The galaxy far, far away has never been closer. Disney will open the doors to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, an interactive theme-park expansion that will take visitors inside the world of the films.
The Disneyland version, which encompasses the resort’s “largest single-land expansion ever,” is slated for 31 May, 2019, while its Walt Disney World counterpart in Florida will debut on 29 August.
A Star Wars-themed expansion is coming to Disneyland Paris in the future, but no official date has been set.
Disney continues to release new details about Galaxy’s Edge, including the very exciting video sneak-peek below. Here’s everything we know about the rides, the food and the interactive elements that will make Galaxy’s Edge wildly different from every other mouse-branded land.
Two new Star Wars rides will make their debut in Galaxy’s Edge. The first, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, allows visitors to pilot Han Solo’s ship for themselves, with each flight being slightly different. The second, Rise of the Resistance, is called “the most epic attraction we’ve ever built” by the leading Imagineer in the video below. The attraction, which could be an incredible 28 minutes long, allows visitors to be the hero of their own Star Wars story as they’re recruited into the Resistance, captured by the First Order, and even face Kylo Ren.
However, it will not open until “Phase 2,” which Disney promises for sometime “later in the year.”
Like everything Lucasfilm has developed since being acquired by Disney, the Galaxy’s Edge park will be canon — meaning that everything in it will be entirely consistent with the world of the films, as well as recent books, games, etc. To that end, Lucasfilm invented a planet just for Disneyland. Galaxy’s Edge is set on Batuu, once a bustling trading post, now a port for smugglers and a hideout for Resistance fighters.
Read more: Hamill – Star Wars has ‘forgot the past’
Park visitors will gather at the Black Spire Outpost, a Mos Eisley-type hub that includes a spaceport, market and cantina, with new music by original Star Wars composer John Williams being piped in the background for extra ambiance.
The interactive experience
We don’t know all the details, but Galaxy’s Edge will pioneer a new, story-building technology that will allow visitors to be recognised throughout the park, based on the specific events of their Millennium Falcon flight. (Guests who are uneasy about this can opt out.) The land will also contain animatronic characters, including droids, who will interact with guests alongside cast members.
The cantina, called Oga’s, will be the first public restaurant in Disneyland to serve alcohol. The menu hasn’t been announced, except for one beverage: blue milk, a nondairy drink recalling the one Luke Skywalker drinks in Episode IV: A New Hope. And someone at the bazaar may be serving meat roasted on a pod-racing engine.
With the marketplace being a central part of Galaxy’s Edge, Star Wars fans can expect to get some unique souvenirs here. One shop will reportedly feature customisable droids that can interact with park characters and one another. An article from Barron’s (via WDW News Today) suggests that character toys designed for Galaxy’s Edge might deliberately look “slightly off, with the back story being that residents of Batuu have never seen that character, so they don’t know exactly what the figure should look like.”
For high rollers who don’t want their Star Wars experience to end at night, Galaxy’s Edge in Orlando will have an adjoining hotel, designed to resemble a starship and complete with its own interactive characters and stories. According to the Disney World blog, “every window has a view of space!”
The comic series
Read more: Lightsaber duelling now a sport
The first issue will introduce a character who presumably pops up in the park: Dok-Ondar, described by writer Ethan Sacks as “the proprietor of the most notorious antiquities shop in the galaxy.” Take a gander at Dok-Ondar in the variant-cover concept art from issue No. 1, below.
Reporting by Gwynne Watkins, Yahoo Entertainment