How Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Is Already Surprising Us

Do you have your countdown ready for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in either Disneyland or Disney World? We can’t wait until these new lands open on May 31, 2019 in Disneyland and August 29, 2019 in Disney World‘s Hollywood Studios.

Millennium Falcon is in place at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland ©Disney

Until the lands open we have gathered together five ways we’ve already been surprised by the new lands.

A Whole New Language

If you have visited Animal Kingdom‘s Pandora you have experienced a fraction of what we guess it will be like to be in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge with a new language.

Pandora cast Name Tags

In Pandora the cast members’ name tags even state they are from planet Earth. You do hear the Na’vi language around the land, and see it around the land as well. But the level of language immersion in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge sounds like it will be 10 times this.

Galaxy’s Edge Name Tag

How will we navigate a land with a completely new language? After all, Aurebesh, the language of Batuu, is not taught in high school… yet! That leads to our next surprise — which will help us understand what is carved into this wall below!

Behind-the-Scenes Look at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge ©Disney

Technology Integration

We have learned that when we enter the planet Batuu in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge the Play Disney Parks App will “transform” into a Star Wars Datapad. After that transformation the App/Datapad will do four things:

  • Translate signs, encryption, and conversations
  • Tune in to broadcasts
  • Allow us to assist the First Order or the Resistance
  • Find a job
Plays Disney Parks App/Datapad ©Disney

So, now we know how we will navigate Batuu and a whole new language — but how about all of the other items? We can listen in on conversations and broadcasts to figure out what the First Order and Resistance are up to, as well as help (or hinder) the “opposite” side! We generally would not promote getting a job while on vacation — but a job in Batuu sounds pretty cool!

Read all about the technology integration in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge here!

Animatronic Advancements

We’ll get a chance to see the next evolution of audio-animatronics in the queue for the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction. There we will we see Hondo Ohnaka  come to life as he gives us instructions for the ride we are about to experience.

Weequay Smuggler Hondo Ohnaka

The Hondo Ohnaka animatronic is said to be one of the most advanced audio-animatronics ever developed, second to the Shaman in Pandora’s Na’vi River Journey attraction.

Learn about the new animatronic technology in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge here!

Are they Rides or Will They be Experiences?

The more we read and write about the two rides in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge the more we are starting to think these won’t be “just” rides — they will be full-on experiences! In fact, according to D23, The Official Disney Fan Club, the Rise of the Resistance attraction will be “one of the most advanced and immersive experiences ever undertaken by Walt Disney Imagineering.” Guests, or new Resistance recruits as we’ll be known, will board a Star Destroyer and come face to face with Kylo Ren — and more!

Disney guests will traverse the corridors of a Star Destroyer on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and join an epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance – including a face-off with Kylo Ren – when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in summer 2019 at Disneyland Resort in California and fall 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. (Joshua Sudock/Disney Parks)

The Rise of the Resistance attraction is described by Walt Disney Imagineering executive creative director John Larena as, “It’s more than just a ride, it’s a cinematic immersive experience.” We are going to wind through a queue where our Play Disney Parks App/Datapad will help us translate signs and learn about our upcoming experience. We will encounter BB-8, Rey, Nien Nunb, Poe, Storm Troopers, TIE Fighters, AT-ATs, and Kylo Ren along the way. Disney has not disclosed the length of this attraction, but we are hearing it will be “long”. We are intrigued and can’t wait to be a part of this experience.

Learn about the Rise of the Resistance attraction in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge here!

AT-AT Walkers in Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ©Disney

The Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run experience (we are just going to call it an experience!) will put us in control of the iconic ship. We will get to take on  one of three critical roles: Pilot, Flight Engineer, and Gunner. Depending on our role, we will have to fire lasers, steer the vessel, and activate hyperspace — as we complete our smuggling mission from that animatronic Hondo Ohnaka! Plus — the outcome of our mission will affect our other experiences within Galaxy’s Edge.

Learn about the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge here!

An artist’s conception of the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride, opening in June at Disneyland. (Courtesy of Disney Parks)

Opening Early

We almost dropped the sandwich we were munching on when we heard the opening date announcement for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge! Talk about a surprise! We had been hearing rumors, and even saw Bob Iger’s (Disney’s CEO) supposed slip-up mentioning a June opening for Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge — making May 31 a true surprise. Disney World’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was originally slated for late fall, then fall, so August 29 was a shock — that’s basically in the middle of the summer!

We rushed to get hotels booked and make travel arrangements. We admit our bags might already be packed with our Star Wars gear, while we charge up our camera batteries. We are ready for the early opening! Are you?

Read the opening day announcement for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge here!

How has Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge surprised you? Let us know in the comments below! Be sure to follow along as we report on new developments for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge between now, and of course on opening day!

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Sarah has built a career in communications and marketing that started when she was the editor of her high school newspaper. She has written for AllEars.net since 2018, and enjoys sharing Disney news and updates with the AllEars community. She's been a Disney fan ever since her first visit to Walt Disney World when she was 5, and has been known to arrange trips around visiting a Disney park!

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6 Replies to “How Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Is Already Surprising Us”

  1. how did it surprise me? by screwing up our labor day week trip. they can’t announce “late fall” and change it that far. it screwed up so many people’s plans who were wanting to avoid the madness.

  2. Aurebesh isn’t new to Batuu, it’s been around since the first SW. Will be easy for us hard core fans but new for others of course.

  3. Yawn…I know this is going to cause a ruckus but Star Wars seems so cheesy..All that money could of been spent on the Disney’s original idea of Edison square and the main street side path for the Liberty street

    1. You know their main goal as a business is to invest in attractions that will increase attendance, right? They spent $5 billion buying LucasFilms as an investment. Star Wars Land will draw millions of new guests between the 2 parks.

  4. Universal and Harry Potter are why Disney had to up the ante on the “Star Wars Lands”. It really is that simple.