On paper, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge should be a winner. Disney’s lavish theme park bills itself as immersing guests in Star Wars by transporting them to the outer rim planet of Batuu during the Sequel Trilogy. You can have a themed cocktail in Oga’s cantina, construct your own lightsaber and even pilot the Millennium Falcon. The park was expected to be a smash hit, but attendance figures have so far been disappointing.
My initial theory was that potential customers were waiting for the park to finish construction, with the centrepiece Rise of the Resistance ride scheduled to launch months after the opening. But that’s now up and running in both California and Florida and there hasn’t been a huge uptick in guests. Now, it seems Disney is beginning to introduce some more legacy characters in the hope of drawing in more visitors, recently announcing that R2-D2 is currently roaming around the park.
While the Original Trilogy saw Kenny Baker stuffed inside the rolling metal trashcan, I believe the Galaxy’s Edge droids are being remotely piloted from behind the scenes. As you’d expect from Disney, the attention-to-detail on the droid’s design is second to none and it looks like it could’ve come straight from the movie. R2-D2 will also be joined by fellow droid BB-8, who I fear is in danger of being booted about like a soccer ball.
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But if their plan is to introduce more characters from the films, the core concept of Galaxy’s Edge throws a spanner in the works. The idea is that the park is in canon with the movies and is set at a specific point between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. This timeframe prevents the franchise’s most iconic characters from appearing in it. So, you won’t see Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker or Princess Leia walking around for photo ops. Those characters are present in other areas of the Disney parks, but you won’t find them in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Perhaps Disney might be having more success if they’d set it during the Original Trilogy rather than the Sequel Trilogy…
Source: Disney Parks Blog