‘Star Wars’ fans throughout the galaxy have been anxiously awaiting for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, located in the Disney Hollywood Studios theme park in Orlando Florida. While Galaxy’s Edge doesn’t officially open to the general public until this coming August 29th, 2019, the attraction has however recently been partially opened to pass holders and other select groups.
SciFi Pulse’s Tye Bourdony was lucky enough to attend the Galaxy’s Edge Central Florida Preview event on Saturday evening, August 17th, 2019, and able to travel to a whole new planet within the Star Wars universe along the galaxy’s outer rim of wild space called Batuu. While there our SciFi Pulse reporter who is himself an Honorary member of the well known 501st, even bumped into a fellow 501st member and Disney passholder, James Cole, who traveled all the way from Georgia to attend the event with his family.
Within the Star Wars universe, Batuu it seems serves as a previously unknown planetary port where traders, explorers, smugglers and tourists alike can fly underneath the radar of the Imperial First Order. The setting for what was a spectacular adventure at Galaxy’s Edge is set within the time frame of episodes 7, 8 & 9, so walking around the trading post area of the Black Spire Outpost, one of two areas guests can visit and explore, is a truly fun and immersive experience.
Another notable point is that all those employees working within the confines of Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge talk and act as if they are a part of that time period within the Star Wars universe. While this may seem like no big deal, it actually serves to enhance the visitor’s experience and if you’re a fan, you will really appreciate these little touches of a somewhat surreal acting method, as it adds a great little bit of suspension of disbelief to the overall experience, which brought a huge smile to my face every time I experienced it throughout the night.
When entering into Galaxy’s Edge, guests pass through a large cave-like entrance reminiscent of the opening to the Rebel Base on Yavin 4, which almost serves as a portal that opens up on the other side of the rock face, right into the Star Wars universe. As soon as you begin to look around you can see several moisture vaporizers, a large gun tower emplacement and two separate landing areas, each housing an awesome rebel starfighter. The first is a sleek A-Wing fighter as if it were right out off of the screen from Return of the Jedi, along with the most recent version of Poe Dameron’s X-Wing Fighter, which even had a resistance technician arguing with Chewbacca as they both went about working on both the X-Wing and near by equipment.
Guests at the Central Florida Preview event were only allowed to tour the first section of the Galaxy’s Edge experience, the Black Spire Outpost, which is currently open. The second area is supposed to be a woodsy resistance forest portion of Galaxy’s Edge, which was regretfully not available to be toured. It is however scheduled to open December 5th, 2019, with its signature attraction called Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
From its description, it sounds as if it will be equally as amazing as the Black Spire Outpost is! The attraction is said to include a sort of immersive resistance fighter pilot experience, along with portions of the experience taking place within an actual Star Destroyer. This portion of Galaxy’s Edge sounds spectacular and will some how allow guests to take part in the legendary battle between the resistance and the First Order.
But even being limited to only one half of Galaxy’s Edge was and extraordinarily fun experience, with one of the most breathtaking aspects of the Black Spire Outpost area featuring an amazing full scale version of the iconic Millennium Falcon, which is proudly displayed for all to marvel at in front of the signature the ride and attraction called Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.
While you cannot touch or board the actual Falcon in front of the attraction, you can hang out, breath in its elegance and beauty, and take all the photos you want before entering the ride itself, which takes you within Han Solo and Chewbacca’s legendary ship. Visitors are then lead to a breathtaking full scale partial replica the Falcon’s interior and cockpit, where two pilots, two gunners and two engineers are strapped in for an epic and interactive flight. Once the flight takes off into outer space, each member of the crew has to work together in a fun filled and immersive experience that will surely bring out the kid in you!
Within the rest of the Black Spire Outpost, guests have the ability to visit other worldly shops, including Oga’s Cantina with musical entertainment by RX-24, along with an amazing trading post where beautiful lightsabers, Jedi and Sith Holocrons and all manner of Star Wars items, apparel and memorabilia can be purchased. Guests can even enter a shop to build their own lightsaber as well as a separate droid factory where you can customize and build your very own miniature droid.
If you are hungry or thirsty you can stop off at the Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo area or head into the Ronto Roasters barbeque pit, and along the way you will see droids here and there, with the sounds of starships zooming by overhead as you walk through the alien trading post.
Guests will come across two different land speeders in another area, and all the while, First Order storm troopers will be walking around in pairs. First Order troops will even sometimes be accompanied by a rather menacing Kylon Ren, who will make it a point to interrogate random guests as to whether or not they know anything about the resistance. All the while Rey and members of the resistance can be seen running around Black Spire Post, as if on a secret mission, even recruiting kids or (young ones) as they call them, in order to recruit them in the fight against the evil First Order.
The overall experience at Disney’s Star War: Galaxy’s Edge attraction at Hollywood Studios in Orlando Florida is sure to exceed even the highest Star Wars fan’s expectation and will make converts out of any guests who are somehow unfamiliar with the Star Wars universe. Galaxy’s Edge has simply been worth the long wait and any lines which are sure to form once the attraction opens, are well worth it! The Force is truly Strong in Disney’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge experience!