Disney Rejected The Mandalorian Upgrade to Revive Star Wars’ Luxury Hotel
Apparently, Disney didn’t believe The Mandalorian was “The Way” to save its struggling Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.
Despite only opening in March 2022, low occupancy and a lack of repeat business plagued Disney’s latest innovation in recent months, leading to company-imposed cancellations, discounts, and now closure.
But in the aftermath of Disney’s announcing its September closure, former plans to save this luxurious sinking starship have come to light.
Disney’s Mandalorian Starcruiser Upgrade That Never Was
Before the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser ever opened its blast doors at Walt Disney World, the experience was met with significant backlash, especially in terms of its $4,800 price tag.
While the experience enjoyed a honeymoon of positive press upon opening, the issue of cost never went away; and as for those who could afford it, many weren’t planning to book a second time.
The Galactic Starcruiser also shared Star Wars: Galaxy Edge’s issue, in that it’s creatively landlocked between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker.
Apart from being two highly divisive Star Wars films, Disney’s commitment to this self-imposed timeline meant Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, and more were barred from appearing in the first-ever Star Wars hotel.
As reported by TheWrap, Disney was brainstorming ideas to solve these problems and revive flagging business, including a possible retheme of the Starcruiser to The Mandalorian.
While Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy was largely deemed a disappointment, The Mandalorian was a massive success and launched a pop culture phenomenon with Grogu (aka Baby Yoda).
And, even though the Disney+ series occurs after Return of the Jedi, the show continuously connected all three Star Wars trilogies through references and fan-favorite cameos.
The fact Disney introduced Mando and Grogu to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at both Disneyland Disney World may be evidence of Imagineering toying with such a redo.
Another option Disney considered consisted of paid tours of the Galactic Starcruiser for Walt Disney World guests, allowing them to enjoy the resort’s amenities without paying for the complete experience.
Reportedly, Imagineers were at the Starcruiser and working on ideas mere days before Disney confirmed its closure.
Why Disney Decided Against The Mandalorian
The reasons for Disney forgoing The Mandalorian as its Starcruiser savior are varied, but the most obvious is cost.
Overhauling the Galactic Starcruiser and bringing on Mando and his associates would have required Disney to pump more capital into an already failing project, not to mention the time and effort required to pen new scripts and storylines for the cast to learn and perfect.
In retrospect, it’s no wonder Disney chose to swallow the loss and take the tax write-off as opposed to spending more cash.
Another strike against this Disney+ redo is that The Mandalorian is an ongoing series whose characters are likely to change and evolve with time. And, despite its ties to Star Wars stories both old and new, The Mandalorian’s place on the timeline would have still prohibited the presence of Darth Vader or Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Finally, there’s the reality that newly returned Disney CEO Bob Iger inherited the failing Galactic Starcruiser from his dismissed successor, Bob Chapek, who was synonymous with cutting costs, raising prices, and tailoring the Disney Parks to the 1%.
Upon returning to his former position in late 2022, Iger wasted no time in undoing Chapek-era changes and working to change Disney’s money-grubbing reputation, all while trying to save the company’s struggling bottom line.
All in all, the uber-expensive, but unprofitable Starcruiser didn’t stand a chance, even when presented with a Mandalorian makeover.