Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is quickly turning into one of the most highly-anticipated Disney parks expansions in history. Superfans have been white-knuckling their keyboards and smartphones (for joy or otherwise) over all the details recently released by Disney, from cast member costumes to details on food and merchandise. The wait is almost over for "Star Wars Land" to finally arrive in Disneyland in early summer and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the fall.
One of the most controversial elements surrounding Galaxy’s Edge has been its setting—the mysterious Black Spire Outpost on the world of Batuu. Many Star Wars fans were left scratching their heads and voiced their displeasure that the land wasn’t set in a more familiar world like Tatooine, Endor, or even on the Death Star. Where the heck is Batuu?
Rather than setting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in a more familiar planet, Disney took a gamble and chose to create an entirely new world in the Star Wars canon, one that already has started appearing in Star Wars novels like Thrawn: Alliances and will continue to be explored in upcoming books like Black Spire (to be released in September) and The Crash of Fate.
StarWars.com describes Batuu like this:
“A remote outpost on the galaxy’s edge, Batuu was once a busy crossroads in the days prior to lightspeed. With the rise of hyperspace travel, however, the world – notable for the lush trees and mountain spikes that decorate its surface – was left behind, its prominence lost to planets on more popular trade routes. Today, Batuu is home to those who prefer to stay out of the mainstream, and a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders, and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. Significantly, it has also become a safe haven for those looking to avoid the attention of the First Order.”
Did Disney make the right call setting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in an entirely new world? We think they did. Indeed, in many ways, it was a genius move. Here are five reasons why…
1. The story continues
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge won’t just be about retelling the same Star Wars stories we are all familiar with. It will be about telling new ones that run hand-in-hand with every new addition Disney brings into the Star Wars canon.
While familiar Star Wars locations like Endor, Tatooine, Coruscant, and even Mustafar come with tons of nostalgia, picking one of these would have locked Disney into a corner with what stories they could tell in Galaxy's Edge. What world should they have given priority to? Those from the classic trilogy, the prequels, or the new films? Creating a new setting for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge allows Disney to tell original stories that can tie into every evolution of the Star Wars canon, and it’s hard to think of a setting that will prove more friendly to that than Batuu.
As a pre-hyperspace travel hub, Batuu is the type of place where it makes sense for tons of people (and aliens) from different walks to converge. Its seedy underbelly will provide the perfect atmosphere for Disney to explore tales of smugglers, bounty hunters, and scavengers, like those we'll see in Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, as well as in some of the merchandise shops (like one where a guy has spent years collecting lightsaber parts hoping someone will come along who can assemble them). Batuu’s notoriety as a safe hub for Resistance fighters gives opportunity to tell stories about the war (like the Rise of the Resistance attraction). If Disney continues to make elements of the Old Republic canon, those will can still show up in merchandise references or perhaps as historic backstory.
Also, Disney has already made it clear that travel off Batuu will be an element on some attractions in Galaxy’s Edge, meaning travel to any other Star Wars location remains an open possibility from this unique hub. This is a place where a wide array of stories can be told for years to come.