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PCU Zeitgeist : ‘Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’

‘Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’ is a truly immersive Star Wars experience that fans will remember forever.

While on our honeymoon in September, my wife and I visited Black Spire Outpost aka Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida.

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My Wife and I in front of an A-Wing at the Resistance Camp at Galaxy’s Edge

When walking into Galaxy’s Edge from Muppets Courtyard, visitors encounter the Resistance base camp set up by Vi and Archex in Black Spire Outpost by Delilah S. Dawson. The base camp serves as a place to not only take photos and do some shopping at Resistance Supply but also the queue for the new Rise of the Resistance ride that opens in December at Hollywood Studios and in January at Disneyland. Rise of the Resistance will be an eighteen minute dark ride that will have riders join the fight against the First Order. While this is a smaller area in the park, it is a fun place to hang out and take photos while also exploring the outskirts of the outpost.

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Us in front of a Resistance X-Wing

From there, travelers can follow a path into Black Spire Outpost. Once at the outpost, one of the first places travelers can explore is the marketplace. The marketplace is filled with various shops such as Black Spire Outfitters, Toydarian Toymakers, Jewels of Bith, Kat Sakka’s (which is a popcorn stand) and the Creature Stall, where travelers can adopt various animals from the Star Wars universe. The animals include loth cats, wampas, porgs, dewbacks, banthas and monkey lizards. My wife had a hard time deciding on which animal to get but then she decided to get a loth cat. The cat makes noise and also moves a bit and adds a fun level of immersion even after travelers have left the planet.

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A sleeping loth cat animatronic with a stuffed toy porg.

Once you leave the market, there are two other dining options right next to it and the ride Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run. The two dining options are the snack location called Ronto Roasters which features a sausage wrap and Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo which is the counter service location here. From there you can enter the space port and join a crew run by pirate Hondo Ohnaka on Smugglers RunSmugglers Run is a flight simulator that assigns each member of the crew a job on the ride. There are two pilots, two gunners and two engineers. The pilot on the left side of the cockpit controls the horizontal controls and the right side pilot controls the vertical controls as well as making the jump to hyperspace. The gunners on both sides press buttons that control the weapons that automatically target enemy ships and the engineers are in charge of repairing the shields and hull on the run. Depending on how the crews do on the run, they will be given their share of credits at the end of the ride and from there your reputation at Black Spire can be elevated or lowered.

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On our first ride, my wife and I were both given the engineer job which was a fun experience and our crew was pretty good. On our second run, we were split up a bit and my wife had the engineer job and I had the gunner job. While we did pretty well on this job, our crew on the other hand did not seem to be into the experience. Another fun aspect of Smugglers Run is the amazing Hondo animatronic. It’s so fluid and realistic that it looks like someone wearing a very detailed make up. It was that immersive. As I stated above, sometimes your enjoyment of the ride can depend on the crew, but both times my wife and I had a lot of fun.

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After riding Smugglers Run, we went to Droid Depot, where I had a reservation to build a droid. When building a droid, you can choose between an R-unit or a BB-unit. After talking it through and seeing that there were no transparent parts for the BB-unit, we decided on the R-unit. After choosing which unit you want to build and paying for it, its time to pick out the parts to build your droid. I went with one with a white body, blue legs and then a blue and transparent dome. Once you gather the pieces needed to build, you are lead to a station to build and then activate your droid. At the station, there are steps you follow to put the pieces together.

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So after I built the droid, I placed him in the activation port and watched him come to life. Our droid (who we named R9-E14 after our wedding date) was ready to go! We were shown how to make him move with a bluetooth controller and also told that he will interact in various sections of the park. That interaction can also change after giving your droid a personality chip. There are three to choose from with Resistance, First Order and Smuggler. Depending on which one you choose can depend on how your droid interacts in different sections of Black Spire. If your droid is loyal to the Resistance, they can get nervous in the area controlled by the First Order and vice versa.

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If you are wondering how much it is to build a droid, the experience can run $99 plus tax per droid.

The other place we had an amazing experience at is Oga’s Cantina. This is exactly what you think it is. It’s a small place that can be very crowded and loud. To get in you pretty much need a reservation in which my amazing wife was able to secure the night before. Once inside Oga’s we were lead to a standing table where we met other travelers and we ordered our drinks. Eve had the Jabba juice which is a non-alcoholic drink and I had the Gold Squadron Lager which was brewed specifically for Galaxy’s Edge. Now keep in mind that this is Disney and these are drinks that are made for this park so it’s going to be more expensive than other bars there. While we were enjoying our drinks, we listened to the fun music spun by the resident dj, DJ R-3X (who was the pilot on the old Star Tours ride). R-3X crashed a Star Tours flight on Batuu and was reprogrammed to become a DJ a Oga’s.

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From Oga’s, you can explore the First Order controlled section of BSO. This section features the First Order store and the Milk Stand. The First Order store features pins and shirts and hats that celebrate all things First Order. While we were checking out the store, we noticed that there was a lot of merchandise that showcased the Sith Trooper. We looked around and checked out Kylo Ren’s ship docked next to it but then it was time to check out the Milk Stand and try the blue milk. We got the blue milk in a souvenir bottle and I have to say that the milk is pretty good. It’s a mixture of coconut milk, rice milk and some citrus flavors. At first, I thought it wouldn’t be good but we were actually surprised at how good it was. It’s a fun touch to an already fun and immersive place.

While we spent a lot of time at Black Spire Outpost, there were two things we didn’t do. We didn’t buy any holocrons, kyber crystals or artifacts from Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquites and we didn’t build a lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop. In order to build a lightsaber, travelers need to make a reservation and pay $200 to partake in the experience. Builders go into Savi’s where they meet the Gatherers (the work for Savi and collect various artifacts that connect to the Force.). They are taken into a chamber where they select a kyber crystal and build a lightsaber hilt with the parts they are given by the Gatherers. I won’t go into anymore detail about the experience because I don’t want to ruin it for those that want to participate. I saw a video that featured it and thought it was pretty interesting.

There is one more thing I would like to mention about the immersion and interactivity at Galaxy’s Edge. You can download the Play Disney Parks app from Google Play or the App Store and use that while at Black Spire Outpost. It allows users to scan for radio frequencies that belong to the three factions represented. You can also hack various panels which will cause things to happen. For example, I hacked a panel at the water fountains and it caused the creature from the Death Star trash compactor to lift its head out of the water. There is even a translation program where you can translate various messages hidden throughout the land into galactic basic. I used the app quite a bit while we were there and it only added more to our experience.

All in all, Galaxy’s Edge is an immersive experience that any Star Wars fan would love. Yes Disney trips are expensive but this is a place that lives up to the Disney magic that we have all come to love.

4.5 R9-E14’s out of 5



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