Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has been in the works for quite some time now and we’ve been busy sharing all the updates as we get them, but with the park due to open on August 29th in Orlando and May 31st in Anaheim, what better time and place for Disney to dish out a few new highlights than Star Wars Celebration?
We’ve known that the area is set at the Black Spire Outpost located on the planet Batuu and that visitors will get the opportunity to experience an immersive cannon adventure that includes flying the Millennium Falcon and participating in the Resistance – or the First Order if you so choose. Today, however, panel host Josh Gad took the stage to introduce Imagineers Scott Trowbridge, Chris Beatty, Doug Chiang, Asa Kalama, Margaret Kerrison, and Matt Martin, and lead a conversation about the authenticity and incredible amount of detail you’ll experience when you visit.
Here’s everything we learned about Galaxy’s Edge at Star Wars Celebration 2019:
Force for Change is teaming up with FIRST. This isn’t directly connected to Galaxy’s Edge, but is still well worth highlighting; Disney snd Lucas Film are joining forces with FIRST, a robotics organization aiming to inspire young people to become science and technology leaders and innovators. Force for Change is working with FIRST to inspire youth communities to use robotic skills to be a force for good. The program offers mentorships and other opportunities to young people around the world. Essentially, these are the individuals who could become the designers behind the next R2-D2! As stated in the brief video presentation covering the collaboration, the goal is to “inspire a new generation of heroes.”
Welcome to the planet Batuu! As Trowbridge explained, Batuu is where you’ll find Black Spire Outpost, a remote trading port somewhere on the edge of wild space. Back in the day, Black Spire might have been a hotspot because it was a vital refueling location. Now, however, with hyperspace travel, that’s not the case so when you visit Black Spire yourself, you’ll likely run into those who don’t really want to be in the mainstream, like smugglers.
Why Batuu and not a more familiar planet? Chiang and Beatty spoke about how the large majority of the planets featured in the film franchise are reflections of certain characters, which is a very effective character building tool on the big screen. For Galaxy’s Edge? It’s not about those characters, per se. Beatty said that the experience isn’t about a single character; “It was about your journey.”
This is the most epic and immersive project Disney has ever done. Then panelists repeatedly highlighted the level of detail and authenticity you’ll find at the street markets of Black Spire Outpost. Everything there is meant to feel like it was made by people on that planet for people on that planet.
There are two big anchor attractions. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run brings you into the cockpit of the iconic Corellian Light Freighter and lets you become part of the flight crew for a customized, truly interactive mission. You have the option to participate as a pilot and steer the ship, as an engineer trying to keep things in working order, or as a gunner trying to defend the Falcon from blaster bolts. If you don’t do a good job and the Falcon is severely damaged? You’ll actually see that reflected in the hallway when you leave the cockpit! That hallway reflects how you did on your mission. And don’t forget to stop and take in the ride’s exterior because the scale of the Falcon “is crazy.” Apparently, it’s “the real deal.”
There’s also Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. If you leave Black Spire Outpost and venture towards the remains of the ancient ruins, that’s where you’ll find the Resistance and they’re busy looking for new recruits. The trouble is, as we all well know, things don’t always go according to plan in Star Wars so you might find yourself a First Order captive on a Star Destroyer. As Trowbridge teased, if you can survive this encounter with the First Order and Kylo Ren, you’ll be celebrated as a hero of the Resistance throughout the land.
Galaxy’s Edge is canon. All Star Wars storytelling takes place in one timeline and the teams involved in bringing Batuu to life wanted to make sure the adventures within represent a moment in Star Wars storytelling and have a place in the narrative. Batuu and Black Spire Outpost have a rich history and they wanted to tell the stories of how certain individuals got there. And you can actually start digging into that information right now. There’s a book called Star Wars: Pirate’s Price that you can read right now. It’s all about Hondo Ohnaka and how he came to acquire the Falcon, which of course journeys to Batuu. There’s also a five-part series from Marvel comics that you can pre-order right now which introduces readers to Dok-Ondar, the Ithorian that runs the black market in town. And on top of that, we’ve also got an upcoming release called. Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire. That one focuses on General Leia Organa’s top spy, Vi Moradi. Moradi is dispatched to find new allies, sanctuary, and firepower and that search takes her to Batuu.