Disney at Star Wars Celebration Chicago unveiled a new look at the Hondo Ohnaka Audio-Animatronic coming to Disney Parks’ Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge expansion areas, the immersive lands wholly themed to Star Wars.
The figure — inspired by the Weequay space pirate leader voiced by Disney voice acting veteran Jim Cummings in the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and Forces of Destiny — is the latest lifelike creation birthed by Disney Imagineering, who in recent years unveiled similarly advanced Audio-Animatronics as part of the Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! and Na’vi River Journey attractions at Disney California Adventure Park and Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, respectively.
Following Rocket Raccoon and the Na’vi Shaman of Songs as another convincingly realistic state-of-the-art Audio-Animatronic, Hondo belongs to the line of A-1000 advanced robotics, an evolution of the A-100s first introduced by Walt Disney Imagineering in the 1980s.
As the company stated in a February video that offered the first look at the in-progress Hondo, the newly standardized system “incorporates new electric functionality, replacing former hydraulic functions, producing extremely realistic, lifelike movement.” In the future, other figures replicating human form can utilize the system to “ensure the same degree of realism and advanced levels of movement.”
Guests will encounter Hondo when visiting Star Wars: Smugglers Run, one of two premiere E-ticket attractions that sees riders pilot the Millennium Falcon.
“You’re truly in control of the fastest and most iconic ship in the entire galaxy,” Asa Kalama, executive creative director on Smugglers Run, shared in the “Millennium Falcon: From Page to Park” featurette.
“And Hondo, he’s gone ahead and added a couple extra seats so he can get as many of those flight crews through as possible. There are 200 some odd buttons, knobs, and switches on the inside of the cockpit and they all do stuff. If you’re the gunners in the center there and you don’t fire back on those TIE Fighters fast enough, they’re going to riddle the hull with laser bolts. The engineers in back, it’s really up to them to keep the whole Falcon in working order so they’re back there furiously working away at their various systems.”
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens May 31 at the Disneyland Resort and August 29 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as part of the Walt Disney World Resort.
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