We learned how Disney’s Star Wars hotel fits into the canon
The Disney World Resorts Star Wars Inn, the Galactic Starcruiser, officially opened its doors on March 1st. Guests are booked for two nights where they participate in a new live theater performance that allows them to choose to support the First Order or resist. According to Lucas film, this story itself is canon – an interim part of the sequel trilogy – and the overall Star Wars storyline.
Just like Disneyland’s Star Wars, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the Galactic Battlestar has its own plot twists that recur groundhog day style every time a new group of guests comes on board. According to Lucas film’s Matt Martin, senior creative director of story and content for the franchise, this allowed his team to fill in a few gaps in the wider timeline and even expand into new areas such as novels.
Much of this lore pertains to events taking place on the planet Batuu, the setting of Galaxy’s Edge. This makes Starcruiser the key to unlocking even more narrative content inside the theme park.
“Because we were working on Galaxy’s Edge and Starcruiser around the same time,” Martins told Polygon, “we were able to create story threads in Galaxy’s Edge that could pay off [on the Starcruiser]. So, as a passenger, you will go to Batuu in your own vehicle, and even if you have been to Batuu before, it really recontextualizes a lot of things.”
[Ed. note: What follows will spoil key narrative events that take place at Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.]
For example, one of the highlights of a trip to Batuu is meeting Chewbacca, who roams the park, interacting with guests, and generally keeping a low profile. In the canon novel, he meets with Vi Moradi, the master spy for Princess Leia Organa, who is working to find a new base of operations for the Resistance. As it turns out, the reason Chewbacca is on Batuu in the first place is that the guests aboard the Battlestar—with the help of its captain, Riola Keevan—answer a distress call and rescue him from an escape pod.
Some props and attractions in Galaxy’s Edge also receive additional context. As a reminder, in the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers attraction, which allows guests to take control of Han Solo’s pride and joy, you are asked to steal some powerful coaxial fuel from the First Order. At least some of this fuel is returned aboard the Battlestar to Gaia, the Twi’lek entertainer who holds court there. A TIE Echelon parked in the First Order area at the edge of the galaxy also appears in the Starcruiser storyline. The guests will help capture the ship, which is equipped with the miniature hyperspace tracking technology shown in The Last Jedi and help smuggle it to the Resistance agents.
Galactic Starcruiser also contains a thru-line that directly connects the two sequel films.
When Luke Skywalker burns the Jedi tree at the end of The Last Jedi he thinks he’s destroying all that’s left of the written history of the Jedi Order. But in the last moments of this film, we see that Rey smuggled at least some of this material aboard the Falcon. However, one part of this collection was missing: Yoda’s own Holocron, a high-tech archive of his teachings. This object somehow makes its way aboard the Battlestar, where the guests open it with Rey’s help and then end up smuggling it off the ship into the hands of the Resistance in waiting.
But Disney and Lucasfilm didn’t stop there. They made the ship “Alcyone” 275 years old. This means he’s ascending to the Supreme Republic, which puts him right at the center of Lucasfilm’s latest narrative push. The ship itself is a bridge of sorts, connecting Star Wars history through time through novels, comics, and more. Guests can learn about this story by interrogating a droid named D3-09. She appears on screen as Alexa-like artificial intelligence built into every cabin.
“She’s been there all along,” Martins said. “So [the Halcyon] has a legendary past and we needed to develop that past. And since this is Star Wars, we have the opportunity to tell some of those stories. So we were able to translate it into books and comics and make an entire comic book series based on Halcyon which is just a nice by-product of working on Star Wars.
Finally, last month it was announced that Halcyon is also playing a role in connecting the original trilogy with the sequel trilogy Star Wars: The Princess and the Scoundrel. Beth Revis’ new novel will tell the story of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa’s honeymoon aboard a ship.
“Ahead of their most desperate hour,” reads the official Penguin Random House description, “the soldiers of the Empire have scattered across the galaxy, retreating to isolated worlds vulnerable to their influence. How serene traveling from world to world, one thing becomes absolutely clear: the war is not over yet. But as danger approaches, Han and Leia find that their best battles are fought not alone, but as husband and wife.”
Star Wars: The Princess and the Scoundrel is available for pre-order and will be published on 16 August. Star Wars: Galactic Battlestar is already being booked, with trips starting at around $5,000 for a family of four. You can read more in our review.