The more I hear about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge the more excited I get. Disney’s initial promise of bringing park guests into a galaxy far, far away sounds like it’s been fulfilled. With the California and Florida locations expected to open this Summer and Fall respectively, they’re now putting the final touches on the buildings before they begin rehearsals with their crew members. And to show off how much they’ve achieved so far, Disney invited Barron’s along for an exclusive peek.
One of the most interesting things that was revealed by the outlet is how the Mouse House intends to introduce guests to this new land. If they’re planning an immersive experience, they can’t simply wander through a gate and be in Galaxy’s Edge right away. As such, Disney’s planning to funnel guests through short enclosed passageways that’ll give them glimpses of what’s to come, which is described as being “like a movie fading out and then back in.”
Barron’s also goes on to explain how they’re creating that signature ‘lived in’ Star Wars feel based on extensive research, with trips to Morocco and Istanbul intended to give the imagineers the knowledge to design a slightly decrepit town from the moment the ribbon’s cut.
Then there’s what’ll be most people’s major attraction: Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. The ride will allow guests to fly the Falcon on a mission and Barron’s went into a little more detail as to how this plays out, explaining:
In this attraction, Hondo Ohnaka, a pirate, has cut a deal with Chewbacca for the use of the Millennium Falcon, and the visitor is the pilot. The attraction entrance will be subtly marked, so as not to disrupt the look of the land. The ship interior will be familiar to even casual fans of the films, down to the 3-D chess board where Chewie lost his temper during a match with R2-D2.
Visitors will fly the ship in groups of six, and see the real-time results of their actions, such as knocking over a spire during takeoff. The flight will be different each visit. After a ride, the visitor might, say, stop at Oga’s for a drink and be told something like, “The boss isn’t happy about how you brought the ship back.”
Furthermore, while we’ve already reported on Galaxy’s Edge featuring a Cantina bar that serves alcoholic drinks, we now know that you’ll indeed be able to order some blue milk (non-dairy, apparently).
Another interesting wrinkle is that they’ve even worked the merchandising into the ‘in-universe’ concept, with Barron’s saying the following:
One possibility is that Star Wars merchandise in shops will come in unique packaging that downplays the logos. Another is that merchandise based on familiar characters will take on new looks. The imagineers visited the archives at Lucasfilm for early concept art. As a hypothetical example, an artisan figure of a familiar character might look slightly off, with the back story being that residents of Batuu have never seen that character, so they don’t know exactly what the figure should look like.
It all sounds incredible, but my only fear is that this is going to be so insanely popular that it’s going to be jam-packed with people every single hour of operation, with gigantic queues for everything. If there’s one thing guaranteed to kill an immersive experience, it’s frustrated Disney guests. Still, I can’t wait to check out Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for myself.