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How to Get Up to Speed On Star Wars Before You Visit Galaxy’s Edge

Planning a trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World will probably come with the plan to visit the brand new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land. There are plenty of posts out there talking about the new land, most of them written by avid Star Wars fans. But what’s a non-fan to do? This is your hyperspeed primer to understanding the Star Wars storyline you’ll need to know for your visit.

  • Important Dates for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
  • Star Wars Movies to Watch
  • Characters to Know Before You Go
  • Star Wars Lingo To Know for Galaxy’s Edge
  • Ride Attractions in Galaxy’s Edge
  • Food at Galaxy’s Edge
  • Shopping on Batuu
star wars galaxy edge land at Disneyland
The new Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge land at Disneyland. (photo credit: Richard Harbaugh/Disney Parks)

First things first, here are the dates you need to know for your visit.

Important Dates for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

May 31st, 2019

Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge launched first. The complete land and one of the two attraction rides, Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, opened.

May 31st-June 23rd, 2019

Only guests who have reservations can access Star Wars land. These reservations were available to book online, which quickly sold out, and are available to guests who are staying at one of the three Disneyland on-site hotels.

June 24th, 2019

The first day guests can gain access to Star Wars land in Disneyland without a reservation. After the land has reached capacity at the initial opening, guests will have to get a boarding pass time, like a Fastpass for return entry. There’s a chance that the boarding groups will not be allowed access even with a boarding pass if the land doesn’t empty enough to allow more guests to enter.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out since currently guests have had to have a reservation to enter the land, and they have then be limited to only four hours in the land.

August 29th, 2019

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. Just like it’s counterpart in Disneyland, the WDW land will open with dining, shopping, and just one of the two feature rides, Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.

Late 2019

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, the final main attraction, will finally open in both theme parks. There is no specific date as of yet. This ride is supposed to be like nothing we’ve yet seen from Disney. Guests will be immersed in a storyline where they’re being recruited by the Resistance to fight against the First Order and will end up stuck in the middle of the battle.

Star Wars 101 for Galaxy's Edge

Star Wars Movies Info

I’m a child of the 80s, I grew up with the original Star Wars movies being a pretty big deal. I happily watched all three, multiple times. Even with saying that, I’ll admit that I was never an avid fan. I knew the main characters and the main storylines, and I loved Han, Leia, Luke, and definitely the Ewoks. But, I couldn’t tell you the name of all the secondary characters nor all the hidden storyline arcs.

There are nine movies in the main storyline. The original movies that came out in the 70s and 80s actually count as films four [IV] (A New Hope), five [V] (The Empire Strikes Back), and six [VI] (Return of the Jedi).

Then in 1999 and the early 2000s, the prequel movies, I (The Phantom Menace), II (Attack of the Clones), and III (Revenge of the Sith) were released.

The final three sequel movies, VII (The Force Awakens), VIII (The Last Jedi), and IX (The Rise of Skywalker) came/come out in 2015, 2017, and December 2019.

Non-Fan Hyperspeed Info Alert

Your main knowledge for visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge should come from the original three movies, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. These will give you a solid understanding of the conflict between the Resistance and the First Order and help you get the feel for the land. And, you’ll actually understand the Blue Milk obsession.

If you have time to watch other movies before your visit, watch the two released sequel trilogy films, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Even just watch The Force Awakens. The main reason to watch these films is to help you learn about the characters Kylo and Rey, who you can meet in the land.

There is a whole series of stand-alone movies, tv shows, comic books, and books that true Star Wars fans know well. They understand the entire world that is Star Wars.

But the good news is that you don’t HAVE to be a Star Wars superfan to appreciate the land. With a basic understanding of the main characters and terminology, you can enjoy the land even as a wookiee rookie.

Star Wars Characters to Know Before Your Visit

Rey: Newest main Rebel character in the sequel movies (VII, VIII, IX).

Kylo Ren: Dark side antagonist from the latest movies (VII, VIII, IX).

kylo ren character at star wars galaxy's edge
Kylo Ren character at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. (photo credit: Richard Harbaugh/Disney Parks)

Chewbacca: Lovable Wookiee that pilots the Millennium Falcon with Han Solo.

Han Solo: Captain of the Millennium Falcon.

Stormtroopers: Brainwashed fighters for the First Order; they all wear white full body armor (there is a silver stormtrooper who is the captain).

stormtroopers at disneyland
Watch out for Stormtroopers on patrol on Batuu. © Kim Tate

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Lingo To Know

Batuu: This is the name of the planet that is the land of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. It’s a made-up planet and has only been referenced in a Star Wars book in response to Disney’s named land. In the land, you’ll find a whole new language and characters who are completely in character as residents of Batuu, not Disney cast members.

Black Spire Outpost: This is the name of the village (shopping area) in the new Star Wars land. It’s located in between the Resistance camp and the First Order sector. Guests can buy food and shop for some unique gifts and souvenirs, even get their own Jedi robes or Rey costumes. Just realize that anyone age 14+ are not allowed to wear costumes in the parks.

First Order: Name for the dark side of the political fight, the current ruling dictatorship regime. Came into power (in The Force Awakens) after the end of the Galactic Regime in the Return of the Jedi movie.

Popular First Order characters are Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, the Stormtroopers, Supreme Leader Snoke, and Kylo Ren. The First Order is an area in the new Star Wars land and will be the area where Kylo Ren and the Stormtroopers are likely to be found.

The Resistance: Also known as the Rebellion. This is the small force fighting against the darkness of the First Order. If you’re a fan of the Rebellion forces, you’ll want to watch the stand-alone film, Rogue One, which acts almost like film number 3.5, with a storyline that bridges movies III and IV.

Popular Resistance characters include Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Rey. There is a Resistance area in the new Star Wars land which has starfighters (aircraft) on display and some shopping kiosks, but soon it will also be home to the second main attraction, Rise of the Rebellion.

Jedi: Jedi’s are individuals who have the ability to harness and use the power of the Force for good. They focus on using only the light power of the force and avoiding the dark side / dark emotions.

Lightsabers: Lightsabers are used as weapons, like swords. They’re metal cylinders that when activated produce an electric light sword. Realize that lightsabers are used as weapons by both the light side of the force and the dark side.

savi's workshop in galaxy's edge
Build your own lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop. (photo credit: Joshua Sudock/Disney Parks)

If you really want your own lightsaber, you can build one at the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land at Savi’s Workshop. You’ll pay for your lightsaber in advance, $200, and receive a return time appointment when you’ll be admitted into the workshop for a unique lightsaber building show experience.

Droid: These are the robots that wander around helping Jedi’s in the various movies. Famous droids include C-3PO, R2-D2, and BB-8.

If you’d love your own droid friend, you can make one of those at the Droid Depot in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. For $100 you can build your own R-series or BB-series droid to take home.

Millennium Falcon: Affectionately known as the “fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon is a starship used by Han Solo and Chewbacca in the Star Wars Rebellion fight.

Blue Milk: Here’s a really oddball thing Disney included. In the movie A New Hope (the original “first” movie) Luke drinks blue milk as part of his training. Disney has created a frozen dairy-free blue and green “milk” drink that you can buy for $8 in the new land. I tried some and personally wouldn’t buy it. ;)

Ride Attractions in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

This is the solo main attraction for this new land since the other attraction won’t open until later in the year.

millennium falcon ride in star wars galaxy edge
Pilot the Millennium Falcon in the new land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. (photo credit: Joshua Sudock/Disney Parks)
Non-Fan Hyperspeed Info Alert

As you get ready to board you’ll meet Hondo Ohnaka. He’s a pirate character from Clone Wars and needs flight crews to help him smuggle deliver some merchandise.

When you board you’ll be given a position assignment, Pilot, Gunner, or Engineer. Each ship will have six guests, two of each of the three positions. The pilot positions use joysticks to move the Millennium Falcon, the Gunners push buttons to shoot, and the Engineers push buttons to fix issues. From everything I’ve read you can’t request a specific position.

Even though I attended a private party, the influx of five thousand guests meant I was looking at a 70-120 minute wait to ride. Since our party was only three hours long, I decided to use my time to explore the land and other rides in the park instead of waiting to ride.

Rise of the Resistance

This attraction is certainly getting people excited. It’s supposed to be epic, like nothing we’ve experienced with Disney before. It will be an almost 30-minute long attraction experience. Guests will be recruited by the Resistance and get caught in the middle of the battle against the First Order.

Beyond the two main ride attractions, there are plenty of other fun things to do in Galaxy’s Edge.

Food in Galaxy’s Edge

Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo: Unique meals with exotic flavor creations. Mobile orders accepted.

Docking Bay 7 dining at Galaxy Edge
You can mobile order to eat at Docking Bay 7 in Galaxy’s Edge. (photo credit: Joshua Sudock/Disney Parks)

Ronto Roasters: Grilled sausage and roasted pork, plus turkey jerky. Mobile orders accepted.

Kat Saka’s Kettle: Outpost Mix – a sweet and savory popcorn snack, plus those branded special Coca-Cola bottles are found here.

Oga’s Cantina: Entertainment bar with crazy drink concoctions, some come with a show.

Milk Stand: Get your OG movie fix with a frosty blue or green milk (dairy-free) drink.

Shopping at Batuu

Savi’s Workshop: Build a custom lightsaber of your very own. Choose your model: Peace and Justice, Power and Control, Elemental Nature, or Protection and Defense. $200

Droid Depot: Build your own custom BB-series or R-series droid. $100

Resistance Supply: Buy unique resistance branded gear.

Creature Stall: Check out all the exotic creatures from the galaxy and take one home in your own personal crate.

Toydarian Toymaker: (My personal favorite shop) Pick up “handmade” toys from classic materials – some of the best characters are found here like little stuffed Ewok toys. This is also where you’ll find the Dejarik game board that is featured on the Millennium Falcon.

toys to buy at star wars galaxy's edge
Cute classic toys available at the Black Spire Outpost Market. © Kim Tate

Black Spire Outfitters: Pick up your own Jedi Robe or Rey outfit.

Jewels of Bith: Where you’ll find flashy things for the outpost, like trading pins.

Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities: An odd-ball shop with various “trinkets” you can purchase like golden head busts and droid-themed USB drives.

First Order Cargo: If you’re a member or supporter of the First Order, head here to gear up.

Hopefully, this has helped you get up to speed with Star Wars so you’ll be ready for your visit to Galaxy’s Edge! If you’re looking for more Star Wars help, check out my friend Leslie’s Touring Tips and Strategies post.

Star Wars 101 Guide to prepare the non-fan for visit to new Disney Galaxy's Edge land. Movies you need to watch and characters you need to know.
What to know about Star Wars before you visit Galaxy’s Edge.

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