The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60 was a big show. Idina Menzel sang “Let It Go.” Elton John sang a hit or two from The Lion King in the shadow of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. But for a particular kind of movie fan, the highlight of the night was an appearance by Harrison Ford (who, mercifully, did not sing) introducing what he called “The Star Wars Experience.” Those are the massive Star Wars worlds coming soon to Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and the show featured some of the first looks at concept art and animation from the upcoming attractions.
When you’re out promoting a movie, you’re often asked to do a lot of things, most of them pretty silly. With the amount of press the cast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was being asked to do, there were asked to do a lot of silly things, none perhaps as silly as going on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and singing a medley of Star Wars music a cappella. But the entire cast — including Harrison Ford! — actually commits, and it actually turns out to pretty fun.
The original Star Wars was driven by nostalgia for pulp magazines, Saturday-morning serials, and a simpler era with clear-cut heroes and villains. The new Star Wars is driven by nostalgia for the original Star Wars, and a simpler era when that title evoked words like “adventure” and “excitement,” and not words like “the taxation of trade routes,” and “Jar Jar Binks.” The characters in Star Wars: The Force Awakens are all searching for something of great importance to the galaxy far, far away. I won’t reveal what this MacGuffin is, but I will tell you what it represents: that old Star Wars magic. Can director J.J. Abrams and the rest of the saga’s new creators find it?