A financial newspaper is not where you’d expect a big scoop on details of the upcoming Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge expansion at Disneyland and Walt Disney World to originate. But a reporter from Barron’s has published a story with new details for the land’s two big attractions (and some of its minor ones) after he was invited behind the construction walls to meet with project managers and Imagineers about 2019’s most-anticipated new theme park land.
As you would expect the author is impressed by the level of detail and layers of storytelling Disney and the workers and artisans are busily adding to the 14-acre land. When you finally get your chance to visit the outpost of Black Spire on the planet Batuu, here’s what you can expect.
Imagineers are designing the two entrances into the land to function as something of movie scene change. You’ll move from one setting to another as you pass from dark to light and see a very cinematic scene laid out in front of you. Since Batuu has not yet appeared in any Star Wars film or TV show, Disney is able to set up the look with out too many preconceptions by fans. It will look, feel, smell, and sound like Star Wars but is entirely new.
We’ve also learned more about the story of Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, one of the two main attractions. The character of space pirate smuggler Hondo Ohnaka (first seen on the animated TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and later Star Wars Rebels), has arranged to borrow the Falcon from Chewbacca for a special mission and wants you to pilot the fastest ship in the galaxy.
Guests will venture through the interior of the Falcon seeing familiar furnishings, including the 3-D hologram game where Chewie lost his temper in a match with R2-D2. They’ll then board the cockpit in groups of six for their mission.
Each guests has an input on flying the Falcon and will be immersed in real-time feedback where their actions affect the outcome of the ride. This will make for unique adventures on every flight.
When you return to Black Spire, the results of your mission will follow you. If you visit a store or Oga’s Cantina, you might hear from a citizen of the outpost regarding how well, or poorly you did. According the the article Disney will provide some way of opting out of these interactions if you’re not interested in the role play part of the land.
Rise of the Resistance
It wouldn’t be Star Wars without an encounter with the Dark Side. In Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, you join the side of those struggling against the First Order. The queue navigates through the Resistance’s base on Batuu. At some point your group might be captured by the enemy and be taken aboard a First Order ship. Then you get to make a daring escape aboard a trackless ride vehicle that’s normally used as a troop transport.
The reporter was impressed with the set design including the four-legged AT-AT Walkers first seen in The Empire Strikes Back. He also mentions there will be an encounter with Kylo Ren and, of course, stormtroopers.
Food, Drink, and Retail
Not only is Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge the most immersive land to open at Disneyland, it will also be the first to serve alcohol. Oga’s Cantina fits into a corner of Black Spire near the eponymous spire. The article says the seating will be sparse to encourage guests to order, consume drinks while standing up, then move along rather than hang out. There will be a limited number of booths, but most patrons will just stand around.
I love that they’re putting in details that will evoke that iconic Cantina from Star Wars: A New Hope, like a series of tubes and vessels behind the bar. The menu is still being decided, but there will be adult beverages and the infamous Blue Milk that Luke drink in A New Hope. Reportedly this will be a non-dairy concoction.
When guests wander through Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, they will encounter shops and restaurants set in that galaxy. Disney has built central kitchens and common stockrooms to increase efficiency into the land. Important in a land that is expected to be very very crowded for years.
Just like Pandora has banshee’s at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Galaxy’s Edge will have droids that can be adopted by guests. There will be a way for guests to customize their droid and give it a personality. For instance, if it’s easily scared, it might signal with a cry when stormtroopers are near. Expect these droids to be portable, but there’s a possibility of full-size R2-D2 type droids for those willing to drop big bucks.
One of the shops will be something of a Star Wars trading post. It will be run by a character named Dok-Ondar, who was name-dropped in Solo: A Star Wars Story. The proprietor of the shop, probably an animatronic of some sort, will run the store from a booth (like on Jakuu in The Force Awakens). Guest will be able to barter with Dok-Ondar asking him to sell certain items.
Disney had previously hinted-strongly that the land would not sell traditional theme park merchandise, but rather items that would make sense in the Star Wars galaxy. This article basically confirms that, but it sounds like there will be some familiar items available with familiar logos too. So it will be a mix.
In other stores and restaurants, you’ll find common Star Wars settings like a bazaar / outdoor market with a vendor who is using a pod-racing engine as a grill to roast meat. The land will also be full of characters (Resistance, Smugglers, and Stormtroopers depending what part of the land you’re in) and droids. You never know who you might run into and if they’ll recognize you as a member of the Resistance or a Smuggler.
Read the entire article for more details of construction and some insight on just when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge may open at Disneyland.
Want more? Read our January 4, 2019 Update: Disney CEO Bob Iger reveals when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disneyland plus we get new looks at the big attraction ride vehicles.
I don’t know if I can get any more excited to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge… but I am now! How about you?
Previously: Disney reveals new video with behind-the-scenes tease of two big attractions in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.