Eerie Connection Between Force Awakens, Tomorrowland

Thursday seemed eerily surreal in Anaheim, between The Force Awakens panel at Star Wars Celebration to the new Tomorrowland exhibit in Disneyland. It was like journeying through some inter-dimensional transport much like the one in Tomorrowland. And what was even stranger was discovering some striking similarities between J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars reboot and Brad Bird’s fantasy/adventure.

Not surprisingly, Abrams admitted that seeing Star Wars for the first time as an 11-year-old was all about “A New Hope” for the future and that his goal for The Force Awakens was to leverage the spirit of the first trilogy and expand the Star Wars universe in a way that satisfies fans from multiple generations. In terms of design, the second teaser reveals a continuation of the same kind of “lived-in” world that George Lucas achieved, from the desert vista of the new planet Jakku (shot in Abu Dhabi), to the new rolling ball BB-8 droid (powered by Sphero), to the new Stormtroopers and X-Wings, which are familiar yet different.

Likewise, we learn from Bird in an audio/visual display that Tomorrowland is about recapturing the 20th-century notion of an optimistic future along with an idealistic spirit of invention. The future-retro look of Tomorrowland takes inspiration from Walt Disney’s participation in the New York World’s Fair of 1964, which introduced “A Small World,” the animatronic “Mr. Lincoln,” “The Carousel of Progress” and the PeopleMover ride system. In his movie, Bird apparently explores Tomorowland as both utopia and dystopia.

The new Force Awakens trailer (watch below) confirms that it’s all about family and generational hand-off with its deja vu aura.

Likewise, there’s a warm, nostalgic sense of deja vu that informs Tomorrowland. The sneak peek footage opens with a young boy entering the ’64 World’s Fair as we hear “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow.”

Read the rest at TOH/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Crafts, Movies, previs, Production Design, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production

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