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Image: Disney

If you’ve been on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, you might just be a bonafide galactic hero…

That’s not an exaggeration. We’ve known from the beginning that Disney’s plans for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and Walt Disney World weren’t merely to build a “Star Wars Land”. Imagineers set out to build an ultra-immersive land that would tell a unique story within the Star Wars universe—one actually considered canon for the most part, where guest choices would affect the course of Star Wars history. They successfully did this with the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, but in truth, the story behind the land has remained a little muddy, even after opening day came and passed.

We know that within the Star Wars timeline, your visit to the Black Spire Outpost on Batuu takes place on a specific day some time in between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, and it turns out it’s a much more important day than we may have originally realized. Indeed, it’s a day that may have changed the course of the war between the First Order and The Resistance, making the events in The Rise of Skywalker possible.

We now know that these aren’t just events that guests got to witness as spectators—it turns out your visit actually has a genuine effect on the timeline, particularly if you’ve braved unprecedented crowds (who have all but broken standard Disney crowd calendars) to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Thanks both to The Rise of Skywalker and new information found in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – The Visual Dictionary as well as comics and novels like Delilah S. Dawson’s Black Spire, we now know the full story of how you helped save the galaxy with a mere visit to Disneyland or Walt Disney World…

How does a theme park land affect the Star Wars timeline?

Chewbacca with kid dressed as X-Wing pilot
Image: Disney

We have to go meta for a moment to clarify something about how Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is different from just about any other theme park land out there. Disney’s goal from the beginning with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was for guests to not just be invisible spectators to a Star Wars experience—instead, they wanted to put guests right in the center of a Star Wars story where you play an active part. It’s the reason why they chose to set the land in a new world filled with original stories like Batuu (rather than somewhere more familiar but allowing less creative freedom like Tatooine, Coruscant, or Endor), and it’s why almost everything you do in Galaxy’s Edge ties into that story.

In way, you become an actual character in the Star Wars universe. Whether you dive in head first to dress up and play pretend with cast members or if you’ll just be taking in spectacle, snapping pictures in your Bermuda shorts and Mickey ears, you become part of something like a role-playing experience where you are one of many travelers who have been drawn to Batuu.

You have your choice of a number of roles you can play during your visit to the Black Spire Outpost, and all of them have effects on the larger Star Wars story. For one thing, when you play the Star Wars Datapad game on the Play Disney app, you can make choices of allegiances by aiding the Resistance, the First Order, or just make loads of credits for yourself by acting the scoundrel. There are also some subtle “hidden stories” guests can participate in via interactions with cast members and characters. The biggest story moments, however, come into play via the land’s major attractions: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Both attractions play a significant role in Star Wars history apparently.

It goes without saying, but if you haven’t seen The Last Jedi or The Rise of Skywalker, proceed with caution—spoilers will follow below.

The worst day ever for the Resistance…

Star Tours speeder flying over Battle of Crait
Image: Disney

By the end of The Last Jedi, the Resistance is not in a good place. The New Republic is dead, destroyed when Starkiller Base obliterated the Hosnian system. After a short-lived victory destroying the superweapon and a long chase, the Resistance ultimately ended up trapped on the ultra-salty world of Crait, cornered in a doomed base with the vengeful fist of the First Order bashing at the door (an event you can sometimes witness on Star Tours). Rey failed to turn Kylo Ren back to the light side, and he declared himself Supreme Leader (after skewering the half-baked former leader, Snoke). While the interventions of Rey and Luke Skywalker give the Resistance just enough time to escape, the Battle of Crait proves a catastrophic loss. By all appearances, the First Order has won the war. Even worse, Luke’s appearance on Crait required so much Force power that it ultimately took his life, leaving Rey as the supposed maybe-a-last-Jedi. Overall, things were looking pretty bad.

Here is where Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge comes in: through The Rise of Skywalker – The Visual Dictionary and Black Spire, we learn that the hobbled Resistance needs two things fast: a place to hide and new recruits to replenish their dwindling forces. General Leia sets Vi Moradi, her top spy, on the task, and Vi suggests Batuu as a potential location for the new Resistance base.

We know from other Star Wars comics and novels that Batuu was way, way off the grid. It’s about as far from the center of galactic power in Coruscant as Tatooine or Endor, wedged snug on the edge of the Outer Rim before both Wild Space and the Unknown Regions. The world has a rich and mysterious history and had once been quite popular before hyperspace technology became commonplace. Once most travelers gained the ability to “punch it” to lightspeed, no one really had any reason to stop at Batuu anymore, and the planet faded into obscurity. Over the years, it eventually became a popular haven for smugglers and even gangsters like Oga Garra—proprietor of a certain important cantina. The enigmatic collector, Dok Ondar, also set up his Den of Antiquities in The Black Spire Outpost. Other than this, Batuu didn’t see much action other than two brief visits from Grand Admiral Thrawn and Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader.

That is, until Vi showed up…

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great feature

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