Changed again its Galaxy's Edge menus, Disney has

October 30, 2019, 6:40 PM · After switching the entrée names at its Star Wars-themed restaurant in Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios earlier this month, Disney has changed those names again. And this time, the switch is in effect on both coasts.

Disney made the first change to eliminate the use of in-universe animal names for the meat served at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, replacing them with the more familiar Earth names. Disneyland had kept the original names, but a new menu now at both resorts uses a combination of in-universe and traditional Earth names.

Here are the changes from the original Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo entree names:

Since Yobshrimp already had "shrimp" in its name, Disney is just going with that. For the chicken (aka "Endorian Tip-yip" in the Star Wars universe) and pork (aka "Kaadu"), Disney now has added the corresponding Earth names to dish. But "Shaak" now has been rechristened "Batuuan Beef" to appease confused diners.

Disney had left room in its Galaxy's Edge backstory to acknowledge Earth's presence in the Star Wars universe, given that the story takes places "in a galaxy far, far away," rather than in an explicitly fantastic world. Indeed, the specific backstory for Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo leaves says that Chef Strono "Cookie" Tuggs would receive shipments of food for the restaurant from far-away planets, perhaps even Earth. So it's not a total cave that the menu would include Terran names. Heck, there's Coca-Cola in the land, after all... even if its brand names are written in Aurebesh.

(This is where I recycle my comment that the conceit of identical food and beverages being known by different names in completely separate cultures on different planets flips a great bit from Douglas Adams' The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, in which every known intelligent civilization in the universe has developed a beverage with the phonetical name "gin and tonic.")

The new menu names attempts to find a balance between retaining an immersive theme for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge while not alienating (sorry) visitors who just want to figure out something to eat, without having to work their way through Star Wars mythology to do it.

And, hey, at least the prices have remained the same.

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Replies (37)

October 30, 2019 at 6:52 PM

And still no Pangalactic Gargle Blaster, that would be an iconic drink.

October 30, 2019 at 7:08 PM

A H2G2 land might be the best thing to get me to buy a ticket to the London Resort, should it ever actually be built.

October 31, 2019 at 8:02 AM

It would be, at the very least, mostly harmless.

October 31, 2019 at 8:50 AM

This seems like a much more reasonable compromise to keep the dishes on theme while providing enough ingredient details to avoid repetitive questioning from guests.

October 31, 2019 at 10:51 AM

"For the chicken (aka "Endorian Tip-yip" in the Star Wars universe)" Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't remember Endorian Tip-yip in any of the movies, which makes it just as irrelevant as the planet Batuu itself.

"Indeed, the specific backstory for Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo says that Chef Strono "Cookie" Tuggs would receive shipments of food for the restaurant from far-away planets, perhaps even Earth." Ok...

October 31, 2019 at 12:10 PM

Hey, the Imagineers are trying. Other than the milk and the cantina, the Star Wars films didn't exactly give them a lot of F&B material to work with here. This ain't Harry Potter.

October 31, 2019 at 12:28 PM

It's also not Tatooine, Hoth, Coruscant, Alderan, or Naboo, which gives the Imagineers a completely blank canvas to work from. There were no limits on what they could create for Batuu, and sadly they had to dumb it down for the guests that didn't want to play along. At least they've come to a place somewhere in the middle where perhaps guests on both ends of the fanatical spectrum can be satisfied.

I still think Disney needs to do some more behind the scenes work to help guests visit Batuu. They can't expect everyone to walk in ready to role play, having spent hours at home honing their "own personal Star Wars Story" in advance of their visit to Galaxy's Edge. They need a social media team helping guests plan their visits as well as in-character CMs inside Galaxy's Edge working with guests to make their stories become reality. Most guests to Galaxy's Edge are not going to be seasoned role players, but might be drawn to it if given the proper help and inspiration. Instead, Disney is leaving guests to their own devices where even the long-time role players are not sure what to do on Batuu. They really need to take a trip down to Knott's and see how it's done at Ghost Town Alive or talk to former fans of Star Trek the Experience to see how to pull off a fully immersive role playing environment.

October 31, 2019 at 1:21 PM

People don't want a blank canvas for Star Wars. There is zero emotional connection with Batuu, that's why the response hasn't been what Disney wanted or expected. You think it's sad that they had to dumb it down, I think it's sad that Disney didn't create something that fans wanted. The simple reason they changed the menu names is that people weren't buying the food, if you want to call it dumbing it down, so be it.

The people WILL role play if it's something they're invested in, and Batuu isn't it. They don't need a social media team to help guests, they just needed to tap into 40 years of fandom. As for Knott's, people already know what Ghost Town is all about, they didn't need to be spoon fed the story. Star Trek Experience was a 'take you by your hands' experience that is more similar to Rise of the Resistance.

October 31, 2019 at 1:49 PM

I disagree Disfan. Trying to recreate movie sets would have only led to even more frustration and complaints than they're getting now. Also, trying to create a land based on a singular Star Wars location or multiple locations logically and realistically juxtaposed would have been next to impossible.

The path Disney set for Galaxy's Edge is sound, but they're not committing the necessary resources to really make it as successful as it could be. Creating Batuu was the most prudent decision to increase longevity of the investment, but in order for guests to be attracted to something completely foreign, even within the Star Wars Universe, Disney has to do some hand-holding. FWIW, the rumors are that the menu names were changed to reduce order times slowed by questions from guests, not because people weren't ordering the food (though my own empirical evidence does suggest that Docking Bay 7 was not all that crowded on my visit in August).

There are people role playing on Batuu, but it's mostly because they're experienced and dedicated to the craft. Disney set up a construct and expectation where guests can live their own Star Wars stories, yet doesn't really help them out. That's where the disconnect lies, and I don't think it would take much for Disney to bridge that gap.

There was more to Star Trek the Experience than the 2 rides. Quark's should have been case study #1 Imagineers should have researched in building Galaxy's Edge.

October 31, 2019 at 2:39 PM

Happy to respectfully rebut your arguments. Universal recreated the movie sets of Harry Potter pretty successfully, which Disney tried to emulate, but the Wizarding Worlds were all based on the original movies. Disney went for the detail, but not the familiarity. I don't understand how recreating movie sets would lead to more frustration. The frustration, or more accurately, the 'don't care' attitude that I see is because of lack of familiarity.

Yes, it would have been hard to juxtapose different locations, but people would forgive it if it were compelling enough. People don't care if Snow White lives next to Peter Pan in Fantasyland. Disney was intent on making it a single immersive location, but IMO deviated too far from what's worked for 64 years in Disneyland. People might think that Hoth next to Tatooine doesn't make sense, but if you have two awesome attractions, IMO people will accept it.

"Creating Batuu was the most prudent decision to increase longevity of the investment" Yes, that might be true if the sequel trilogy was as good as the OT or even the PT, we will have final proof when the last movie comes out. And no, I don't judge success by box office numbers, you can judge it by fan reaction, toy sales and yes, attendance at Galaxy's Edge.

You can make the argument that Batuu is the 'one land fits all' choice, but it's really hard to care about a land if you've never seen it in the movies. In 20 years, kids who grew up may think Galaxy's Edge is nostalgic, but why not tap into the ready made nostalgia now?

"There are people role playing on Batuu, but it's mostly because they're experienced and dedicated to the craft." The regular guest isn't dedicated to role playing, they just want to enjoy the experience, and having a land that already evokes an emotional connection makes that so much easier.

Tony Baxter said that when planning the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland, management didn't want to pay licensing fees to Lucasfilm and instead wanted to come up with their own character. So Tony did a presentation with 'Kentucky Buck' and demonstrated how ludicrous that concept would be. The ride would be pointless without Indiana Jones, because visitors would already bring their own emotional connection to it. Galaxy's Edge/Batuu is sort of like Kentucky Buck.

I understand customers to Quark's did role play, but because they were Trekkies, much like the die hard Star Wars fans. Galaxy's Edge has little for the die hard fans besides the Millennium Falcon.

October 31, 2019 at 2:35 PM

Some very good and salient points there. I definitely see both sides of the coin, but thinking about the recent trends in theme park and attraction design, along with the finicky nature of Star Wars fans, made creating a multi-location Star Wars land very difficult to pull off. Harry Potter is able to pull it off because the core locations of the books and movies lend themselves to real world application and the juxtaposition of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, linked by the Hogwart's Express was already tailor made by J.K Rowling. Perhaps they could have pulled off a Hoth area right next to Tatooine, complete with a Mos Eisley Cantina - probably the feature every guest really really wanted - but even if you take those and add a third location to the mix, it doesn't even scratch the surface of the filmed Star Wars universe. Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley make up nearly 30-40% of the scenes within the Potter series, where even the most visited locations in Star Wars make up less than 5%.

The regular guest might not be dedicated to role playing, but that's the construct that Disney has attempted to create, but doesn't follow through with sufficient resources to guide and interact with guests. WWoHP sets up a similar role playing construct that honestly doesn't come close to what Disney has established. However, Universal is able to lean on the wands to bridge the gap and are far more accessible to the average guest who might be less hesitant to do traditional role playing. Disney has Savi's and Droid Depot, but the lightsabers and droids (and Datapad app) don't match the brilliance and simplicity of the interactive wands.

There's plenty for die hard Star Wars fans to do, and there a small, but growing, group of guests that are attempting to establish a regular presence on Batuu. Certainly there are going to be guests turned off by role playing along with those simply not comfortable with the idea. However, those guests in the middle that need just a little help to get into the interactive world are the ones under served by Galaxy's Edge. I think Disney was hoping that guests like the regulars at Quark's would show up and do the work for them, but that takes time. In the meantime, Disney would be served trying to jumpstart hesitant, but more hard core fans into more active role playing inside Galaxy's Edge to help liven the place up. Again, it wouldn't take much as the foundation is there for a truly interactive experience is already in place.

October 31, 2019 at 2:37 PM

>>(This is where I recycle my comment that the conceit of identical food and beverages being known by different names in completely separate cultures on different planets flips a great bit from Douglas Adams' The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, in which every known intelligent civilization in the universe has developed a beverage with the phonetical name "gin and tonic.")

In babylon 5 it was Hungarian Meatballs

October 31, 2019 at 2:47 PM

Disfan and Russell ..... nice back and forth. All very interesting thoughts from Star Wars fans.

But .... what about the rest ? Do you think that most people who visit SWGE are hard core fans ? I think not. They are like me, and can take it or leave it. I really like SWGE for what it is, another land in a bigger park called DHS. Nothing more, nothing less.

They could have called it what they wanted, and I'd have still been impressed by what they have done.

Harry Potter works a little better, but I think that's because the lands are small compared to Batuu.

I for one don't want to role play, it's not in my DNA. It's a place I'll always walk thru when I visit DHS and that for me, and I'd wager most who visit, is all we need.

October 31, 2019 at 2:52 PM

Russell, the recent trends in theme park design you mention is total immersiveness like Harry Potter, as you said, HP lends itself more easily because it is closer to the real world. As you said, Star Wars is multi-location, I can understand the logic of 'one land fits all', but it just doesn't have the emotional connection, and I think Disney underestimated the importance of it.

There's plenty of die hard Star Wars fans to do? Yes, like looking at taxidermied trophies of a Tauntan and other creatures, a miniature Sarlacc in a terrarium, watching a Dianoga appear in the drinking water tank, and looking at rusted out landspeeders.

October 31, 2019 at 5:42 PM

Makorider, I agree that there are people who would be impressed by the detail and art direction of the land without being Star Wars fans. But even non fans probably know Darth Vader and have a passing familiarity with the original trilogy that's been around for 40 years. Even those non fans would probably wonder where's Darth Vader? And who's this new guy dressed in black? Disney doesn't want fans to take or leave it, they want fans who will be excited about it.

October 31, 2019 at 7:25 PM

Good points all! Here’s some Tip-yip for thought: what if our heroes visit Batuu in Episode IX?...

October 31, 2019 at 7:42 PM

Both Russell & Disfan make great points....I also think Makorider makes a an important point as well in that many (general theme park) guest will happily accept the land for what it is. It's not a stand alone park, it's a land in a park with other lands / attractions (especially in DLR' case).

The HP comparisons, while valid....still are apples vs oranges simply because of the source material.

Overall I think one of the biggest "issues" is that the premiere attraction isn't open yet (and the fact that the park only has one other ride). If ROTR is everything it's hyped up to be & ROTS has good audience reception (as the ride will "coincidently" open the same month the film does), we'll get a better indication once the land is "complete".

The discussion about a generic SW land with familiar settings vs creating an original location the the SW universe can go on forever with both sides making valid points & arguments for & against the other.

Ultimately, it is what it is....Batuu is here & as I've said before, Disney will adjust based on how the see fit (like the menu changes).

That being said, I'm glad they took a risk & I'm happy with the direction they went in. After ROTR opens & the marketing hype dissipates.....perhaps people will look at Batuu differently...or not.

The saga will continue...

November 1, 2019 at 10:59 AM

@Disfan - It's true that the trends in theme park design and attractions are moving more towards total immersion, but I disagree with you that WWoHP achieves that. WWoHP doesn't offer guests the opportunity to interact with real characters like Galaxy's Edge does. Sure, you can wave around wands while standing on medallions as if you were a real wizard, but it's not like you're playing out a story on the stages of Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley. Guests are just passing through and playing some games with CMs helping you out if you run into trouble getting the tech to work. Aside from the Conductor, there are no other characters from the HP series to talk to and interact with. You can see them on the rides, but if you want to talk shop with Hermione, Ron, Harry, Dumbledore, or Hagrid, you'd get more relevant retorts from the static snowman guarding the Butterbeer cart.

Galaxy's Edge offers a less familiar environment, but one that can grow and change since it's not tied to the stringent rules and expectations of a best selling novel or blockbuster movie (assuming Batuu doesn't appear in Rise of Skywalker or other upcoming SW projects) . The design and construct allows Disney to make adjustments and tweaks to the experience based on the guest reactions and overall performance of the land. It allows guests to directly talk to characters - while Darth Vader is most decidedly greater than Kylo Ren, I think you're underestimating the popularity/recognizability of Anakin's grandson (as an aside, I dressed as Darth Vader for Halloween last night, and had a couple of youngsters call me Kylo Ren and another call me a black Storm Trooper). It also gives Disney the freedom to introduce, remove, and alter the characters and interactions within the land. For me, it's this real human interaction that should be selling Galaxy's Edge, but is the one place where Disney is falling short in delivering Batuu.

Perhaps Makorider is onto something in his assertion that most guests are not looking for this level of interaction. However, that's how Disney has set up Galaxy's Edge, and while I agree with Disfan that Batuu lacks that emotional connection found at WWoHP (and what would likely be present if classic movie locations were presented instead of a never-before-seen planet far from charted space), I would argue that those emotional connections are in the on-stage characters, and just waiting to be unlocked by guests. I assert that if Disney would simply amplify the level of character interaction within Galaxy's Edge, it would significantly impact guest reactions to the land, and increase the level of acceptance of Batuu within the Star Wars Universe. You don't necessarily need guests to role play (though if there are a lot of RPs in the land, it reduces the need for on-stage, paid talent), but you do need the on-stage characters to put on a show for guests to see and get involved with. Guests connect emotionally to the WWoHP because we saw human characters interact and live in the same places we walk through in the theme parks, so we replicate their actions walking through Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley - the wands help to facilitate this as we "cast spells" throughout the land. However, Batuu is a completely foreign land where we're given clues of how characters lived and interacted on this far-off planet, but see little direct evidence of what exactly they did here. Unless you happen to catch a glimpse of the characters walking through, you're unsure what people do on Batuu. Again, this is where I think the construct of Galaxy's Edge sets up a contradictory premise where the villains (Kylo Ren and Storm Troopers) are more visible, interactive, and welcoming than the heroes (Chewie, Rey, and Vi), who barely offer a passing glimpse, and are stern/off-putting because of their urgency to get across the "stage" as quickly as possible. If Disney would simply tweak the construct of Galaxy's Edge and allow for more intimate interactions (as I noted in my review it does seem like they are making adjustments to Rey and Chewie), and create more on-stage characters that go beyond what CMs are willing to perform beyond the menial tasks assigned according to their role (shopkeeper, janitor, server, etc...), it would have a significant impact. Disney tried to do this on the cheap, because they saw UC could pull it off with WWoHP and their CMs creating peripheral characters on their own, but failed to recognize that Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are able to create that emotional connection without additional deep-rooted human characters. The Falcon is the only emotional anchor on Batuu among a foreign landscape, even though it is vaguely familiar with definitive Star Wars motifs (Savi's is incredibly emotional too, but is behind a pretty significant paywall). UC creates the emotional connection through the staging, music, and the wands (along with passing reference to characters not actually seen in the flesh). Disney doesn't have that luxury with Galaxy's Edge, and their decision to make the land as realistic as possible (eliminating the iconic music and the absence of long-dead icons), the only tool they have to get guests to buy in emotionally is through the on-stage characters.

If you look at the faces of guests who get to interact with Galaxy's Edge characters directly, you can see the glimmer in their eyes. Everyone else who's just passing through, trying to ride MFSR as quickly as possible and buy their souvenirs, that connection is not made. Disney has to reach out to these guests in order to sell Batuu and convince them that this is a real place within the Star Wars Universe. ROTR will help some with the appearance of all the major characters from the current trilogy, but Disney still needs to invest more in the live characters and refine their interactions with guests to maximize their impact.

November 1, 2019 at 11:20 AM

As someone on another thread excellently summed up "What's "true" Star Wars to one fan is not to another." As part of this fandom for 40 years, I can attest how vastly different feelings can be and the scores of fights about what is the "true feeling" of the franchise. Russell brings up that even if Disney had done some Hoth/Tattooine world, there still would be fans complaining "They stuck too much to the original movies, they should have gone for something more original." Trust me, there will NEVER be any way to appease this fandom no matter how great the product is (just see the reaction to The Last Jedi).

November 1, 2019 at 1:15 PM

I just can't wait to finally try some of these items next week!

November 2, 2019 at 2:35 PM

Russell makes the argument that if Disney would only add more character interaction to the land, people would be more invested in the experience and it will be a success. We shall see when Rise of Skywalker comes to the theaters. All the buzz I've been hearing is that it is a hot mess. Watch the George Lucas lookalike reviewing the ROS trailer on Youtube, among other videos. Also toy sales have been tanking. Just because young kids recognize Kylo Ren only means that he is the latest character in the media spotlight, nothing more than that.

Russell said, "I would argue that those emotional connections are in the on-stage characters, and just waiting to be unlocked by guests. I assert that if Disney would simply amplify the level of character interaction within Galaxy's Edge, it would significantly impact guest reactions to the land, and increase the level of acceptance of Batuu within the Star Wars Universe. If you look at the faces of guests who get to interact with Galaxy's Edge characters directly, you can see the glimmer in their eyes."

Yes, people love characters, kids have glimmer in their eyes when they see Mickey. But Mickey does nothing more than pose for pictures and sign autographs. As you said, Wizarding World doesn't have the main characters and yet it is the success that Disney is trying to copy. WW doesn't need the actual Harry and company because people already know the story.

As you said, people don't know the story of Batuu, and that is the problem, even if you have more character interaction, there still is no story. Disney expected people to 'live their own Star Wars experience". How, by making up your own story? Even if there is more character interaction, they would have to make up a story about Batuu. Otherwise, what are they going to do, tell about their adventures on Crait? Oh, you could get Finn and Rose to tell about their almost romance and how they rescued animals on Canto Bight.

You're expecting people to feel connected to a place they've never seen before and has no back story. Even if you have more character interaction, there still is no story to tell.

I do agree on one thing, more characters in general would help. Seeing Greedo and a few more recognizable creatures and some droids like BB-8 and R2D2 roaming around would definitely help, but I guess you can't have R2D2 roaming the streets because he's waiting in the Droid Depot for someone to pay $25,000 to take him home, that would ruin the continuity of the story.

Disney promised more characters and droids and it didn't happen. The odd thing about being in Oga's Cantina is that the real cantina was full of creatures, Disney seems to think that having creatures living in tanks where the bartender is drawing the cocktails from is enough.

November 4, 2019 at 7:46 AM

See Disfan, you point out a lot of the things that demonstrate why Imagineers need to put more people power into Galaxy's Edge. You're absolutely right that Disney made up the planet of Batuu, and just left guests to their own devices to "live their own Star Wars story". Let's face it, the average guest is not the creative type (if they were, they would be building theme parks, not paying to visit them), so most of them are going to need some hand holding to make Batuu work the way Imagineers envisioned. Disney talked about creating these backstories and other histories through comics, web series, and other avenues to allow the setting of Galaxy's Edge to become more relatable. However, they're really hard to find, and even those that have taken the time to seek them out prior to their visits to Batuu say that they're not terribly inventive or original (I have not personally taken the time to read through the content, but will likely invest some hours to learn more about Batuu before our next visit to Galaxy's Edge). WWoHP has that instant connection because you'd have to have been living under a rock to not at least have heard of the settings and backstories of both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. UC was able to piggyback on and leverage the popularity of the books and movies, while Disney chose to shun the most popular aspects of Star Wars for their land to create this more obscure, but more flexible and modular application of the IP's motifs.

That's why I think Disney needs to invest more time and money into the basic premise and story of Batuu. That means taking digital comics and novels about the planet out from behind paywalls, working with social media teams to develop stories within the setting of Batuu (i.e. create a "Guide to Batuu"), and having more on-stage characters to engage with guests directly to make a day inside Galaxy's Edge more of an all-day show instead of guests walking around dumbfounded as to what they're supposed to do aside from riding, shopping, and eating. Like I've said, the foundation is there, but as you've said the story of Batuu is completely foreign to most guests. Disney needs to recognize that simply letting guests wander around and figure things out for themselves is not enough, they have to educate them and facilitate guests making their stay on Batuu as fun as possible. It sounds like that's what Disney will be doing for guests staying on the Halcyon, but even guests paying regular park admission should be welcomed to the Black Spire Outpost and integrated into its story through character interaction and allowing them to play along or simply watch it unfold in front of them. This is where looking to a interactive attraction like Ghost Town Alive would really help out. The on-stage actors probably play out the same scenes every single day, but because they integrate different guests into the story, it changes the dynamic, making a new and fresh experience every time. Galaxy's Edge doesn't have that as the characters play out the same handful of vignettes over and over with little apparent continuity or chronology through the day - plus guests have no idea what's happening at any given time. If guests knew there was going to be an interrogation of potential Resistance spies at 10 AM, an attempted sabotage of First Order computers at noon, and a final battle at 4 PM, it would get guests invested into what's happening on Batuu. The Datapad app tells guests to pick a side as they are given missions, but there are no real-world consequences as you progress through the campaign. What if you were singled out for leading the sabotage because of your prowess, or were chosen to stand alongside Chewie and Rey for the final battle because you collected the most credits? Those connections and stories are never told, and guests are left with dead ends and empty promises with the Datapad and cold character interactions that don't have any sort of ramifications as the story on Batuu unfolds throughout the day.

See, there's huge potential to what Disney has built here, but they haven't taken that next step to really make it work to hammer home the story they are trying to tell. WWoHP involves stories people have seen dozens of times, and while I'd argue that the lack of character interaction makes it come off a bit generic, there's at least stuff for guests to do, particularly if you pay for a $50 wand. Imagineers have significantly overestimated guests' willingness to do their homework before showing up on Batuu, and because of that, they have to fill in those blanks (maybe even a daily newspaper or some other way to tell guests what's going on) to allow guests to untap the limitless potential of Galaxy's Edge.

FWIW, I think referencing toy sales is a hollow argument. The retail economy is completely different today than it was 4 decades ago when Star Wars first came out. Toy sales are down across the board, not just Star Wars, so to say that the franchise has lost popularity simply because toys aren't selling doesn't fly.

November 4, 2019 at 11:35 AM

Russell, I applaud you for your creative thinking. Knott's Ghost Town Alive is an interactive story that unfolds throughout the day, and if I understand correctly, this is what you are suggesting, along with guests being made up to speed by comics, web series and other resources.

Yes, it might work out for the long term, but Disney has act now to do what you are suggesting, and I don't see that happening, maybe you have other information. Also, most visitors to Batuu are not going to research beforehand. As you said, most of the content on Batuu is not even that good. Most visitors are going to come with their preconceived notions of Star Wars, and for most people, that's the original trilogy.

Disney had these delusions of grandeur, thinking they were creating the future of immersive theme parks, allowing guests to 'live their own Star Wars story', but just the fact that people are debating about it, along with low attendance, means the experiment fell short. What Russell is suggesting will take a lot of effort on Disney's part and also on the visitor's part. Do people really want to work that hard when they go to Disneyland? I don't think so.

Yes, toy sales are generally down from years ago, probably partially due to video games, etc. But I haven't heard any positive buzz about the recent Triple Force Friday, and when I went to the Disney Store last week, there was a big display for Frozen 2, and a small display on the side for Rise of Skywalker.

"So to say that the franchise has lost popularity simply because toys aren't selling doesn't fly." Again, we shall see when Rise of Skywalker comes out. Yes, the first two movies in the sequel trilogy made bank, but it was only because people wanted to see what was going to happen to the original characters they love. The sequels basically destroyed the OT characters, making them losers, and now you expect Rey to become the new Skywalker.

There is no character arc for any of the new characters, and if rumors prove true, Rey is adopting the Skywalker name without actually being one, that's how they explain the 'Rise of Skywalker'. Even if the rumors are not true, there is no way that they can give it a satisfactory ending, because the new characters just have not been developed. If you want a future of the franchise and Galaxy's Edge, it has to be based on characters that actually have a story arc that you actually care about.

In the trailer, C3PO is saying good by to 'his friends', Rey, Finn and Poe. How are they his friends? They hardly (or never) had any scenes together! So they are going to build up this 'friendship' in the last movie? People are going to see through that.

November 4, 2019 at 11:35 AM

"No character arc for any new characters:"

Finn goes from a stromtrooper who just wanted to run and hide to a tough Resistance fighter.

Poe starts as an arrogant guy who thinks he knows better than his commanders, humbled when his "big plan to save the fleet" ends in disaster and now realizing how strategic retreat and planning isn't cowardience.

Rey, a scavenger in vain hopes of a parental reunion that will never be, accepting her greater destiny as a new generation of Jedi.

Kylo, an angry Vader wannabe who took out his own father now wrestling with whether or not he truly made the right choice.

Sounds like good arcs to me to pay off in the final film. Contrary to the opinon of the haters, many Star Wars fans actually enjoyed Last Jedi and don't feel it "ruined" things anymore than the prequels did.

November 4, 2019 at 12:04 PM

There will always be difference of opinions on any topic. Haters, as you call them, just wanted the characters and story they love to not be destroyed.

It's great that you enjoyed the Last Jedi, but Finn and Rose's mission to Canto Bight was totally pointless and unnecessary. Rey was already powerful with the Force, able to influence minds, wield a light saber, pilot ships and defeat Kylo Ren with little training. I actually like the characters themselves, I just don't think they were developed to their potential.

J.J. Abrams said that the last movie will complete the story for all 9 movies. Star Wars already had an ending in the Return of the Jedi. In the sequels, all the accomplishments of the OT were made meaningless, because they were back in the same situation. And now the Emperor is back, meaning that Darth Vader's sacrifice was pointless. Darth Vader was supposed to be the chosen one to bring balance back to the Force. But I guess he didn't because the 'Force Awakened'.

November 4, 2019 at 12:01 PM

Well Disfan, if you go off of recent reports of crowds at both WDW and DLR, the attendance concerns at both resorts are a thing of the past. It seems the SoCal AP blackouts were predominantly responsible for the quiet summer in Disneyland, and the fall Halloween and EPCOT F&W Festival season at WDW has been as crowded, if not more so than previous years. There still may be guests holding out for RotR out there, so let's not proclaim that lower than expected attendance over the summer means that Galaxy's Edge is a complete failure.

I do think amplifying the interactive elements inside Galaxy's Edge will not be easy, but I believe that's what Disney should do if they want it to perform the way Imagineers envisioned. Perhaps this is all a numbers game, as has been rumored since the land debuted back in May, and Imagineers are gathering information to deliver a big "I TOLD YOU SO" to their bean-counter bosses. I go back to what Iger said about Disney being able to open Galaxy's Edge without any advertising - It was so brash and cocky, yet so wrong on multiple levels. Disney appears to have extended that hubris down to the execution of the land, half-a$$ing it instead of layering in all of the character and charm that Imagineering designed. A theme park is not about picking and choosing items off a menu. You can't simply dump key aspects and expect it to perform as intended. I've read endless stories about what Imagineers had conjured up for this land to make it stand apart from anything else that had been done before, yet here came the Disney execs, chopping budgets and staffing to save the bottom line.

It confounds me that a company would spend over $1 billion on something, but when a creative person says that you need to invest another $100k to optimize the execution, it's immediately cut. There are times to save and pinch pennies, but when you're trying to be ambitious and set a new standard, you've got to shoot for the moon (or Death Star). I think in the short term, Disney is not losing much from their rumored cost cutting, but I do feel that they may be limiting the potential and future of grand projects like Galaxy's Edge. It's obviously impacted your opinion Disfan, and I've read plenty of other opinions about Batuu that share the same discontent. I've been a Star Wars fan for as long as I can remember, so while Galaxy's Edge is not exactly what I wanted it to be (and is far from what Imagineering promised years ago), I still see the glimmers of potential and a hope that creativity wins the day over dollars and cents to make Galaxy's Edge a long-lasting and successful addition to the parks as well as a template for future improvements within the industry as a whole.

November 4, 2019 at 12:13 PM

Thanks for your input Russell, but as I said before, we shall see when the Rise of Skywalker movie and also, the Rise of the Resistance attraction comes out. We'll have a much better idea in 2020. I never said that Galaxy's Edge was a complete failure, but you seem to want to dismiss lower attendance, toy sales, fan response, buzz, and executive shuffling in Disney and Lucasfilm. Take it for what you want.

November 4, 2019 at 12:18 PM

Once again, just shows how folks are going to always disagree as Star Wars has a fandom that can be way more judgemental on what is "true" Star Wars than even Trekkers.

Like Russell, a Star Wars fan almost my entire life and handled scores of backlash for liking the Ewoks, the prequels and others and never wavered in my love for it. It just shows how for every person who insists "TLJ destroyed the franchise," there's another who will talk of how it took it in a bold new direction.

(although will agree the Canto Bright sequence could have been majorly cut down and hopefully ROS avoids such filler).

And actually, there was no "ending" to Jedi as the Expanded Universe of novels showed how the Empire still stuck around for a long time, more conflicts and eventually the mess of the Vong, Chewie dying and Han and Leia losing a son to the Dark Side. And many fans wanted the new movies to continue off of that which would have led to its own backlash.

Once again, there is never, EVER going to be satisfying some fans which in a way just shows how powerful Star Wars is in our culture.

November 4, 2019 at 2:05 PM

So Mike, you've piqued my interest. You seem to be a Star Wars fan familiar with the EU, which I'm not, I'm mostly familiar with the movies and somewhat the video series. I liked the Ewoks, but felt they could have been done better, the prequels were ok except for Jar Jar, the boring trade negotiations, Midichorians, and bad dialogue. But the general story of the prequels was good.

So you think the sequels took Star Wars in a good direction? You think that rehashing the same situation and rendering the original story pointless is a good thing? Maybe J.J. Abrams will pull off a miracle, but I'm not holding my breath.

I'm not trying to put your opinions down, I just want to know your take as a fellow Star Wars fan. I agree that no matter what, some fans will be disappointed, but IMO trashing the old characters for new characters with less of a story arc (not going to say no story arc as you pointed out) was not the way to go.

November 4, 2019 at 2:57 PM

Again, what one fan considers "true" Star Wars, another does not.

As for "repeating storylines," that was a key issue with the EU which kept going over and over on plot of "revived Empire creating superweapon that makes Death Star look weak" so not shocked the new films used that. It shows how the Empire was too large to just die overnight and how some actually preferred its "order" to the Republic. I do like how it all worked as it makes sense Republic dismissed First Order as just a minor threat and not realizing how they were creating a new power because all you have to do is look at history and see how this cycle repeats over and over. How so often, a "great victory" just paves the way for a darker period years or decades later and does seem to make it worhtless.

The awesome Knights of the Old Republic game is set 4000 years in the past with Sith and Republic at war. Jedi Jolee Bindo has a great speech on how "everyone thinks this will be the ultimate final conflict but guess what? It won't be, there will always be something like this no matter what, it never truly ends." I really think showing how, for all his good efforts, Luke couldn't hold back the Dark Side was a bold move and showed how the fight against opression and hate never truly ends at all.

However, I think we can spend all day and longer debating the films and ignore how this site is about theme parks more with neither of us changing our minds so perhaps best to just agree to disagree before we make this a 100 comment rant on "what the movies should have been."

November 4, 2019 at 4:21 PM

I know almost nothing about Harry Potter, and nothing was familiar about it, yet I had a great time exploring the Harry Potter lands and rides at Universal and Islands of Adventure. It was new for me, and guess what, I didn't run out and buy a wand, read a Potter book or rent a Potter movie either. I simply had fun. Wasn't the Universal tag line "...where you can Ride the Movies"?
I am a fan of Star Wars, but I don't care about role play at all when I visit. I just want the same fun and excitement at Disney, albeit different, as I had at Universal. I think most people want a similiar feeling from Star Wars when they visit also- "Ride the Movies".

November 4, 2019 at 5:10 PM

Mike, thanks for enlightening me, I can't disagree with anything you said, however, if they were going to go the 'evil never dies' route, I wish they did it without making the original characters into losers. How was it handled in the EU? If you want to end it here, I'll agree.

November 6, 2019 at 11:21 AM

Mike W you forgot a few more important character arcs:

Snoke: the foreboding extremely powerful villain whom we know nothing about...to the dead foreboding extremely powerful villain whom we still know nothing about.

Han Solo: the once hero if the rebellion that has apparently abandoned his family and friends to continue a life of smuggling and degeneracy...to dead trying to redeem his abandoned son after a lifetime of neglect.

Luke Skywalker: the hero of the entire galaxy who redeemed Darth Vader and defeated the Emperor by his unwillingness to give in to the dark side and kill his own father...to the cowering recluse who also abandons his family, friends and the Jedi philosophy after finally giving in to the dark side and attempting to murder his own nephew. Dies force projecting himself across the galaxy to momentarily distract said nephew.

November 6, 2019 at 11:17 AM

I'm with you on Snoke Daniel, but you're way off the mark for the other 2 characters. You seem to forget that a generation has passed between ROTJ and TFA. There are a few scenes in both TFA and TLJ that indicate there's more to the OT character arcs than what we see on screen. Han and Leia obviously have a strained relationship, possibly divorced. We're not told why they separated or why Ben/Kylo Ren was estranged, but it's clear there's a lot to the family dynamic that could not be told prior to Han's death. With his family broken, he went back to what he knew, which was smuggling, which IMHO is refreshing given what Lucas did to his character in the Special Edition of ANH. Han is a scoundrel by nature, groomed by what we see of his younger years in Solo. Certainly, JJ could have probably spent and hour or more of TFA tying up the loose ends of Han's character arc, but the scenes we do get seem to do a decent job, particularly his attempt to rescue his son from the Dark Side.

Luke's arc is far clearer, and I think will be crystallized in the Rise of Skywalker, which appears to dive a bit into the Knights of Ren. Luke did not kill his father, he stopped short recognizing that do so would only lead to the Dark Side. Not only did Luke redeem his father, but he redeemed himself as he saved the Galaxy. The scenes of Luke and Kylo Ren in TLJ are told in flashback and from two different points of view, so we don't know exactly what happened between the 2 other than Luke had started a school to train the next generation of Jedi and somehow felt that he failed in doing so and attempted to undo it. He never turned his back on the Jedi Philosophy, going as far to take up residence at the Temple and trying to preserve the Sacred Texts until Yoda's spirit reminded him that the books meant nothing (and questioned if he even read them) and that the Legacy would live on within future Jedi. There are theories that Luke was already dead before Rey visited (or at least prior to his ghostly appearance on Crait), which I'm guessing will be cleared up in the final installment of this trilogy. Luke has quite an arc already, and while he's not the focus of current trilogy, he's made the full progression from skeptic to Padawan to Jedi to Master to Teacher to (presumably) guiding Spirit just like his mentors. It's a very redemptive arc that grant you does have some holes (mostly between ROTJ and TFA), but is very clear and believable for the character.

November 6, 2019 at 11:39 AM

@ Russell

So basically Hans arc is a complete reversal and undoing of his character in the OT. How is that at all a good progression of character? Its the opposite. And Han is not a scoundrel "by nature". When confronted with saving himself or his friends he repeatedly chooses to stay with his friends and risk his life for them. Han demonstrates a strong loyalty and sacrifice to those he loves repeatedly. This does not lend to a character who then easily abandons his friends and family and returns to the life he rejected in the original story. It is unbelievable, rediculous and out of character.

November 6, 2019 at 12:33 PM

Han is a scoundrel by nature, which is backed up by Solo. Certainly, he'll go out of his way to save friends and family, but they've got to be pretty special in order for him to risk his own life. The bottom line is we have no idea what happened between him and Leia after ROTJ. How do you know he "rejected" his former life as a smuggler? For all we know, they had a kid who showed a proclivity to the Force, and he was sent off to learn under Luke's tutelage, leading to a difference of opinion between the couple and forcing a separation. It's just as possible that him and Leia's story ended on Endor, and he was an absentee father for all of Ben's childhood. It's very within his character to have been scared of fatherhood, choosing smuggling over changing diapers like the long haul trucker that best exemplifies his character.

We get some awkward interactions between Han and Leia in TFA on the Resistance Base, which indicate that there's a deeper story beyond a family that was torn apart by a child that turned out to be a Master of the Dark Side. I get more of an "I'm old and don't want to deal with any of this nonsense anymore" vibe from Han throughout. After separating from Leia, he seems perfectly happy reliving his glory years with Chewie, which is further solidified when they're reunited with the Falcon. Once confronted with the consequences of his abandonment of his family, he tries to put things right the best way he knows how. He tries to reconcile with Leia knowing that a rekindling of marriage (they might not have actually married for all we know) is likely not in the cards. He then tries to save his son, and reunite his family only to become the ultimate sacrifice for Ben's final steps towards the Dark Side.

This is not an undoing of his character. It's Han being Han. While he made some change throughout the OT, the core of his character is still the same (especially if you reject the Special Editions). We want to think that he settled down, had a family, and lived happily ever after when the Empire met its doom. However, life goes on, and even characters showing glimpses of change are liable to revert to their natural tendencies when faced with a shocking, emotional event (like a divorce or a child turning out to be the right hand of the First Order). Han is and always will be a scoundrel who begrudgingly makes sacrifices for the ones he loves.

November 6, 2019 at 1:59 PM

Good work Russell and many agree with you. The tie-in books do focus on things like how Leia had been on track to become leader of the New Republic...until a political rival (fed info by the young First Order) publically revealed she and Luke were Darth Vader's kids. That's like someone in 1950 Germany revealed as Hitler's child, the public turned on Leia and pushed her aside. It's why her warnings of the First Order rising were ignored and so had to break off to start the Resistance.

They also confirm much of what Russell says, Han was chafing under this mantle of being a huge hero and icon as that just didn't fit his nature and would go on some excursions on his own. Ben's fall was pretty much the straw that broke the marriage and, as Russell said, Han just felt lost so went back to "doing what I did best" with Chewie.

It also hit Luke as the Republic were even more wary of having a new generation of Jedi as "if his father fell, why can't he?" That contributed to his self-exile after it all fell apart after all. That he sacrificed so much only to see the Dark Side win again broke him hard.

As for Snoke, a major theory going around is that the new movie will reveal that the guy was nothing but a literal puppet for Palpatine to use. See how he's always about theatrics like a huge hologram and such more than real leadership. He was just some cloned figure to be the face of the First Order so no one knew Palpatine was still alive and secretly rebuilding the Empire.

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