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There is reason to celebrate in the Star Wars universe (even as the latest chapter in the cinematic saga underperformed). Fans who love stories set in the galaxy far, far away still have more than enough to look forward to with upcoming movies and TV shows that have been announced. And those same fans soon will be able to step into the world of Star Wars when Galaxy's Edge opens at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World in 2019. CinemaBlend recently attended Star Wars: Galactic Nights, the celebration of all things Star Wars that's held at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando, and learned fresh details on the pending park.
We knew, from previous Orlando visits, that the planet on which Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will be based is called Batuu. This is a new planet in the Star Wars universe, and it will be the location of an immersive experience for visitors to the Galaxy's Edge park and eventual hotel. During our most recent stop at Galactic Nights, though, we also learned that the village that will accept visitors who are coming to Batuu will be known as Black Spire Outpost. The reason? The Disney Imagineers basically imagined that thousands of years ago, there would have been tall, towering trees that overlooked the river by this village. As they eroded and petrified, they formed unique formations that surrounded the village. And there will be one specific spire that will be central to the village as a mile-marker for travelers and settlers... an infamous location where visitors' adventure will begin!
Disney revealed that Batuu is a remote frontier outpost on the edge of the galaxy. It used to be an old trading post, though it has kind of fallen off the popular paths. It's isolation, according to the Disney Imagineers who are working hard on the land, make Batuu perfect for smugglers and bounty hunters who want to stay off of the grid as they look for their next jobs. And it's the stepping off point for the Star Wars stories that are going to take place at Galaxy's Edge.
Guests will be able to walk through interactive markets, drink and eat snacks from across the galaxy, sample toys and jewelry that you can only find on Batuu, and more. But because Batuu is a space port, this also means that there will be spaceships, including the Millennium Falcon. We learned that one of the big set pieces of Galaxy's Edge will be a ride that puts you in the cockpit of the Falcon, behind the controls, for an important mission. The second anchor attraction, which was revealed during Galactic Nights, will put patrons in the middle of a ship battle between The First Order and the Resistance, aboard an actual-sized Resistance Troop Transport, that sounds like it's going to be an epic experience.
Speaking of "epic," the team announced that as part of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, they are building full-sized AT-ATs that will be in the park. That's incredible!
In addition to the rides and ships that guests to Galaxy's Edge will be able to board, the team revealed that a special character who has surfaced in the Star Wars movies also will be important to the story being told in the theme park. Nien Nunb, a character who was in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and later in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will be part of the Galaxy's Edge experience. And Disney Parks actually found the original actor who voiced the character to capture his voice, traveling all the way to Africa to record the accent to make sure it is as authentic as possible.
The team working on Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge say that the 14-acre land is progressing rapidly, though there's still so much work to be done. It was revealed that the Disneyland Galaxy's Edge will open in Summer of 2019, while the Orlando location will open "Late Fall" of the same year. That will all be leading up to the opening of J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode IX, in theaters on December 20, 2019. For all of the latest on Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, keep reading CinemaBlend!