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Disney reveals new details for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme park

A torrent of information reveals new details about the theme park rides

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A photo from the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run ride at the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme park Disney
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

While we still don’t know the opening day for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, at least we know that Disney’s newest theme park will have blue milk. That and a million other tiny details emerged today following a press tour of the nearly-complete 14-acre facility at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California.

But the most interesting news by far comes in the form of new details about two new rides, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, as well as several spin-off properties including books and comics.]

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

When Disney released the first proper trailer for Smugglers Run late last year, we learned quite a bit about the ride. It will seat six, and be highly interactive with controls that light up all around the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. Guests will also have specific roles, including pilot, gunner, and engineer. The Los Angeles Times says that the action will feel a lot like Spaceteam, the hit mobile game that emphasizes teamwork and communication.

Now we finally know the lore for the ride itself.

The timeline for Galaxy’s Edge places the action during the sequel trilogy, and the Smugglers Run ride takes place following the events of The Last Jedi. Chewbacca has brought the Falcon in for repairs on the planet Batuu at a facility known as Black Spire Outpost. Once a flourishing trade hub, Black Spire has since turned it into a sort of interstellar Rust Belt town. The rundown facility is a contested area with a sprinkling of Resistance sympathizers and First Order forces on patrol, the perfect place to hide the most wanted ship in the galaxy.

The queue leading up to Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland Disney Parks

According to the team at Nerdist, Chewbacca left the Falcon in the care of a pirate named Hondo Ohnaka. Fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels will know that Weequay scoundrel well. Much of that backstory can be found in Pirate’s Price, an illustrated novel aimed at young adults.

Of course, just like the valet in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Hondo can’t help but take the Falcon out for a spin. His goal is to do a little bit of smuggling, and guests will become part of his crew. The queue for the ride will include a meeting with Hondo, who is being brought to life by Disney Imagineers with cutting edge animatronics. His voice will come courtesy of Jim Cummings, the same actor who has portrayed him in cartoons.

Smugglers Run’s most popular feature may actually come in the waiting line before the ride even begins. Multiple outlets are reporting that the queue will include a leisurely wait in the iconic crew cabin and lounge area of the Falcon itself. Amenities include the iconic holographic gaming table, where guests will be able to sit and take pictures until their time in the cockpit begins.

An artist’s rendering of the AT-ATs at Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Galaxy’s Edge Disney Parks

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

As amazing as getting the opportunity to take control of the Millennium Falcon would seem, Smugglers Run isn’t actually the centerpiece attraction at Galaxy’s Edge. According to the Los Angeles Times and other outlets, that mantle falls on the shoulders of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Previously, Rise of the Resistance was shown only in the context of a tram ride, a sort of It’s A Small World-style visit to a galaxy far, far away. New descriptions of the ride indicate it’s so much more than that.

The experience reportedly begins with guests being recruited into the Resistance and stepping aboard a transport ship much like the one Leia Organa emerges from early in The Force Awakens. But, on the way to their first mission, the entire party is captured by a First Order Star Destroyer and thrown into a detention center. From there guests must make their escape, along the way coming face to face with animatronic versions of Rey, Nien Nunb, and Kylo Ren himself.

The ride is said to be the single longest attraction that Disney has ever created. Guests will be on foot for part of the trek, which includes passing through a First Order docking bay featuring a full-size TIE fighter and at least two hulking AT-ATs. There will also be a portion that includes a tram ride, where guests will likely sit eight to a car in two rows of four. At certain points there will be special effects, including blaster fire and explosions.

Rise of the Resistance certainly sounds like Disney’s most ambitious ride yet, a combination of a traditional theme park ride and an elaborate stunt show. We’ll likely have to wait until opening day to see if they can pull it off without it feeling too hokey.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is coming to Disneyland Park in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida later this year.

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