Unlike Luke Skywalker (the blue milk drinking weirdo), when I saw the Millennium Falcon as we turned the corner, I didn’t think “what a piece of junk!” I was floored. We can add that to the list of reasons Luke Skywalker seems like a weird dude after you’ve been to Galaxy’s Edge. It has been a day or two since I was there and I’m still amazed. You could see the The Force Awakens radar on the ship.
There’s never been a Star Wars movie film in my adult life where photos of the Falcon haven’t been leaked to me. I know it really well. I mean really well. But nothing prepares you for seeing the Falcon in person. And it looks so much better than the ones they make for the films because they know our naked eyes are going to scrutinize the details and so the imagineers just hit it out of the park, literally.
Jerry, his son and I rushed to the line opening and never looked back. Don’t drink and fly. Sorry, Oga. Next time, baby. The line itself was really immersive. I think this is the part of the park itself where the concept opens itself to criticism and there’s nothing it can really do about it. The line for the Falcon isn’t bad, it is just top heavy. All the best stuff happens as you get on the ride itself. However, when you aim for realism you must also accept the mundane reality of that too and the first part of the line doesn’t really have a lot to keep you happy during a 90 minute wait. When you line up for Star Tours, you’re taken from feature to feature once you’re inside the line. It is very entertaining. The line for the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is very boring in a lot of ways. You’re in a garage and there’s a giant engine on a crane you walk around.
The engine itself appears to be a podracer engine but it could be a thruster to a bigger ship. Every so often you’ll hear a voice on the intercom say something like “testing” and the manifold of the engine will open and you’ll hear the thruster start up and deactivate.
On the shop floor, I noticed a scout trooper helmet being used to distill some alcoholic beverage or make some fuel or something strange like that. There’s guns on the shop floor walls. There’s also a multi-armed droid that does nothing and is completely inanimate. In Star Tours if you see a droid, it is alive. In this instance, strangely that is not the case. I also noticed a table with Sabacc cards on it. Maybe when Galaxy’s Edge is in full operation there will be cast members playing there? But on this day, that was not the case it felt empty and strangely not alive. The inside of the ride was more boring than being outside of the ride and something about that doesn’t feel right.
What the queue does right is it takes you around the Falcon itself. So you do get to see the real Falcon from almost 360 degrees basically. And the queue ends up going upstairs (that’s where you see the pod engine) and as you do that you have a gantry way with a window so you can look down upon the ship itself. That idea was very wise and very much appreciated. It was pretty cool to see Falcon from the rear and the sublight engines glow blue and smoke and exhaust comes out of the underbelly of the ship. It feels real and the ship seems like it might actually work.
There as also a moment where I was in line and there’s two large doors or gates. They opened them up at one point to bring something into the park, probably to restock merchandise and I could see shipping containers like the ones they used on set for The Mandalorian to block outsider’s views of the set and to ship things in. They had those same kinds of containers but they had painted symbols to make them “in universe” so if they had to open the gates and we saw inside it seemed like Batuu just continued on.
The problem with the area for me was when I was looking at the Falcon. In my 90 minute wait, I needed a little more stimulation to be entertained. Even the audio that played over the intercom from time to time wasn’t as in depth as Star Tours or interesting or funny. I don’t feel like I should have been thinking about Star Tours in those moments or wishing I was there instead.
It should also be noted that on the day we were there our phones were bagged. That’s why you aren’t seeing a lot of photos in this article right now. But there’s an interactive app component to lots of moments in the line we couldn’t use. If that content is engaging and fun it could radically change my opinion of the line. That said, I’m suspicious it will be that interesting (I hope I’m wrong). We also noticed a few moment where the scrap metal used to make things in side read “MADE IN CHINA” really big where they forgot to melt it off. I’m sure that kind of stuff will be fixed up before launch as I could see other parts like it where that was the case.
When Walt Disney was famously asked if Disneyland would ever be finished he said something like “It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world” and I think that’s likely the case here too. So while I might seem really down on it, it has more to do with the fact that everything is so amazing outside and once you get to Hondo’s office it gets so rad that this part just feels extremely boring in comparison to how good everything else is.
One detail I noticed I thought was really cool the queue line ropes where themed in a really smart way. Instead of being chains attached to chrome polls like most theme parks, they made the “chains” solid vacuum hoses. I didn’t even notice what they had done at first but it was a very clever way to make something from our world functional for Batuu’s aesthetics. So while some of it was boring at that moment, the care and attention to detail never relented.
To be clear, I’m essentially reviewing a third of the line. However, it felt so regimented between this part, Hondo’s office, and the Falcon itself it seems appropriate to evaluate it.