Let me state right off that I did not attend the Bringing Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to Life panel at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago. Instead, like thousands of other people I watched the livestream from home. Any pictures that I add here are screenshots from that broadcast. In case you didn’t watch it, or you don’t feel like sitting through the entire video now, here are a few of the highlights.
First I’ll tell you what they did not talk about. No mention was made of when the second ride, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, will be operational. When the new lands open only Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run will be working. There was also no mention of crowd control.
A few words about Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. You will take on one of three roles; pilot, engineer, or gunner. Each role is important, and the ride will react based on what you do. It’s not like Mission: SPACE where it doesn’t really matter if you hit the buttons or not. Your performance will follow you as you leave the ride. The iconic hallway of the Falcon will reflect what happened. If you had a clean run the hallway will look fine, but if your ride was bumpy there could be damage in the hall. They also said that you will be able to see the full Falcon from the outside before you get on the ride.
The story for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is that you are recruited as part of a flight crew by Hondo Ohnaka. Hondo is a character who was in the animated series The Clone Wars. For Galaxy’s Edge, he will be an incredible animatronic. He’s voiced by the legendary voice actor Jim Cummings.
Not all that much new information was given about Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. It was confirmed that the characters of Kylo Ren, Rey, Finn, Po, and BB-8 will all be included. The idea behind the ride is that a small band of Resistance fighters is looking for recruits, but the First Order is hunting for members of the Resistance. From start to end the attraction is rumored to be as long as 40 minutes, although not all of that will be sitting in a ride vehicle. If you’ve seen the video that has been released about the ride, those scenes were filmed inside the actual building. If you haven’t seen the video, you can check it out here, just scroll to the bottom.
There was some information on Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. Dok-Ondar is a character that was introduced in Solo: A Star Wars Story. You will find nods to pretty much anything Star Wars related in his shop. It is also one of two places where you’ll be able to buy a lightsaber. The other place will be Savi’s Workshop. This is where you will be able to customize the weapon of the Jedi. There will also be a shop where you can create your own droid.
Both blue and green milk will be sold within Galaxy’s Edge. The main place to get a drink will be Oga’s Cantina. The DJ there will be Rex, who was the pilot in the original Star Tours ride. They played some of the music that Rex will be spinning. It has the feel of the cantina music from A New Hope. Rex is voiced once again by Paul Reubens.
Reubens isn’t the only voice returning for Galaxy’s Edge. It was announced that Frank Oz will again be voicing Yoda, although they did not say how or where Yoda will appear. Kipsang Rotich is also once again voicing the character of Nien Nunb. Rotich originally voiced the character for Return of the Jedi when he was a student in California, and then returned to his home in Kenya. Disney and Lucasfilm tracked him down in Kenya and went there to have him lend his voice to Nien Nunb once again. That’s how authentic they want Galaxy’s Edge to be.
Another thing that will make everyone feel as if they have truly stepped into Star Wars is the music of John Williams. He composed the main score, and they played a clip from it. It is awesome as always. John Williams is a genius.
One interesting announcement is that Coke products will be part of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Coca-Cola and Disney worked together to design bottles that will fit right into the universe, although they might not fit into the cup holder on your stroller.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is meant to be interactive. The Play Disney Parks App is going to allow you to go deeper into the story. There will be four options on the app; hack, scan, translate, and tune. These will help to open more elements in the new land. Especially important will be the translate option, since much of the writing will be in Aurebesh.
Those are a few of the highlights from the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge panel. Now I’m more excited than ever. If you would like to watch the full panel yourself, you can find it on the Star Wars YouTube Channel. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Ede will open on May 31 at Disneyland, and on August 29 at Walt Disney World.