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There may already be a Disney Legends ceremony every other year at D23 Expo, but if there had ever been an official Lucasfilm Legends ceremony then Doug Chiang would no doubt be in that illustrious hall of fame. With his fingerprints stamped across the design of the saga for the past quarter of a century, his vision of the galaxy has recently sprung into three-dimensional life in the form of two Galaxy’s Edge sites on either coast of the USA, and Biz Journal had the chance to chat with Doug about his childhood influences and the park which he helped nurture into reality.

Did you have to think early on how this land fits into the overall Star Wars universe?

Part of my role was to make sure it fit within canon. So everything we are designing here fits seamlessly into the Star Wars universe — there’s no separation at all. Even though this is a 360-degree experience where you actually can walk, live, breathe and taste this environment, it easily can fit into a Star Wars story or film.

What was your ‘wow’ moment when you visited Galaxy’s Edge?

The real special thing was seeing the Falcon and the surrounding buildings. We have seen so many versions of it because we built them for the films. But seeing the definitive one here and walking through the little narrow ways and opening the vista where you see it — it’s almost like an establishing shot in a movie — the Falcon surrounded by the spaceport was just surreal for me. I had the biggest grin on my face as well.

Could anyone other than Disney Imagineering have brought this to life?

No, that’s the special relationship we have with Disney, because theme park design is on an unparalleled level. I design for movies all the time, but they have to make this land last for years — even decades. And that’s not something I’m used to, because on movie sets, we can cheat with things made out of foam and plywood. But not here, because people want to touch everything.

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Mechanika, Revised and Updated: Creating the Art of Space, Aliens, Robots and Sci-Fi
  • F W Media International
  • Doug Chiang
  • Publisher: IMPACT Books
  • Edition no. 0 (10/07/2015)
  • Paperback: 144 pages