MSW’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Visit – Part 1
On Friday, a life long dream came true. They made a “Star Wars Land” at Disneyland and I got to go there. As a child I remember being in line for Star Tours and it being such a no-brainer. They should make a “Star Wars Land.” Eventually it almost became a cliche to even say it aloud while waiting in the mind-numbing queues at the park. Then in October of 2012 when we learned that Disney was buying Lucasfilm, everything changed to “when will I be going to Star Wars Land?” It was no longer an obvious suggestion to the powers that be who just didn’t get it and weren’t doing what we all obviously wanted. Its as clearly going to happen no matter what now.
I’ll be getting in my DeLorean to tell seven year old me, as well as thirty nine year old me that “on a Friday in 2019 you’ll be going to Star Wars Land.” And I did. I got to to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. And while the fact they should do it was obvious, the realized park itself was not. There were no speeder bike merry-go-rounds but rather an immersive experience into Star Wars itself for better or worse. When you go to Galaxy’s Edge you go to Batuu and it exists in canon within the Star Wars universe.
As we walked into Galaxy’s Edge you just suddenly feel different as the environment changes. It was almost like putting on a VR headset or something. That kind of feeling. I’ve been to Disneyland so many times being local to the area with an annual pass that I can feel rather unaffected by the built environment of the park itself. However, Galaxy’s Edge is unlike anything or anywhere I’ve been before.
The first thing I really noticed was a cage holding scavenged droid parts. Inside the cage where two B-1 battle droids. The droids were appropriately aged and beaten up. One had been shot in the head or damaged somehow but you could see the inside of the droid’s head. The attention to detail and implied storytelling was amazing. On a side note, I saw a clone trooper helmet at another location later in the day and the helmet was yellowed and appropriately aged as well. That level of detail really impressed and satisfied the Star Wars fan inside me. But I also noticed some probe droids like the ones in The Empire Strikes Back too. It was a clear message that Galaxy’s Edge exists in Star Wars and all of the history of that universe can be found here because it was real, that’s how it would be.
All of the Disneyland cast member (Disneyland employees are called that because of the performative nature of the gig) are in total character the entire time. I only saw a cast member break character one time and that was to suggest we ride the Falcon ride one more time because there was a zero minute wait and we’re never going to see that again. Being from the area I saw a lot of people I know in real life living in Star Wars which was kind of surreal. But I also noticed when I was waking in it kind of looked like if they made a Star Wars movie and every extra was played by Josh Gad and they all keep looking at you saying “Bright suns!”
After a few minutes, my buddy Jerry and I noticed we had stayed way too long just looking at the battle droids. It was paralysis by analysis. I was so content just seeing that rad exhibit I almost didn’t feel like moving. But there was so much more to see. And as we turned the corner, we saw a massive reproduction of Kylo Ren’s command shuttle. If you look at it for a long time, I don’t think it is actually to scale to the one in the film but it was impressive and fun regardless. My buddy, his seven year old son, and myself got a photo in front of the ship. We won’t have the photos until Galaxy’s Edge formally opens.
I was really pleased with Galaxy’s Edge overall. It was really amazing. With only one full ride open, it did feel a little lopsided. So, if you’re considering going soon and you have to travel, it might be best to wait until both Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance are open. The First Order side of the park feels great the market or neutral section is fantastic. The Resistance side of the park was pretty vacant.
So yes, I loved it. Yes, I was happy with what I experienced. Especially knowing that more is coming rather soon, I think it is going to be rather amazing when everything is operating at the same time. I spent about 7 hours in the park in total and I really had so much fun the entire time. Part of the Smugglers Run line was a bit bland but the closer you got to the attraction itself the more exciting it got. I’ll explain more on that later.
In the coming articles, we will dig into Galaxy’s Edge a bit deeper.