Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the massive, 14-acre themed land dedicated that debuted last year at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, is centered around a new planet designed by Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm: Batuu, an outer rim burg whose neutrality makes it a perfect outpost for both Resistance and First Order forces. And if you’ve ever wanted to experience more of the planet, with its signature petrified forest and craggy rock formations, you’ll get that chance very soon, in the form of a new at-home VR experience.
Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge is a forthcoming game from ILMxLAB and Oculus, the same folks who recently did the impressive Vader Immortal series.
““We are so excited for fans to step into Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge later this year,” said Vicki Dobbs Beck, ILMxLAB Executive-in-Charge in a prepared statement. “This action-packed adventure not only speaks to the promise of connected and complementary experiences by extending the lore around Black Spire Outpost, it represents another meaningful step in ILMxLAB’s quest to transition from storytelling – one-way communication – to storyLIVING, where you’re inside a world making consequential choices that drive your experience forward.” StoryLIVING huh? Okay.
Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge will undoubtedly be very cool. But it seems that its top priority is to further canonize the planet of Batuu and the town of Black Spire Outpost, so that the land will be slightly more familiar to guests visiting it for the first time. One of the chief criticisms of Galaxy’s Edge, since it opened, was that it isn’t connected to any planet that guests actually knew or had seen in one of the movies. The idea of creating an entirely new planet for the parks is nifty, but it also feels oddly removed. It made the experience more intellectual than emotional and left guests less enriched in the mythology of the Star Wars universe simply wondering why they can’t meet Darth Vader and why, on the marquee attraction, Han Solo isn’t flying the Millennium Falcon.
A new VR game on Oculus headsets probably won’t move the needle much with the general public, but it does feel like part of a concerted effort to make Batuu and Galaxy’s Edge more familiar to Disneyland and Walt Disney World guests. Part of the press release notes that the game, which is (like the rest of the land) set in between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker will feature “new and iconic characters from the Star Wars universe with multiple styles of gameplay and difficulty settings to accommodate a wide variety of players, from Star Wars fans to VR gamers alike.” Meaning: no matter your level of Star Wars understanding, this game could be fun.
“The rich storytelling in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has redefined what a Disney park experience can be, and we are thrilled fans will have an opportunity to discover new stories, meet new characters and explore new regions of the planet Batuu in Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge,” said Scott Trowbridge, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Executive, in the press release. “Now our guests can immerse themselves in these stories both inside and outside our parks.”
The proposition of visiting Batuu at home was probably more exciting when people couldn’t actually go to the parks, but with an aggressive reopening plan that includes Walt Disney World returning in July, guests will actually be able to go to Galaxy’s Edge pretty soon. Maybe with reduced capacity average guests will finally be able to ride the land’s centerpiece attraction, Rise of the Resistance?