Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, Mark Hamill and George Lucas all turned out Wednesday night with Disney’s chief executive, Bob Iger, to open Disneyland’s newest attraction, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, in Anaheim.
“As you probably know, I was the original owner of the Millennium Falcon,” joked Williams, who played Lando Calrissian, standing onstage in the shadows by the massive life-size replica of the “Star Wars” spaceship. “It’s amazing to see her looking so good today.”
Hamill, a.k.a. Luke Skywalker, recalled the opening of Star Tours at the park in 1987.
“ ‘This is inconceivable that I could be in a movie that would get its own ride in a Disney theme park,’ ” he remembered thinking at the time. “ ‘I’d better savor the moment, because it’ll never be surpassed.’
“And yet, look at where we are today. We get our own land!”
Lucas, who wrote and directed the original 1977 movie, among others in the franchise, noted that modern technology is what makes Galaxy’s Edge so special, including the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride. “It’s really something that you couldn’t even dream about 20 years ago,” he said.
But it was Ford, coming on last, who got to introduce the real “opening” honors, including a tribute to towering Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew, who died April 30 at age 74.
“Peter, this one’s for you,” said the man who played Han Solo as the ship and the land around it came alive with lights and fireworks. Still, as new as the attraction is, the 42-year-old franchise’s original stars are actually getting up there in years. In case you’re curious, Hamill is a youngster at 67, Lucas is 75, Ford is 76 and Williams clocks in at 82.
You can watch the whole ceremony below, starting at the 4:30 mark.