The fictional planet that serves as the backdrop for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has many small details to sell the theme. It’s hard not to become part of the story when employees who call themselves “inhabitants of Batuu” greet you with local slang. Or when a Resistance spy named Vi Moradi asks if you’ve seen stormtroopers roaming about. Or when you explore the land side by side with Rey and Chewbacca. Among towering petrified trees and sounds of low-flying starships, even a Star Wars novice can escape and join in. While fans await the opening of the Rise of the Resistance ride on Jan. 17, there is still a large outpost to explore—from the jaw-dropping, life-size Millennium Falcon to the lively Oga’s Cantina and every droid in between.
“The ship itself is one of the most iconic characters in this franchise. We’re creating a place not just to observe Star Wars, but to truly participate in Star Wars. We felt like we had to do more than just let you inside the Millennium Falcon, but give you the opportunity to control the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy. It’s about you and five of your closest friends getting the opportunity to go on a smuggling adventure, in this case, in the employ of a pirate named Hondo Ohnaka. It truly is a participatory experience and one that changes depending on how you and your flight crew do and how well you work together.”
—Asa Kalama, Executive Creative Director at Walt Disney Imagineering
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, By the Numbers
Length in feet of the Millennium Falcon
Height in feet of the petrified tree spires across the land, inspired by the Petrified Forest in Arizona
Time it took in years to develop and open the land
Approximate number of jobs added to staff Galaxy’s Edge
Props created for Galaxy’s Edge
Approximate size of the land in acres, increasing Disneyland’s acreage by 20 percent
Number of sound files created specifically for the land
An Alien Watering Hole
Indulge with cocktails, beer, and wine at the music-thumping Oga’s Cantina—the first public location to serve alcohol at Disneyland.
The Outer Rim // A black salt rim is balanced with a dollop of exotic fruit puree, Patrón Silver tequila, Cedilla açaí liqueur, lime juice, and cane sugar.
Jedi Mind Trick // This citrus-forward drink includes Ketel One botanical grapefruit and rose vodka, grapefruit bitters, Bols blue curaçao, and John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum.
T-16 Skyhopper // This creamy and fruity concoction features Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Bols melon liqueur, half and half, and a dried kiwi slice garnish.
Fuzzy Tauntaun // This light, fruity drink includes Ciroc peach vodka, Bols peach schnapps, and Simply Orange juice. Watch out for the foam—it makes your lips tingle.
Blue Bantha // Topped with a Samoa-like butter cookie, this tropical-flavored rice and coconut milk blend is one of the nonalcoholic drinks at the family-friendly bar. You might recognize it from “A New Hope.”
Bespin Fizz // This playful drink features Bacadi Superior rum, yuzu puree, and pomegranate and white cranberry juices. The addition of dry ice creates a bubbling, smoky effect.
Photos courtesy of Disneyland Resort except Jedi Mind Trick and Bespin Fizz photos by @backthatglassup
Budget vs. Luxury Souvenirs
Coasters from Oga’s Cantina with purchase
Spira metallic gift card, if you load with $100
Coca Cola orbs
Build-your-own remote control droid
First Order stormtrooper armor
Film-accurate, functional R2-D2
Photographs by Emily J. Davis
“We wanted Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to have layers and layers of history and story. We looked at old Romantic paintings of the Middle East as inspiration for our market scene. We went to Istanbul and Marrakech for research. One of the really fun things is that when we go on location, we look at the most obscure things. Things like data boxes and how they would repair things. These are all key elements that help you inform the authenticity of what the design will be. The trick to designing Star Wars is that 80 to 90 percent of it is real. The other percent is the freshness that takes it into a Star Wars universe.”
—Doug Chiang, vice president and executive creative director at Lucasfilm
Talk Like a Batuuan
Star Wars Speak
Till the spire
Until next time
Small military force led by Gen. Leia Organa against The First Order
A military dictatorship led by Kylo Ren seeking rule of the galaxy
Writing system used on Batuu
Check out these immersive details and surprises.
➜ Locals tie ribbons on this wishing tree near Savi’s Workshop.
➜ Numbers on the cargo boxes above Docking Bay 7 signify the theatrical release dates of the original trilogy.
➜ You won’t see Mickey in the flesh, but you might see his likeness hidden aboard the Millennium Falcon.
➜ Watch for hyperdrive “power outages” from time to time at Oga’s Cantina.
➜ Look for tracks left behind by R2-D2 near Droid Depot.
➜ The dianoga is a squid-like creature first seen in “A New Hope”—find one inhabiting a tank above a drinking fountain.
➜ Scan crates with the Play Disney Parks app to discover hidden puzzles.
➜ Catch characters such as resistance fighter Vi Moradi lurking around corners. Don’t be shy about playing along with the story.
Space to Grow
While Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has much to offer, here are some ways the land could be even better.
➜ With only one ride open, we’re eager to see how the ambitious, multivehicle ride Rise of the Resistance, originally intended to open by the end of this year, will transform the flow of the land in January.
➜ Fans will love hearing Yoda’s advice during the build-your-own lightsaber experience at Savi’s Workshop—if they can afford it. Nostalgic cameos from original characters such as Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia would be great.
➜ We love the mini-show when Kylo Ren “arrives to Batuu” and emerges in smoke from a parked TIE fighter. While there are plenty of paid experiences at Black Spire Outpost, there’s a lack of stage shows and live entertainment.
➜ Ambient noises throughout the land are impressive, but we expected to hear the epic symphonic suite John Williams created specifically for the land.
➜ We wish droids and more alien creatures could roam the land as freely as Rey, Chewbacca, and Vi Moradi do.
Astgik Khatchatryan contributed to this article.
Check out the rest of our ‘Lightspeed to Disneyland!’ cover story at this page, which will be updated throughout the month.