Soon you’ll be able to visit a galaxy far, far away real, real close to home. Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Disneyland opens May 31, 2019, then Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Disney World opens August 29, 2019. Disney and Lucasfilm previewed their newest theme park attraction at Star Wars Celebration and here’s what we learned.
One of the best things is that Lucasfilm’s philanthropic initiative, Force for Change, will be working with FIRST Robotics Competition to help bring more STEM opportunities to kids. Retweeting the video below will enter you in a chance to win a vacation to Galaxy’s Edge, but I just love how inclusive and diverse the people chosen for the video were. These are the communities who need so much support and funding to inspire kids, especially kids of color, to be future change makers. Who knows, some of these kids may be future Disney Imagineers building a future Star Wars theme park! Watch the video, give it a retweet and find out more about FIRST and Force for Change. (Also heyyyy Mark Hamill!)
As for the panel itself, it was hosted by friend to Daisy Ridley, Josh Gad, who showed some video of his trip to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge before introducing the panel of Imagineers and members of the Lucasfilm Story Group who worked together to create the unique Disney attraction.
Galaxy’s Edge is a whole new Star Wars world brought to life. On the planet of Batuu is Black Spire Outpost, an even more wretched hive of scum and villainy on the outskirts of the galaxy, on the edge of Wild Space. (Doesn’t sound perfectly dramatic?) The Imagineers said they could have chosen a location we’ve already seen before in the Star Wars Universe, but we already know the stories those locations tell. Each location in Star Wars tells us a lot about each character, so the Black Spire Outpost on Batuu says a lot about a new Star Wars character: you.
The two big attractions both parks will hold are Smuggler’s Run and Rise of the Resistance. Smuggler’s Run, which will be open on Day One of each park, lets guests pilot the Millennium Falcon — obviously every Star Wars fan’s dream. Both Josh Gad and Disney Imagineer Scott Trowbridge talked about how emotional they got just seeing the exterior of the Falcon in the park.
Rise of the Resistance (I keep typing “Rose of the Resistance” and… can I get THAT ride?), which will open later this year, allows the guest to become a member of the Resistance who then gets taken captive on a Star Destroyer and they have to get out. And you miiiiight see Kylo Ren and BB-8 and perhaps some of our fave Resistance leaders (also, hey, maybe Rose too, but I’m not really holding my breath).
It’s clear from the visuals and the way the panel spoke that both the Disney Imagineer and the Lucasfilm Story Group teams put a fantastic level of detail in the making of these parks. If you’ve been to any Disney park, you know it’s always great immersion into new lands, but this sounds next level. They talked a lot about curating smells of a foreign planet on the edge of space and what foods there will be (space meat, apparently, they didn’t get more specific than that). and both blue & green milk! The cantina will have new music from Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes, deejay’d by DJ Rex from the Star Tours attraction. And the OG John Williams composed new music for the park as well. Other sounds will be more familiar, like the voice of Frank Oz as Yoda, plus Paul Rubens and Jim Cummings. They also brought back the original voice actor for Nien Nunb, Kipsang Rotich, a Kenyan who was a student at the time. Rotich spoke in his native languages Kalenjin and Kikuyu for the part, and Disney and Lucasfilm flew to Kenya to include his voice in the Rise of the Resistance attraction.
Disney Parks already have a plethora of lightsabers to choose from (go to almost any store in the parks) but Galaxy’s Edge will allow you to build your own unique lightsabers that no one else will have. But the real question is will there be Kyber Crystals? You’ll also be able to design your own droids!
The park will also feature Space Coke! An immersive collaboration between Lucasfilm and Coca-Cola leads to unique space Cokes and Spites that have the logo in another language and are shaped a bit like bomb detonators that would perhaps make great Christmas tree baubles…
There will be immersive functionality on the Play Disney Parks app where guests can control interactive features from their phone like translating that new space language, hack into things, play games, and more.
As a Disney Parks fan, I am excited to check out this new land, but not excited about the traffic that will come with it. If it’s as popular as the Avatar or Toy Story lands were, I might have to wait until they open a new section to check it out. If you do try to go in the early days, I would suggest bringing one full Star Wars trilogy to watch while you wait in line. You might make it to Mustafar in Revenge of the Sith before you’re seated.
Check out Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Resort this spring and Disney World Resort this summer.