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Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge has promised to add an entirely new level of immersion to the Disney Parks when it opens next year. However, it looks like we won't need to wait quite that long to get our first glimpse at the new land. A Brand new Star Wars novel is set to debut later this year and in a newly released excerpt we learn that the story, which focuses on Darth Vader and Grand Admiral Thrawn working together in an uneasy alliance, will take place at least partly on Batuu, the planet that is also the location being used for the new Star Wars land at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
The novel, written by Timothy Zahn and titled Thrawn: Alliances sees Zahn's most famous creation forced to work with Darth Vader at the command of the Emperor. The two don't like each other much, a fact the Emperor knows all too well, and while the excerpt posted to the official Star Wars website doesn't specify exactly what the two will be doing, it does tell us where they are doing it.
The new Star Wars theme park land, called Galaxy's Edge isn't simply an area full of Star Wars themed experiences, it's actually being designed to feel like you've stepped onto a living planet within the Star Wars universe. That planet has a name, Batuu, and that's where this new novel will see Thrawn and Darth Vader go. What's more, the excerpt reveals that the planet is already known to both Vader and Thrawn. Apparently, the pair had, at some point in the past, unwittingly interfered in one of Palpatine's plans on Batuu.
We know, from the information that has been revealed by Disney Parks that the time period where guests will experience Batuu is much later in the timeline than this novel is taking place, as we know one of the attractions deals with the Resistance and the First Order, not the Rebel Alliance and the Empire. As such, this book will apparently act as a sort of prequel to whatever gets added to the Star Wars universe in the theme park.
It sounds like Batuu will end up with a pretty involved history within the Star Wars universe when it's all said and done. If Darth Vader ever unwittingly interfered in the Emperor's plans, it likely happened when he was still Anakin Skywalker. As such, it would seem Batuu has a part to play in the larger prequel era, as well as a role alongside the original trilogy, and the new trilogy.
It will be interesting to see if any of this historical detail is part of the actual Star Wars land when it opens next year. What sort of larger impact did Darth Vader and Thrawn have on the planet that might still be visible decades later?
Thrawn: Alliances is set for release on July 24, 2018. Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will open sometime in 2019, though the exact dates have not been announced.