Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Hidden Gems and Attention to Detail Create Authenticity in Highly Anticipated New Land
With more than four decades of films, television series, novels, comic books, video games and more, Star Wars has a deep history that has inspired generations of devoted fans. In creating Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Walt Disney Imagineers and Lucasfilm were driven to fulfill the dreams of anyone who ever imagined visiting this galaxy far, far away by telling new stories that feel authentically Star Wars.
In Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, guests will find a land filled with rich details meticulously researched and crafted by Imagineers and Lucasfilm. Though the planet Batuu and its Black Spire Outpost may be new to fans, this setting offers a genuine Star Wars experience for all who enter as they discover a plethora of hidden gems and other details drawn from across the galaxy.
Hidden Gems to Look for in the Land
While Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is set during the current trilogy of Star Wars films, the land features elements representing many different eras of the Star Wars Examples include:
- Several creatures seen throughout the land will be familiar to some fans, such as the dianoga from the Death Star trash compactor in “Star Wars: A New Hope” found in a tank above a Black Spire Outpost drinking fountain, or the taxidermic wampa from the ice planet Hoth in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” in Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities.
- A podracing engine in the Ronto Roasters food stall calls back to “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,” while the former smelter droid turning the spit of meats is similar to a droid seen in Jabba the Hutt’s palace in “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.”
- A mural on the wall of Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities depicts an ancient battle between the light and dark sides of the Force. The original bas-relief of this mural was seen in Chancellor Palpatine’s office in “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.”
- Hondo Ohnaka, best known from the “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars Rebels” animated television series, gives guests their mission in Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
- Batuu’s landscape is dotted with tall petrified tree trunks, and Black Spire Outpost takes its name from a trunk in the center of the village that is darker than all the others.
- Imagineers took rubbings from the feet of the R2-D2 droid used in “Star Wars: A New Hope” and turned those into a set of three-dimensional wheels. Then they built a trolley with those wheels and rolled it through the land before the concrete pathways fully dried to leave behind authentic droid tracks that guests might spot as they explore the outpost.
It’s All About the Story
One reason Imagineers set Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on a planet never before seen in the Star Wars universe was to give everyone a chance to step into the story at their own levels – whether a guest is a lifelong Star Wars fan or has never watched a Star Wars film, everyone will be seeing Batuu for the first time.
Batuu and its residents are starting to appear in and inspire other Star Wars stories:
- Both Black Spire Outpost and Dok-Ondar were referenced in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”
- Characters in the Timothy Zahn novel “Thrawn: Alliances” visit Oga’s Cantina.
- “Star Wars: Pirate’s Price,” a young-adult novel by Lou Anders, details a previous trip Hondo Ohnaka made to Batuu.
- A five-issue Marvel comics series, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, debuted in April and delves into some of the famous antiquities found in Dok-Ondar’s shop on Batuu.
- Released Aug. 6, 2019, “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – A Crash of Fate” by Zoraida Cordova is a young-adult novel about two childhood friends from Batuu who are reunited later in life and have a series of adventures.
- “Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire,” a novel by Delilah S. Dawson set for release Aug. 27, 2019, tells the story of Vi Moradi, Leia Organa’s top spy who chooses Batuu for the Resistance’s secret command post (guests may encounter Vi as they explore Black Spire Outpost).
- During Star Wars Celebration 2019, April 11-15 in Chicago, many attendees who visited the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge booth recorded video testimonials sharing their personal Star Wars. These videos were embedded into a Jedi holocron that is now inside Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida.
Attention to Detail
The land was designed with sightlines that evoke cinematic angles. Guests begin with views of wide vistas, then as they explore deeper into the land, their field of vision narrows into tighter spaces – like zooming in for a close-up.
In developing props and other décor for the land, Imagineers tried whenever possible to use pre-1980 materials to best capture the look and feel of the props in the first Star Wars films (“Star Wars: A New Hope” was released in 1977).
To create the look of an older Hondo Ohnaka and properly capture the pirate’s personality for his Audio-Animatronics figure in Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Walt Disney Imagineering consulted the character’s creator, Dave Filoni.