Yes, yes, yes, folks: I heard the news. And -- might I say -- it is sad news, indeed. It may not be all that surprising, and it certainly isn't anything earth-shaking, though some may disagree. Word has reached my humble desk -- actually, it did yesterday -- about the final closure of Walt Disney's Star Wars themed hotel. Honestly, I know it has a more specific name, but I cared so little about it that I couldn't quote said name to you. Galaxy's Cruiser? Galaxy's End? Something like that.
In any event, I have seen a handful of vlogs that talked about it both last night and this morning. Many on the Information Superhighway are saying that this might be the final nail in the coffin that is the fastly imploding career of Kathleen Kennedy, but -- again -- as I don't have a dog (really) in that fight I'll just have to agree with all of you "in the know." It would seem to me that if they were willing to blow $2 billion to develop a hotel exactly the way she wanted it and maybe even blow another $1 billion to shoot and market the latest and (ahem) greatest Indiana Jones film that the powerbrokers at Walt Disney and Lucasfilm must think she's doing something right.
No. I couldn't tell you what that is that she's doing right.
I've swapped emails with a few folks today, and since I received another one I thought I'd pop in here very briefly with a few thoughts. It ain't gonna be profound, though, because I really don't think about Walt Disney's version of Star Wars really being all that deep.
For starters, I think some of you on the web might be vastly younger than I am because drawing a comparison to this H-O-T-E-L and Paramount Parks' Star Trek: The Experience is flawed in vastly more ways than I can count. For the record, that Las Vegas A-T-T-R-A-C-T-I-O-N (not H-O-T-E-L) lasted a full ten years, and Galaxy Roof Inn didn't even last a year. So a ten year E-X-H-I-B-I-T really shouldn't be anything that you feel is fodder to justify your position. But, hey, if you want to make that argument, I'll leave a light on for ya.
Star Trek: The Experience was an exhibit that had a ride and basically a few shops and a restaurant. Yes, it was Star Trek themed -- and brilliantly done, I might add -- and it most decidedly had the feel of walking the Promenade aboard Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Whatever this Star Wars hotel was, I believe, was aboard a fictional spaceship -- none that was actually established within the wider Star Wars mythology -- so again I'm not so sure you're approaching the whole topic as apples to apples.
I say that as one who stayed at the Marriott Hotel, so I know -- for a fact -- that The Experience wasn't a hotel attraction. It was just an attraction. It was located inside a hotel, but therein lies the biggest difference.
Secondly, you don't have to be a brain surgeon to ask a fundamentally simple question: "How many folks can logically afford a $6,000 not-even-two-full-day stay?" I've read and listened to a lot of folks who thought the price was reasonably, and they were somehow drawing comparisons to cruise ships (???). Having not done that in my lifetime, I really can't speak to the comparison, other than to point out that from all I've read cruise ships actually TAKE you somewhere scenic wherein you get off the boat and see some other sights. That wasn't the case with Budget Galaxy Inn: you got there, you stayed there, and you did whatever they had programmed for you ... so, again, no.
Lastly, I think it kinda/sorta goes without saying but I'll say it: who wanted to spend their time celebrating Star Wars in the Sequel Era? I'm not gonna go down that whole rabbit hole again in a post -- is that even necessary? -- but Rey, Poe, and Finn? They just didn't quite resonate culturally the way that Luke, Han, and Leia did. I don't care what your arguments are. I don't care that they haven't had as many years to build a following. If that's your position, then why would anyone center a $2 billion hotel around them? You can't have an argument both ways -- you can't say they're classic characters that audiences loved so the hotel was a smart idea only then say that the hotel didn't spend ENOUGH time on them and win the day. Either it was a bad idea -- from the start -- and it was executed poorly along the way ... or it was nothing.
As I've always tried to keep an open mind on these topics -- especially given how controversial something as simple as Star Wars has always been -- I'm not even troubled by the place's closure. While, sure, it might've been nice to go there, I'm far less inclined to spend the equivalent of a house down payment just to have a bed to sleep in for one night along with some "free" snacks. I have better things to spend money on than that, and I think all of fandom should always think twice about throwing serious scratch at corporate boondoggles like this. I'd not planned on going there, and I really had no interest, mostly because of the price and secondarily because it was heavily into the Sequel stuff.
Not for me.
But if you went, liked it, that's great.
To each his own ...