In our “Lightspeed to Disneyland!” cover story last October, we detailed elements of Galaxy’s Edge that could be improved upon during the land’s first opening phase. With the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, plus a roaming R2-D2 already leaving tracks across Black Spire Outpost, the planet of Batuu is enhanced into an even more dynamic environment to explore.
There is more than a handful of awe-inspiring, visceral moments and surprises in this attraction, from being greeted by a fleet of formidable stormtroopers in the lofty hangar bay of a First Order Star Destroyer to passing through the legs of towering AT-AT walkers.
“This is a ‘multi-act’ journey. It’s not as much as an attraction as it is an adventure. You don’t know what’s going to come next, and that’s really exciting. You are in the moment and of the world. That’s what we want you to feel as you go through this adventure.” —Margaret Kerrison, Managing Story Editor at Walt Disney Imagineering
Tucked in the dense Resistance Forest of Galaxy’s Edge is a secret base amidst ancient Batuuan ruins. You’ll walk through a cavernous outpost lined with Resistance gear as a new recruit. With the help of BB-8, you’ll receive a transmission from Rey in the form of a life-size hologram. According to Rey, a covert Resistance team led by Finn has infiltrated a First Order Star Destroyer that is heading towards Batuu. You will then board a flight transport led by Lt. Beck to meet with General Leia Organa on another planet, but your journey to safety might be obstructed by the First Order.
THE INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY
“Epic storytelling and massive sets are really at the core of what Rise of the Resistance is. We want to immerse you in an epic Star Wars story. We have multiple ride systems that are working together. You have the trackless vehicles that are whizzing you through the ship at one point. When you get into the escapes, you are actually driving into the escape pods which is a drop tower. It’s going to give you an amazing feeling.” —John Larena, Executive Creative Director at Walt Disney Imagineering
Employing different ride vehicles such as a simulated I-TS (Intersystem Transport Ship), a trackless First Order fleet transport piloted by a reprogrammed R5-series astromech droid, and an escape pod truly create an immersive and exhilarating feeling. There isn’t this traditional, linear type of storytelling on this attraction. It emulates the complex and layered narrative arcs of the Star Wars films. Audio-animatronics of familiar characters and visual effects peppered throughout add to the attraction’s technical prowess.
We (wanted) to show you that juxtaposition between the feel of the Resistance and the First Order. The First Order has all the money in the world. They’re building these huge war machines and everything is very clinical and clean. You feel that difference when you’re all of a sudden on a Star Destroyer. Everything is stark. Everything has a very militaristic feel to it down to the floor. When you’re watching the Star Wars films, there’s this iconic glossy floor. It’s one of the things you might not think about when you’re walking through the space, but we thought about it and we want you to feel that authenticity. —Kirstin Makela, Art Director at Walt Disney Imagineering
Cast members dedicated to the story bring these “massive set pieces” to life on the Star Destroyer and Resistance outpost. As a guest, you really believe you are being captured and interrogated by the First Order and rescued by the Resistance. From the queue to the exit, there are so many details that you’re sure to find something new every time.
GOOD TO KNOW
➜ The attraction is one of the longer experiences with about 15 minutes of attraction time.
➜ Download the Play Disney Parks app to join a side and interact with different components of the attraction.
➜ To experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, you might have to join a virtual queue either on the Disneyland app or at select locations. For more, info visit disneyland.com
➜ Check out a gallery of photos from the ride below.