Disneyland unveiled its new “Star Wars Land,” Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on May 31. The park expansion is the biggest in Disney history, opening first in Anaheim, then in Orlando, Florida on Aug. 29. First announced in 2015, Galaxy’s Edge aims to transport guests directly into the Star Wars universe, not just with the merchandise and rides, but also interactive experiences like lightsaber building and roleplay-like elements.
You walk into the park, and suddenly you’re in a very palpable galaxy far, far away.
“Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge redefines what a Disney experience can be. It invites exploration and discovery, where we can become characters in the Star Wars galaxy. More and more, our guests want to lean into these stories; not just be a spectator,” said Walt Disney Imagineering executive Scott Trowbridge in a press release. “We’re giving them the opportunity to do just that in this land, with a new level of detail and immersion. This is an opportunity to play and engage with your friends and family in a shared experience that will forge lifelong memories.”
To fully capture the Star Wars universe, Disney Imagineers visited Lucasfilm archives to look at old concept art and Star Wars set location photos, and traveled to countries like Morocco and Turkey to find real-world references that could be adapted for a planet off the beaten path from the main trilogies.
Galaxy’s Edge takes place on the distant outpost planet of Batuu, a once vibrant trading post that has since fallen to disarray. Woven with Star Wars storytelling past and present (and potentially future), the land features homages to every era of the franchise — from the original trilogy to the prequels, from the sequel trilogy to the spin-offs and animated TV shows — as well as elements unique to Batuu.
If you’re a few light years away from California, Polygon had the chance to preview the land to give you an up-close-and-personal look at Galaxy’s Edge. Check out the photos below, and for a deeper dissection of the layout, read our Star Wars Land map walkthrough.