This week’s dream
The Star Wars universe come to life
The team that built the newStar Wars theme park at Disneyland seems to have thought of everything, said Brendan Nystedt in Wired.com. Five years in the making, “the place is an escapist triumph and a treat for the senses”—14 acres of purposely weathered futurism that lets visitors wander a grungy outpost on Batuu, a fictional planet mentioned in the films but never seen. Like the park’s twin, which will open in Florida’s Disney World on Aug. 29, California’s version of Galaxy’s Edge is impressively thorough in its world-building. Every costumed vendor or shop owner has a backstory, and “there are Easter eggs and secrets to the park that some fans may spend years uncovering.”
Disney, which acquired director George Lucas’ film company in 2012, clearly understands “the gut appeal of the Star Wars universe,” said Spencer Kornhaber in TheAtlantic.com. Lucas imagined an era of space travel in which grime and decay have already set in, and four decades later, “Star Wars still feels like the ruins of the now.” Inside Galaxy’s Edge, you’ll want to stop at the bazaar to shop for exotic artifacts, build your own $200 lightsaber at a back-alley dealership, and join a mission on the Millennium Falcon, whose life-size cockpit seems “something out of nerd Valhalla”—until the ride itself turns out to be a run-of-the-mill flight simulator. “But g-force amusement isn’t the point of theme parks these days.” Fans crave an immersive experience, and Galaxy’s Edge is, in essence, “a walk-on movie set”—one where “the luminescent cocktails are drinkable and the flight-jacketed extras banter back.”
Speaking of cocktails, head for Oga’s Cantina as soon as you arrive, said Garrett Martin in PasteMagazine.com. The bar is “not just the best part of Galaxy’s Edge,” it’s also the park’s most popular attraction, which means you risk not getting in if you postpone stopping by. Inside, guests sip alcoholic or nonalcoholic cocktails while a droid DJ spins classic Star Wars cantina songs. Hang around long enough and a shady-looking character, played by an actor, might even offer you a gig in interplanetary travel. “Hives of scum and villainy have never felt so good.”
At Galaxy’s Edge, a four-hour pass costs $97.