Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge transports Disney park guests to a galaxy far, far away that’s full of sweet, sweet merchandise. But there’s a key difference in the chachkies at Galaxy’s Edge that separates it from other Disney staples like parking trolly miniatures or Olaf plush toys: everything for sale has a good chance of showing up in other Star Wars movies, TV shows or video games.
Players of Jedi: Fallen Order who’ve gone to Savi’s Workshop in Galaxy’s Edge have already noticed that they can recreate the park’s custom lightsabers to a T. Brad Schoeneberg, head of Global Merchandise Franchise work for Star Wars and Marvel, told Polygon at a press day for the new Rise of the Resistance ride that the lightsabers in Fallen Order are only the beginning of the land’s transmedia storytelling.
“Jedi: Fallen Order was the first of other place where you see those stories. It’s not just Savi’s. It’s everything in the land,” he said during a Galaxy’s Edge media event. “We have product that showed up in episode one of The Mandalorian. I just sent another round of product to The Mandalorian for season 2. So you’ll continue to see everything embedded in this broader storytelling.”
It’s different from, say, Navi’i bow and arrows that are featured in Avatar (2009) and then end up in the Pandora section of Animal Kingdom. Instead, the merchandise starts at Galaxy’s Edge and then finds its way subtly into other Star Wars media.
“Working with Doug Chiang [Vice President and Creative Director of Star Wars] on the design of the lightsaber pieces for actual Savi’s, we designed them a lot in-house with the parks merchandise designers and teams. Then we’d go meet with Doug and team. We’d all make changes together with Lucasfilm story and bring them back,” Schoeneberg said. “Finally when we got to the last set of pieces, Doug said we’re going to need all the 3D copies because we plan to use these in the video game. You’ll see them in content coming up and see them kind of take on new life.”
Where will we see staples of Batu exactly? And what goods will make their way into other properties? Schoeneberg was tight-lipped about the details, preferring the experience to be an organic one for fans.
“It’s that type of discovery that in some cases we’ve just decided to let guests discover on their own without constantly telling you what we did,” he said.
Disney parks are already chock full of Easter eggs, from the famous Hidden Mickeys tucked away in attractions to homages to staples of retired rides making appearances on existing ones. Galaxy’s Edge continues this tradition in a way that’s uniquely Star Wars, pushing past the physical park space into Lucasfilm and Disney’s never-ending galactic storytelling.