The newest locale of the ever-expanding Star Wars galaxy, Black Spire Outpost on the remote planet Batuu, could make Disney Parks’ Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge the center of the franchise as the all-new planet was envisioned as a launch pad for never before seen stories — including those of your own making.
“We intend to make this land part of Star Wars storytelling now and well into the future. By design, Black Spire Outpost is a place for adventures to begin — a stepping-off point,” says Scott Trowbridge, Star Wars Portfolio Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering.
Freshly debuted but thousands of years old, Batuu is already steeped in Star Wars lore and carries the feel of having been an established part of the galaxy all along. Dok-Ondar, the Ithorian proprietor of an antiquities shop, has ties to the wider universe, including Tatooine crime lord Jabba the Hutt and bounty hunter Greedo, and chef Strono “Cookie” Tuggs — once the longtime chef of Maz Kanata’s castle on Takodana — now serves spacers at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo.
Weequay space pirate and smuggler Hondo Ohnaka, the well-traveled leader of the Ohnaka Gang, has had dealings with Star Wars Rebels’ Ezra Bridger and Chewbacca. The short tempered Wookie and co-pilot of the late Han Solo has loaned Ohnaka the Millennium Falcon to better serve the growing Resistance, the growing freedom fighter movement that recruits Batuu visitors despite the watchful eye of the oppressive First Order.
And there’s Vi Moradi, a top Resistance spy working under General Leia Organa, now based out of the Resistance’s secret command post tucked away within Black Spire Outpost. Whether characters go unseen or are spotted traversing throughout the land — Resistance recruits may encounter Moradi during her missions — each character has a rich backstory, giving Batuu a lived-in feel and limitless storytelling potential.
It’s why the creative minds at Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm set the action of Galaxy’s Edge during the contemporary Sequel Trilogy: the dreamers “really wanted to create something brand new,” says Lucasfilm story group creative executive Matt Martin.
“Not only does it give us as creators kind of more freedom to build a custom experience, but to allow guests to live exactly the story that they want to tell, and be the adventurer, the hero, the scoundrel that they have always wanted to be.”
And because Star Wars exists in a singular continuity overseen by the Lucasfilm story group, the land creators opted to set Batuu during a time when that overarching story can continue well into the future — whether it be in film, television, comic books, novels, or in guests’ own unique adventures when traversing Batuu within Disneyland park.
“So when we were developing this land, we could have easily done a ‘greatest hits of Star Wars’ thing, but then you would have just been seeing things that you’ve seen before,” Martin explains. “Now not only do you get to experience to tell your story, but Batuu becomes a world within the Star Wars galaxy, and we will get to experience that throughout other mediums. It lives in Star Wars the same way that Tatooine and Mustafar does. It’s all connected.”
Batuu has already played a role in novel Thrawn: Alliances and the coming Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge — A Crash of Fate and Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire, and both the outpost and Dok-Ondar received mentions in young Han Solo prequel Solo: A Star Wars Story. A five-issue Marvel comic book series continues to unveil more of Black Spire’s history, and one of Ohnaka’s previous adventures on Batuu will be revealed in young adult novel Star Wars: Pirate’s Price.
With the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker closing the chapter that is the nine-episode Skywalker Saga in December, Lucasfilm is plotting the next Star Wars saga to span the next decade — a decade that will include future projects involving Batuu and its colorful cast of denizens.
“It’s layers of history,” says managing story editor Margaret Kerrison. “This place has been around for a really long time and you can see that when you walk in, you walk through the alleys, you look at the buildings, you’ll see that there are a lot of stories being told environmentally, because things have gone down there.”
And because the story of Batuu will never be finished, there’s a wide berth for future stories in any medium: as its creators explained, Galaxy’s Edge was designed with this unlimited potential in mind to better offer a broad spectrum of stories meant to appeal to Star Wars fans of all tastes.0comments
“It has representation from across Star Wars storytelling,” Martin says. “From the prequels to the animated shows, the original trilogy, books, comics, there’s something for every fan.”
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is now open at the Disneyland Resort. No reservations will be required after June 23.