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An epic tech partnership: New details shared about Disney's marquee Star Wars ride

06 April 2018

Disney's game-changing plans for immersion and adventure in the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge expansions, coming next year to Orlando's Hollywood Studios theme park and California's Disneyland theme park, are being fueled, in part, by groundbreaking technology from the gaming industry.

NVIDIA Corp., the Santa Clara-based maker of graphics processing units (GPU) and related technologies, has revealed the first image of an animation sequence from the new Millennium Falcon ride on its company blog. The image shows a pilot's view of a massive industrial environment with TIE fighters flying through the mid-ground. The ride, based on the fabled starship that is a Star Wars fan favorite, will let guests crew a mission and man the cockpit — all while on board a life-size version of the Millennium Falcon itself.

NVIDIA also posted details of the imaging system it developed with Walt Disney Imagineering and Cary, NC-based Epic Games that will bring the ride to life.

The following is an excerpt from the blog post:

“When it launches, riders will enter a cockpit powered with a single BOXX chassis packed with eight high-end NVIDIA Quadro P6000 GPUs, connected via Quadro SLI. Quadro Sync synchronizes five projectors for the creation of dazzling ultra-high resolution, perfectly timed displays to fully immerse the riders in the world of planet Batuu. Working with NVIDIA and Epic Games, the Imagineering team created a custom multi-GPU implementation for Unreal Engine.”

The Unreal Engine is the creation platform for many popular Epic Games titles, including Gears of War and Bioshock, while the Quadro Sync system creates ultra-high resolution image displays. And, according to the blog post, the animation sequence is produced by Lucasfilm immersive entertainment division ILMxLAB, which is responsible for Disney Springs' virtual-reality adventure Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire.

So, basically the whole thing will be a super-realistic ride through galactic awesomeness that you will never want to leave.

And technology will only open the story, as decisions made on the ride will have consequences in other Galaxy's Edge attractions and at the upcoming Star Wars hotel, all of which will be inhabited with alien species that will seek to reward or punish riders, depending on the outcome of their mission.

Disney has tapped into limitless possibilities with the Star Wars saga, as plans for ongoing film and TV projects can further enhance the theme park experience with new stories, characters and connections.

Theme park additions help draw new and repeat visitors to Orlando, boosting the region's $60 billion tourism industry, which welcomes more than 68 million visitors each year.


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