Spaceships of Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

When I first saw Star Wars (now called A New Hope) back in 1977, I was thrilled with all the spaceships on the screen.  You can imagine my reaction when I walked into Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and saw those spaceships at full scale! Yes, it was totally awesome!

Let us start with the spaceship I would personally love to fly, the X-Wing.

X-Wing at Night
An X-Wing fighter at night in Black Spire Outpost on Batuu inside Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 30s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length, Tripod.

This one stands by the ready to take off at any moment. A few times a day and night, Resistance technicians and pilots will work on it to keep it that way. During the opening week for the new Rise of the Resistance attraction, periodically, two X-Wing Drones would launch above this X-Wing along with the sound effects to go with them.

X-Wing Drones
X-Wing drones take flight at night over the Black Spire Outpost on Batuu in Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/60s, f/4, ISO 6400, EV 0, 100mm Focal Length, Cropped.

The other Star Wars craft I would love to fly in would be Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon. I mean she made the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs (yeah, I know that is not a velocity term but go with it!).

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run at Night
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run at Black Spire Outpost on Batuu at night inside Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/10s, f/4, ISO 6400, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

In Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run you can fly her or be a member of her crew to bring back, let’s call it cargo, yeah, cargo.  Back in 1977, I imagined walking inside the Millennium Falcon so upon leaving the cockpit after my ride, I took this photo. Tell me you would not have.

Inside the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run
The inside the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run ride in Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/60s, f/4, ISO 1800, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

The last spaceship in Galaxy’s Edge is one that does not (yet) appear in any Star Wars movies. Kylo Ren’s TIE Echelon was supposed to be in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker but a change in the movies direction caused it not to be used.

TIE Echelon Ship
TIE Echelon ship at Black Spire Outpost on Batuu at night inside Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Nikon D750/16-35VR, 8s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Tripod.

Several times during the day and night, Kylo Ren comes out of TIE Echelon to berate a First Order Officer in finding the Resistance base. Unfortunately, I came upon him when he was re-entering the spaceship. I do know in looking at other photographer’s work, I want to be there just after sunset for this show.

Kylo Ren TIE Echelon
Kylo Ren walks into the TIE Echelon at Black Spire Outpost on Batuu inside Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/60s, f/4, ISO 100, EV 0, 66mm Focal Length.

As you can see, I found photographing these spaceships at night to bring out their best qualities and staging. The colors used while, still dominated with blue, is not as bad as over in Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In fact, long exposures brought out even more colors.

I used a wide angle lens and tripod to pull off the X-Wing and TIE Echelon photos. I had to be very patient even late at night for people to vacate the scene long enough to photograph. The Millennium Falcon was photographed hand-held because there was too much traffic for a very long exposure.

What is your favorite spaceship from the Star Wars movies?

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Scott's "Photographic Innoventions" blog focuses on intermediate to advanced photography concepts and techniques relevant for Point and Shoot and Digital SLR cameras.

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