Disneyland releases new image of 'Star Wars' land

“What a piece of junk!”

That’s how Luke Skywalker described the Millennium Falcon when he first sees Han Solo’s ship in the 1977 movie “Star Wars.” But that piece of junk plays a prominent role in the new 14-acre “Star Wars” attraction, under construction in Disneyland.

The Millennium Falcon is shown in the distance at a docking bay in a new artist rendering released Monday, surrounded by a forest, rock spires and futuristic buildings and landing pads. It is the latest rendering released by Disney to build interest for the park’s biggest expansion ever.

Construction of the new land, part of a bigger $1-billion upgrade effort at the resort, began in April but Disney officials haven’t said when the project will be open to the public. The land will feature two attractions, including a ride that lets visitors fly the Millennium Falcon in a secret mission.

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But the new “Star Wars”-themed land won’t try to depict a scene from any of the previously released “Star Wars” movies, said Todd Regan, founder of the Disney blog site MiceChat.com.

“Nothing about this land comes from a movie,” he said, adding that the approach will give Disney the freedom to create the attraction without offending “Star Wars” purists.

The latest artist rendering shows how Rivers of America will be redirected to skirt along the edge of the “Star Wars” land. But the artist rendering doesn’t show the new route for the Disneyland Railroad, which will likely roll along elevated trestles over the river to make way for the new land.

Construction crews have already cleared the area in the northwest corner of the park, an area that was previously home to Big Thunder Ranch, Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo and Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree.

Workers started building walls for the new land last week, Regan said. “I”ve never seen Disney moving this fast,” he added.

hugo.martin@latimes.com

To read more about the travel and tourism industries, follow @hugomartin on Twitter.

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