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The story behind Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, from Anakin to Star Tours

By Bryan Young
Galaxy's Edge entrance

Batuu is an ancient place.

Set on the far edge of the galaxy, it's been a little-known outpost, distant from the machinations of the broader galaxy. During the days of pre-hyperspace travel, it was a bustling hub of trade, but once the hyperspace lanes were established it was forgotten. It was largely left unbothered during the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War, too remote or unknown to matter. This made it the ideal place for smugglers and outlaws to find refuge among the planets forests or petrified rock formations.

Black Spire Outpost might be the most well-known spot on the remote planet, and it's the setting of the brand-new expansion at Disneyland, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

But just because it's brand new at the theme park doesn't mean that it hasn't already been given a rich history in the broader Star Wars universe. In fact, Lucasfilm has been rolling out details about its history for just over a year. To make sure you are fully informed and ready to take full advantage of the new park, we've put together a narrative guide to the new-old lore.

The first mention in the canon of Black Spire Outpost was in Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story, when L3-37 told Lando he wouldn't be able to fly his way to Black Spire without her. Since that moment, it's been the subject of books and comics, all to give us a sense of the place's deep history.

It's been featured most prominently in the book Thrawn: Alliances, which gave us a window into the world at two different time periods.

During the Clone Wars, Senator Padme Amidala's handmaiden Duja was sent on a mission to discover a Separatist plot, which brought her to Black Spire Outpost and, ultimately, to her own untimely death. Her body was displayed in an open coffin in the town square, and that's when Padme found it. Naturally, as Padme was drawn further into the plot and went missing, Anakin Skywalker chased after her and shook down people all over Black Spire Outpost. In fact, he went right to Oga's Cantina and questioned the bartender.

Years later, during the Galactic Civil War, Darth Vader would be teamed with Thrawn and they, too, would have a showdown in the cantina.

Today, Oga's Cantina is a bit more peaceful, with a familiar DJ playing music. In fact, Disney park enthusiasts will recognize the DJ right off. DJ-R3X is the former pilot of Star Tours from its original run from '86 to the mid-2000s. Paul Reubens even came back to voice him. How he got to Batuu is still a mystery, but there's a story there for the future, to be sure.

Regardless of how happy a place it is now, it's haunting to think that in the history of this place, Anakin Skywalker once stood there, both as Jedi and Sith. Or to walk out into the square outside and think that there was once a handmaiden on display in a coffin just out the door.

Another familiar face you'll encounter at Black Spire Outpost is the lovable pirate Hondo Ohnaka, who first appeared on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I highly recommend that you listen to him tell you the story of how he ended up with the Millennium Falcon on Batuu in the book Pirate's Price. Hondo is voiced by Jim Cummings (Winnie the Pooh, Darkwing Duck) and he reads the audiobook, which makes it a delightful treat and bridges his time between Rebels and the sequel trilogy.

The biggest new character you'll meet is Vi Moradi. Vi was first introduced in Delilah Dawson's book Phasma. As one of General Leia Organa's top intelligence assets, Vi had been tapped to discover everything she could about Captain Phasma, and she learned a lot more than she bargained for. According to stories told by Resistance soldiers at Galaxy's Edge itself, Vi was the spy who scouted Batuu for use as a Resistance base while they licked their wounds from the battle of Crait, and that's why the First Order is so keen to find her and capture her.

This particular conflict is the backdrop under which your experience on Batuu will unfold. As you peel away layers of the story, talking to the denizens of the Outpost, the Resistance fighters there, and the First Order troops relentlessly searching for Vi, you'll be immersed in the story of Batuu in a way unlike anything you've ever seen.

It's hard to describe just how immersive the story of Galaxy's Edge really is. And you can read about it all you want, but you really have to go and experience it. There's nothing like it.