Celebrate 'Life Day' with Disney's New Galaxy's Edge Guidebook

July 22, 2020, 4:40 PM · Like for many other theme park visitors, my first visit to Walt Disney World was a Christmas present. But when the present is a vacation, what gets wrapped?

Parents have been devising creative solutions to this challenge for a generation. Now, for future visitors to the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts - especially one who are Star Wars fans - Disney presents the Traveler's Guide to Batuu.

Written as an in-universe guide to visiting the planet we know as the home of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, the book would be the perfect tease for a Disney theme park visit that included a trip to the wildly popular new Star Wars land.

What makes this 144-page book so fun is that it never acknowledges that it is a guide (or, let's face it - a commercial) for a theme park. It treats Batuu as a real place, in a real universe... that needs a real guidebook for eager galactic travelers. The only acknowledgement of Galaxy's Edge is printed on the obi that wraps the hardcover volume. (That's not a Jedi reference, BTW. An obi is the publishing term for a partial dust jacket.)

Created by Cole Horton, an author of multiple Star Wars books who writes here as "Eloc Throno, Galaxy Adventurer," the book kicks off with a Galaxy Map that shows the location of Batuu, on the edge of Wild Space between Endor and Ahch-To.

How to get there? Sure, you could pay big money to park your starship on one of the docking bays in the Black Spire Outpost, but the author suggests that you try one of the "remote landing fields" outside of town, instead. (If you don't get the joke, I suggest asking Mickey and friends. Or a Pixar pal.)

But the author recommends visiting Batuu via a trip on the Halcyon, the Chandrila Star Line galactic starcruiser that casual Disney fans on Earth might know better as Walt Disney World's upcoming "Star Wars hotel."

From there, Traveler's Guide to Batuu offers a detailed recap of all the sights in the land, including the shops, ships, droids and landmarks within. You'll read about the backstory of the Black Spire Outpost, the politics of the First Order and Resistance that occupy the planet, and the food and drink served in Oga's Cantina, Ronto Roasters, Docking Bay 7, and the Milk Stand.

The book does not give away all of the land's secrets. Remember, it's an in-universe guide to a planet and not a guide to a theme park land. So references to Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Rise of the Resistance and Savi's lightsaber building experience are oblique, at best.

But there are some gems to discover here. Look for the Quick Reference Guide near the back of the guide to learn about "Local Holidays," for example. You will learn about "Black Spire Day," which celebrates the founding of the Outpost on every May 4. (Get it?) And there's a "Batuuan Harvest Festival" each autumn, during which Oga will spread Batuu's "golden lichen" on special drinks and dishes. (Get ready for special menu items?)

The best reveal for long-time Star Wars nerds like myself might be the third holiday listed. Yep, it's Life Day.

Brought back to canon by The Mandalorian on Disney+, Traveler's Guide to Batuu confirms that the focus of the long-lambasted "Star Wars Holiday Special" will be celebrated in Galaxy's Edge. "Festive decor can be seen throughout Batuu and at the close of Life Day everyone gathers around the black spire to sing songs and spread good cheer to one another," the author writes.

So I'm getting my wish after all? This just might be the best Star Wars Christmas present ever.

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Traveler's Guide to Batuu lists for US$19.99 at bookstores and is available for $17.99 from Amazon (affiliate link to benefit Theme Park Insider).

Replies (4)

July 23, 2020 at 9:09 AM

On a similar note, I always wondered why Universal never created a service for parents to have them mail "acceptance letters" to their kids from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry prior to a trip. Maybe they thought of it, and JK said "no".

July 23, 2020 at 9:20 AM

@NCPete - When (or if) Universal opens a Harry Potter hotel, then sending Hogwarts letters would make sense. This has been rumored as a possibility for Epic Universe (and was a Blue Sky concept as part of IOA), but I wouldn't be surprised if UC is waiting to see how the Halcyon works before green-lighting their own immersive hotel experience.

July 23, 2020 at 11:29 AM

@NCPete: Without causing a huge fuss, pretty clear how Rowling has her strict beliefs and rules which was a key reason she and Disney didn't click. But I agree, that would have been a fun touch.

@Russell Meyer: I do wonder if Universal is holding back on major Potter stuff to let the current furor over Rowling die down a bit before promoting her works again.

July 23, 2020 at 11:54 AM

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