Batuu, the world of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, is a work in progress at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.
The first indication that you’re in someplace different is the rough, uneven rockwork, inspired by patterns seen on the ice planet Hoth in “The Empires Strikes Back,” Creators imagined a tool “able to cut through rock and ice to cut our way into the planet of Batuu.
Construction workers are creating the landscape of the far-flung planet in preparation for its debut four months in the future.
At 14 acres, Galaxy’s Edge is Disney’s largest single expansion. The huge petrified tree stumps sprawl in all directions and its center is the ancient black spire that gives the outpost its name.
The outpost’s village is an odd mix of modern and old buildings fashioned out of stone. To help create the land, its designers traveled to cities such as Marrakech, Morocco, for inspiration.
Take a sneak peak here:
According to Chris Beatty, executive creative director for Walt Disney Imagineering, the Galaxy’s Edge team wanted to build a place that is “mysterious and has danger, but is romantic at the same time.”
When the lands open, beeping and booping droids will wander the paths. Aliens will be milling about. Cast members will be clad in the garb of the First Order and Resistance.
Shops will include the Droid Depot, where guests can design and assemble working droids that will interact with the land; and Savi’s Workshop, where would-be Jedis can build personalized lightsabers.
Disney’s culinary team have created adventurous new snacks for visitors to enjoy:
“We have food and drinks that look like one thing, but taste like something completely different,” says Brian Piasecki, culinary director, concept development, at Walt Disney World Resort.
Specialty drinks include a Dagobah Slug Slinger and a T-16 Skyhopper, served at Oga’s Cantina.
In the queue, visitors will hear a crew working on the ship and trying to get it running. Visitors will pass a starship engine getting its intake valves and thrusters adjusted.
About 50 guests will enter a large spaceship and stand for a flight that, will go horribly wrong. Visitors will be able to see animatronic pilots in the cockpit, and will have views of the journey via monitors in the front and rear of the ship. Shortly after leaving Batuu, the First Order will ensnare the ship in a tractor beam and transport it to a Star Destroyer.
Guests will enter the enormous Star Destroyer, be greeted by a large contingent of armed stormtroopers and be taken into detention cells. Kylo Ren, who will appear a number of times in the attraction, will address the prisoners.
At some point, the guests will board trackless transport vehicles and witness a skirmish between the First Order and the Resistance. They will travel under full-size AT-AT walkers.
With Lucasfilm releasing new “Star Wars” movies as well as books, TV series and other content, there is room to build and evolve Galaxy’s Edge for the ongoing saga.