Star Wars Celebration Chicago just hosted the Bringing Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to Life at Disney Parks panel where more details and reveals were shared about the upcoming ambitious parks ahead of their openings.
Galaxy's Edge first opens at Disneyland in late May, before opening in Florida at Walt Disney World in late August, and this was the last major promo and presentation from Disney Parks before the first of the two premieres. Josh Gad hosted the panel which saw Chris Beatty, Doug Chiang, Asa Kalama, Margaret Kerrison, Matt Martin, and Scott Townsbridge discuss authenticity of the Black Spire outpost, the fan-fave returning characters (and who are voicing them!), and what wild and ambitious new attractions guests will experience.
Galaxy's Edge is the name of the park opening at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, set on the in-canon Star Wars Universe planet known as Batuu, where Black Spire Outpost resides. The planet is located at the edge of the Outer Rim Territories, just near "Wild Space" and is where you can find the people that generally don't want to be found. While a new addition to Star Wars canon, the planet and its inhabitants are full of familiar lore and it's being written into the timeline via various novels and comics, including one where Han Solo and Chewbacca visited the location in the original trilogy era.
The key focus for Disney Parks and the Imagineering teams working on Galaxy's Edge was to deliver an experience that can exceed the highest expectations of fans and themselves, with a focus on authenticity and immersiveness. There's never been an attraction quite like this before, and the attractions guests will experience promise to be the most ambitious ever for Disney Parks.
What Guests Will Find at Galaxy's Edge
The aged market design and lived-in feel of Black Spire is inspired from real-world locations full of ancient history and multiple cultures, and the teams visited Istanbul, Morocco, and Jerusalem for ideas. In the parks, guests will find Oga's Cantina (where Disneyland guests can actually purchase alcoholic drinks) and where DJ R3X can be found - the same R3X droid longtime Disney Parks guests will remember from the old school Star Tours (and yes, Paul Reubens returns to voice him again).
Lucasfilm Story Group’s Matt Martin wrote 17 pages for the droid to explain how he got to Batuu. It involved a war, an escape from TIE Fighters, and crashlanding on the planet. Two samples of R3X’s music were played at the panel, one that sounded very similar in theme to what you’d hear at Mos Eisley on Tatooine. The other, is more electronic from an all-droid band where – like R3X- “they don’t always get it right.”
As previously revealed, the merchants and their offerings are designed to feel from this actual location (not your typical Disney Store stuff), and that means goods exclusive to this park. Revealed at the panel was Coca-Cola's offerings, which are products designed to look like Thermal Detonators and feature the logo translated in aurebesh (Star Wars' Galactic Basic language). Coca-Cola has been translated in over 100 languages, but this is the first time it's been translated into a Star Wars language.
Guests will also see a food area where an old podracing engine is hoisted up on its side, used to spit roast space meat. Yes, you can eat space meat. And yes, there's the iconic blue (and green) milk.
A complete list of Galaxy's Edge food and drinks can be seen here at starwars.com.
The Two Big Attractions at Galaxy's Edge
In Galaxy's Edge there will be two "big anchor" attractions, with Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run opening when the parks do, and later in the year, the lengthy and ambitious Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
The former lets fans live out the fantasy of commanding the Falcon with their own flight crew taking different positions in this fully interactive experience. The pilot will actually fly the ship, the gunners will try to stave off enemy TIE Fighters, and there are additional positions like the Engineer.
The goal will be to keep the Falcon in one piece but if you take a lot of blaster fighter or crash into spires, that damage will be reflected in the iconic corridors of the old hunk of junk on the way out. Lights will be broken, comms will be messed up, etc. “It’s important to do what you can to bring back to the Falcon in working order,” otherwise Hondo Ohnaka (Hondo Ohnaka’s Transport Solutions) will be displeased. Fans of Dave Filoni's wonder animated series Star Wars: Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels will get a kick out of seeing the older, live-action Ohnaka who is voiced by the legendary Jim Cummings.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance doesn't have a release date yet and is seemingly delayed due to the complexity of the ambitious, and lengthy attraction. But it promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience like no other. Outside of Black Spire, there's a Resistance encampment in the ancient ruins, and they’re looking for recruits. But not everything goes according to plan and The First Order comes and captures you, placing you on a Star Destroyer.
This experience is biggest and most complex attraction Disney Parks has made, and you'll see key characters from the franchise including Kylo Ren, Poe Dameron, Rey, and Finn, played by Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, and John Boyega, respectively. BB-8 is there too.
Elsewhere in the park guests will encounter at least the voice of Yoda where Frank Oz returned to bring the character to life, and this parks will be further bolstered by new music scored by John Williams himself.
Build A One-of-A-Kind Lightsaber at Savi's Workshop
Galaxy's Edge features plenty to see and do, and many vendors including the Creature Stall, Black Spire Outfitters, Toydarian Toymaker, Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities, the Milk Stand, Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, Oga's Cantina, the Droid Depot, and of course, Savi's Workshop.
If you find Savi at Black Spire Outpost you can build and customize a one of a kind lightsaber.
All of the vendors here sell items that are set in-canon, in-world and are only available at Galaxy's Edge. Even Hasbro is selling toys that are exclusively available at the park, and skip the regular packaging you'd see in normal stores. If you couldn't tell from the toys, characters, and Hasbro and Coca-Cola products, they're really tanking the idea of "authenticity" seriously. The best example of this may be the Disney Parks team tracking down original Nien Nunb voice actor Bill Kipsang Rotich in Kenya to have him voice the character again for the parks, "because that's what the fans would have wanted."
The panel ended with the message that "this is just the beginning," and that there are unlimited number of places to go, things to do, and adventures to be a part of. The Skywalker saga may end with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker this December, but this park and the future of Star Wars storytelling and experiences is just beginning.
The Star Wars App Interactive Experience in Galaxy's Edge
Available for download now, the Play Disney Parks app becomes a Galactic Datapad when in Galaxy's Edge and it lets you play games and interact with the environment with four key features.
- Translate galactic languages (like Aurebesh)—both written and spoken.
- Scan to discover precious cargo and digital goods as you scan objects all around the spaceport—including items hidden inside space-shipping crates and containers.
- Tune into communications sent by the planet’s many residents to uncover stories and secrets throughout the land—and unscramble transmissions being sent from far, far away.
- Play a multiplayer game and hack into the land’s many devices, control panels and droids. Games continue until either the Resistance or The First Order wins, before it restarts.
Bonus: If you're at Star Wars Celebration Chicago, attendees can head to the Galaxy's Edge booth display and record a Star Wars confessional. All of these will be stored on a giant Holocron which will be kept at the park.
Source: Disney Parks