UPDATE: There are quite a few reviews of Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland out there, so we’ve gathered the reviews from several of the main trades and added them to this post. Like we said, the interwebs are loaded with reviews from other sources as well, so consider the links provided below to be your jumping-off point.
Yesterday was the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland in Anaheim and the reviews from the first visitors to Batuu are in. All of them seem to praise Black Spire Outpost and single out the cast members who help bring the 14-acre expansion to life.
Along with a couple of co-workers, I was among the first to go “on planet” as the Disneyland cast members say, one of the lucky ones who got to see, up close, the planet of Batuu and its Black Spire Outpost.
The literal scale of the land, combined with the ambition of the rides, shops, and performers within it, is overwhelming. Galaxy’s Edge engulfed me the moment that I walked inside. Part of the immersion comes from the layout of the land itself. Once I walked through the gates, the rest of Disneyland disappeared. Literally. Nothing else in the park was visible during my visit, save the top of the Matterhorn, which actually blends in nicely with the rock formations that give Black Spire Outpost its name.
To achieve the illusion, Disney Park’s engineers literally dug down into the earth, allowing more room to build taller structures into the land. The effect lent Galaxy’s Edge a verticality that I didn’t see elsewhere in the park. The towering structures both blocked my line of sight to the other lands and added more space for detail, perspective, and texture. There was an awful lot to look at wherever I stood. At least half of the environmental storytelling at Galaxy’s Edge — a light made from a droid’s torso, a cargo container turned into a small apartment — was happening far above me.
Even after getting to fly the Millenium Falcon, even after building my very own droid, even after my first taste of blue milk, by far my favorite part of the park was getting to talk to the people who work there. That’s because each one of cast members at Galaxy’s Edge was and will always be role-playing as a citizen of Batuu.
I asked everyone I met where they were from, and each one of them gave me an in-fiction response. Cast members told me all I wanted to know about the small, rural town of Peka and the more upscale city called Galma just outside of Black Spire where they lived. They shared with me their hopes and fears, and their reasons for coming to work there at the outpost.
And those same kinds of interactions are available with Galaxy’s Edge hero characters as well.
After riding the Falcon, I bumped into Vi Moradi, General Leia Organa’s top spy, the subject of an upcoming novel, and the star of the show at Galaxy’s Edge. The woman playing Vi stopped when I called her by name. Then she spent a good five minutes chatting, just with me, staying in character the entire time. She even made sure we had tucked ourselves into the shadows of a seedy street corner, away from the prying eyes of the First Order.
Read more at the link below.