disney never called it a hotel. Because it isn't a hotel, any more than a car is an expensive chair. Sure, it has a seat, but that's not why the thing exists. Starcruiser has a bed to enable the experience. That's it. Folks poking fun at the building don't realize that the building and the room are just alibis for interaction. A stage for the actual experience, which is a person-to-person, intimate narrative experience which has yielded the highest guest satisfaction ratings Disney has ever seen.

Reclaiming a lost sense of play, especially for adults, is the unique magic of the immersive medium. It's a primal human experience to engage in that kind of ritual participation. The Imagineers who designed Starcruiser know that. They brought in some of the best minds in the immersive theatre world to help craft the project, and imbue it with systems that foster community, empathy, and shared storytelling. Over the years, I've spoken to so many players who feel that they have gotten in touch with their truest self by participating in embodied experiences like this. Star Wars fans like to talk about Joseph Campbell in terms of mythic structure, but Starcruiser marked our first chance to ritually enact that myth in such a profound and traditionally Campbellian manner. That's pure magic.

From my vantage point (admittedly biased by my proximity to the immersive industry from which it was born) its failure was one of marketing, and that's an unenviable position for anyone to be tasked with selling somethings that's never existed. (Even Disneyland could point to comparable offerings before it was built.) As the dust settles, it's clear the YouTube grifters and clickbait farms won the war, which they waged before anyone knew what this thing was. If there was a marketing campaign that could have corrected for the false information spread about this thing, it wasn't the one they went with.

And my heart goes out to the teams that were trying to find a more sustainable cadence for this, but will never get the chance to find the equilibrium of demand and labor costs, as they were trying to before corporate maneuvering pulled the plug. (They had announced lowering the number of voyages to two per week for later in the year, in an attempt to condense the existing demand, but the newly announced closure date is before any such adjustments could be attempted.)

More has been said about cost than I'd ever care to say, but honestly, knowing what it was, I expected it to cost more. Putting a price on a full cast of broadway-caliber actors for two days, giving you a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will remember long past the time you'd have forgotten any vacation -- it's a different kind of calculation. It also doesn't help that many online outlets flat-out lied about the price. Grab four of your fellow fans, and you can have a real adventure in your favorite fictional world for around $1,400. Aspirationally priced, but as they would say about a film, "it's all on the screen," and I haven't met anyone among the thousands of voyagers I've talked to over the last fourteen months who says it was not worth it for them. To have a character tap them on the shoulder and say "I need your help," and be swept up in a totally original story that's canon to a universe they love.

I'm sad it is closing, and I'm worried what it will mean for my industry, but I'm so glad it existed.
 
I thought that the theming was pretty good for what it was. I've seen a lot of complaints about how it didn't look Star Wars but what could they have done differently to make it more Star Wars looking? It's not like we've seen the likes of this in any of the movies or shows to date. Overall, we've had very few glimpses of what civilian luxury starships look like in the Star Wars universe.
Well, that's just it. How are we supposed to associate with SW something we've never seen in SW?
 
I'm SO glad it's closing! It was nothing more than a preening peacock strutting around and throwing it's over the top prices in your face and trying to gouge for every penny in your pocket.
 
Overall, we've had very few glimpses of what civilian luxury starships look like in the Star Wars universe.
Maybe not in starships particularly, but there have been plenty of views of luxury accommodations inside buildings ... in ESB, TPM, AOTC, ROTS and in TLJ.
 
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