Earlier this week, Disney Parks pulled back the curtain on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, from attractions to food to building your own lightsaber. Even dress like you live in the world of Star Wars.
What you’ll experience in these parks at both California’s Disneyland Resort this summer and in Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort later this fall, will be an immersive experience like no other park before it. This will give you an idea on what to expect from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for when you are ready for your trip to a galaxy no longer so far away.
1. You will fly the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, The Millennium Falcon.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is one of Galaxy’s Edge’s two main attractions, and will see a group of up to six guests in the cockpit of the famous ship. You will fly it, you can fire its cannons, and you can manage its controls. “They really are in control of the ship. It’s a completely interactive experience,” said Scott Trowbridge, Star Wars portfolio creative executive / studio leader at Walt Disney Imagineering said. “So if you don’t fire and hit that TIE fighter that’s coming after you, it may get some shots and create some damage on the ship that you’ll then have to fix. If you don’t fly right to avoid that oncoming whatever, you smash into a wall, your ship is going to fly right and smash into that wall. You’re truly in control of what happens on your mission.” So don’t mess it up for the five other visitors. The ride will not be in 3D or require 3D glasses.
- Guests will receive a boarding card before you step into the queue, which takes you indoors through Hondo’s hangar and a second-floor viewing area overlooking the Falcon.
- In the control tower, you will encounter an animatronic of an older version of Hondo Ohnaka (voiced again by Jim Cummings), who alongside his droid R5P8, will set up the ride.
- The boarding passes will allow you to spend some time in the Falcon, exploring the quarters and taking photos before you make your way to the cockpit to go on your adventure.
- The ride will have a single rider line, which makes sense considering that most parties will probably not evenly fit into the six seats in the attraction.
- The Millennium Falcon apparently still has some porgs on board that have stowed away from Ahch-to.
2. In Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, you’ll be captured by the First Order — and come face to face with Kylo Ren.
Outside of the Black Spire marketplace is a forest area, which is where the Resistance is encamped. “This is a time when the Resistance is back on their heels, they’re a ragtag group, and they’re looking to rebuild,” said Trowbridge. “This is our opportunity to join the Resistance.” The attraction will throw you right into the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance and, eventually, inside a First Order Star Destroyer. There, you’ll encounter the First Order’s dark enforcer: Kylo Ren. And if you survive and make it back home, you just might become a Resistance hero.
3. You’ll encounter BB-8, Finn, Poe, and Rey on Rise of the Resistance.
Star Wars Sequel Trilogy Actors: John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Daisy Ridley have all reprised their roles, respectively, for the attraction; in what form they’ll appear is yet to be confirmed to the public. But fan favourite droid, BB-8 will be live and in-person!
4. The story of Galaxy’s Edge takes place during the Sequel Trilogy Era.
While a set place in the Star Wars timeline is yet to be revealed, it was confirmed by Pablo Hidalgo of the Lucasfilm Story Group that the land’s story is centered around the Resistance/First Order conflict in Episodes VII, VIII & IX.
5. There are new ships at Black Spire Outpost.
While walking through Galaxy’s Edge, you’ll spot a brand new TIE fighter never previously seen in any of the films or TV shows — the TIE Echelon — and a newly-created shuttle, the I-TS (or Intersystem Transport Ship), which will start your mission for Rise of the Resistance.
6. Galaxy’s Edge was designed to be somewhat future-proof.
Thanks to the efforts to define a history for the planet Batuu (where the park is set), the land can go, in terms of story, anywhere Star Wars cantakes it. “The place and the attractions have been built,” Carrie Beck, vice president, animation and live action series at Lucasfilm said, “but everything that you can populate it with can be refreshed, can be updated, can be changed, can be integrated.” So a park that can evolve as Star Wars continues from generation to generation.
7. You can build your own, one-of-a-kind lightsaber.
Head to Savi’s Workshop, where you can create your very own custom Jedi (or Sith) weapon, complete with a kyber crystal at its core. These sabers are better looking than traditional Hasbro toys. The finished hilt will cost about $110, and the blade itself requires an additional $50.
8. Need a droid? Go to the Droid Depot.
If you ever wanted your own BB or R2 unit, you’re in luck. You can build your own droid pal, mixing and matching parts, at this shop. Two different basic models that will be offered to visitors, an R-series (that looks like R2-D2) and BB-series (in the style of BB-8), but they can be customised in look.
The store will also offer pre-built droids for those who don’t want a custom experience, as well as droid-inspired products and more.
9. If you’re looking for a pet, go to Bina’s Creature Stall.
“[She] loves to travel around the galaxy and collect different creatures, and she brings them back here to Batuu,” said Brian Loo, creative producer at Walt Disney Imagineering. Creatures for sale include tauntauns, rathtars, and more.
10. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the largest themed-land expansion in Disney Parks history.
“This location is over 14 acres. It is basically a small city in our Parks,” said Trowbridge.
If you calculate the entire area of a football field, including the end zones, it works out to 57,600 square feet (360 x 160). One acre equals 43,560 square feet, so a football field is about 1.32 acres in size. Galaxy’s Edge is the size of 10.6 football fields.
11. The goal is to “give our guests the opportunity to live their own Star Wars story.”
Galaxy’s Edge is going to truly bring fans into Star Wars for the ultimate immersive experience. “The land itself is a massive e-ticket experience,” said Trowbridge, “filled with story and characters and ways to explore and experience this galaxy far, far away like never before.”
12. Blue Milk, the iconic drink first served by Aunt Beru in Star Wars: A New Hope, will be among the beverages available — but it’s not actually milk.
“If you’re walking around Florida, the last thing you want is a glass of milk,” Trowbridge joked. Instead, it’s made from plant-based dairy. But he promised it will be cool, refreshing, and gloriously blue. (Though a green variety will also be available for those who prefer their milk to come from thala-sirens.)
Other drinks include The Outer Rim, Fuzzy Tauntaun, T-16 Skyhopper, Dagobah Slug Slinger, Jedi Mind Trick, Yub Nub, Jet Juice, Bloody Rancor, Spriran Caf, and Bespin Fizz.
They will also have non-alcoholic drinks for the kids, including Black Spire Brew, Tarine Tea, Blue Bantha, Cliff Dweller, Hyperdrive, Punch It, Jabba Juice, Moogan Tea, and Carbon Freeze.
13. Ronto Roasters and Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo are your destinations for galactic delicacies.
The eateries will feature in-universe food and drinks, including Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo’s Fried Endorian Tip-Yip (fried chicken with roasted vegetable mash and herb gravy), Ronto Roasters’ Ronto Wrap (filled with spiced grilled sausage and roasted pork), and (wait for it, Star Wars Rebels fans) Meiloorun Juice.
- Braised Shaak Roast, Ithorian Garden Loaf, Smoked Kaadu Ribs, Fried Endorian Tip-Yip, Yobshrimp Noodle Salad, Felucian Garden Spread, Oven Roasted Burra Fish, Oven Roasted Tip-Yip.
- Drinks include Moof Juice and Phattro.
- The children’s menu includes Fried Chicken with Macaroni & Cheese, Chilled Shrimp with Vegetables and Rice, Noodle Salad, Sweet Orange Dressing.
- Some desserts are offered.
Hey as long as I can get a Corellian ale, in a clean glass, I’ll be happy.
14. There are Loth-cats from Star Wars: Rebels
Trowbridge showed a video of an animatronic, sleeping Loth-cat (first seen in the animated series Star Wars Rebels), “This is a place where all of Star Wars can come to life,” he said. “We’re creating creatures … some of whom have never been seen in the real world before.”
15. There’s a toy shop, run by female Toydarian Zabaka, and its items look and feel like they were made in a galaxy far, far away.
“One of our mantras is, if doesn’t feel like it would be home in a movie, it shouldn’t feel at home in the land,” Trowbridge said. Items include plushies of Star Wars heroes, musical instruments that can be played and come pre-loaded with in-universe music, and trinkets like a wood-carved convor. None come in packaging because on Batuu, toys are handmade. So a little bit environmentally friendly at least.
16. If you ever wanted to be a Jedi, you can now dress the part.
Black Spire Outfitters, a clothing boutique, will offer Jedi attire that you can mix and match, and much more for you and the family. This park is going to be the ultimate park for kids. Star Wars’ main target audience.
17. Rise of the Resistance is gloriously long.
“This is one of the most epic attraction experiences we have ever built,” Trowbridge said. Disney Parks officials haven’t exactly said how long Rise of the Resistance lasts, but they have said it’s not the 28 minutes that has been rumoured online.
18. Upon entering Galaxy’s Edge, your phone will transform into your very own in-universe datapad.
The Play Disney Parks App switches automatically to Star Wars mode, and “It will unlock a whole bunch of new missions, stories, and ways to interact with the land,” Trowbridge said, “that for the very first time, is built into the land from the very beginning.” You’ll be able to translate languages and signs, hack droids, message with characters like Hondo Ohnaka, and many, many more.
- Most of it will work offline, so if the cellular towers or Wifi aren’t enough to handle the crowds, it will mostly still work.
- Park guests will choose to align themselves with the Resistance, the First Order or a group of scum and scoundrels.
- The game connects with doorway control panels being used as a First Order surveillance system throughout the outpost.
- You can go on a mission to scout a Resistance invasion or collect information for the First Order.
- The app provides uses with a bunch of tools:
- Hack: access the memory banks of droids and interact with devices.
- Scan: reads shipping labels to reveal what’s inside cargo containers.
- Translate: decipher languages spoken by alien creatures and on signage.
- Tune: decode secret radio transmissions.
- The app also provides a job board that pairs park guests with missions that will send them around the land.
- Galactic credits will be awarded for successful missions, but it’s unclear what these credits can be used for.
- The app will allow you to engage with full-scale droids who you see around Batuu.
19. John Williams’ original music for Galaxy’s Edge will be used where appropriate — namely, on Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance.
Before retiring from Star Wars completely, composer John Williams will not only score the upcoming Episode IX, but will also be composing original music for the park. What a note to end on.
“There are moments where we want to feel like we’re in a movie,” Trowbridge said. “And it’s in those moments where we have a more cinematic approach to the story we’re in and the experience we’re in, where those scores will emerge.”
20. What’s in a name? A lot!
Hundreds of names were discussed and it took over a year to settle on “Black Spire Outpost.” “We wanted a name that, when you hear it, you say, ‘Oh, I want to go there,’” Beck said.
21. There’s more to the spires than meets the eye.
Concept art and designs coming in from the legendary Doug Chiang and the art team fueled the story elements of Galaxy’s Edge. “They fed us with so much inspiration,” said Margaret Kerrison, managing story editor at Walt Disney Imagineering. “We’re looking at this and we’re like, What are these things that are protruding out from the ground? Can they be more than just rock formations? Could they have been these tall, towering trees from hundreds of thousands of years ago, and could they have eroded and petrified into rock? Wouldn’t that be really interesting? What if one of these spires was really special — that it was in the middle of the outpost, and that’s how Black Spire Outpost got its name?” Is there a reason the black spire is special? Thus far, no one is saying, but you might hear chatter about it from villagers in Galaxy’s Edge.
22. Be sure to visit to Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities.
Mentioned in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Dok-Ondar is the Ithorian gatekeeper of the black market on Batuu. His shop promises to be filled with treasures from across the galaxy such as:
- Collectables from all over the galaxy, some of which are not for sale and fun easter eggs and references to the films and books.
- The purchase of collectable-style merchandise, like Jedi statues, Holocron cubes, and “historic” lightsabers (i.e., ones used by characters from the movies).
23. Hondo Ohnaka comes to life.
The shady Weequay pirate and fan favourite from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels is now one of Disney Parks’ most complex Audio-Animatronics figures; at Black Spire Outpost, he’s teamed up with the mighty Wookiee Chewbacca, and will be needing your help to transport some cargo on the Falcon. “One of the things that we aimed for is finding the opportunities to honour all levels of fandom, whatever part of the galaxy they’ve participated in, and he became a great choice as someone to meet here on Black Spire,” said Beck.
24. Rex from Star Tours has a new gig.
No longer piloting Star Tours (which is probably for the best, considering his flying skills), R-3X is now a DJ at Oga’s Cantina, where you can order galactic drinks like Fuzzy Tauntaun. The songs are original cantina creations by composers and songwriters from around the globe.
25. The Park is filled with Easter eggs.
“There are way too many to mention,” Kerrison said, but she confirms one favorite: Pablo Hidalgo (Head of the LucasFilm Story Group) has voiced one of the characters that you might meet whilst visiting the park. So be sure to keep your eyes peeled for any references to past Star Wars material.
26. Disney Cast Members will walk among you as native Batuuans.
You’ll be able to speak with, and learn from, villagers at Black Spire Outpost, all with different stories to tell. Some might be Resistance sympathizers; some might be First Order loyalists. Truly they are you to feel like you are in Star Wars.
27. Batuu’s spires were key to making Galaxy’s Edge a unique design.
“I feel really happy,” said Doug Chiang, concept artist and vice president and creative director of Lucasfilm, “that we landed on something that’s very iconic.”
Bonus 28: There WILL be queues.
This isn’t just going to be a stroll through the park upon opening. This is Star Wars we’re talking about. One of the biggest pop culture phenomenons on the planet. It will be very busy upon opening.
Though recent reports are indicating that rather than imply various new high-tech solutions or limiting attendance of visitors to the new park, physical obstacles that slow traffic flow will be re-designed to accommodate the thousands of visitors that’ll most likely swarm the park this summer. With the official Disneyland Parks Blog stating:
“A number of efforts are already underway or completed. On Main Street, U.S.A., for example, curbs are being enhanced with slow inclines to help improve access when guests first enter. New brickwork adds to the storytelling of the iconic thoroughfare, and for the first time, the horse-drawn streetcar track was replaced in its entirety. In Fantasyland, reconfigured guest queues for Matterhorn Bobsleds, ‘it’s a small world,’ and Dumbo the Flying Elephant have improved guest access and comfort, while Tropical Hideaway in Adventureland now welcomes guests to a brand new area that was previously underutilised.”
The blog further adding: “Throughout Disneyland park, the locations of planters and outdoor vending carts are being adjusted to make room for additional walking space and new, more efficient stroller areas.”
Funnily enough, the overhaul has been dubbed with the nickname “Project Stardust,” the same codename that the Death Star plans were given by Galen Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
So, who wants to go? This is literally a Star Wars fan’s dream come true. Most of us, saw Star Wars as kids. It blow our minds, taking us to a Galaxy far, far away. If that’s what it can do on screen, imagine a kid entering Galaxy’s Edge? It’ll be more than mind blowing. It’ll be a memory that kid won’t soon be forgetting.
Well I know where I’m wanting to go in two/three years time.
Written by: Connor Heggie