The Stories and Cosplay on Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser

February 26, 2022, 5:44 PM · While both new and old characters inhabit the Halcyon, it's their stories and interactions with guests that drive the narrative to form the backbone of the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser experience. This article will detail the specific stories and plot points guests will witness onboard the Halcyon, so be warned... SPOILER ALERT.

As I noted when detailing the characters aboard the Halcyon, there are some overarching stories experienced by all guests. The stories are revealed primarily through scenes played out during critical assemblies in the Atrium and during both dinner services in the Crown of Corellia Dining Room. Guests who are taking a more passive approach to the Galactic Starcruiser experience will probably view these scenes like a theme park show. In fact, the Day 2 grand finale is very much like a theme park stunt show with abundant special effects and high energy action.

Additional stories and scenes are played out throughout the ship through Bridge Training. In fact, because of the limited space on the Bridge, the training exercises have to occur over the course of a number of sessions throughout Day 1 of the voyage. Since only a couple dozen people can take in this experience at a time, each Bridge Training session will be slightly different to account for all of the stories occurring throughout the ship. The story of our Bridge Training session included Captain Keevan and SK-620 retrieving plans to help the Resistance, but others encountered different scenarios that would ultimately frame their experiences down the road.

The important thing to note during this entire experience is that you are in control of the decisions, and those decisions have consequences. As I noted earlier, I had initially intended to side with the First Order, but because I also participated in activities and completed missions for Resistance characters, Lt. Croy wasn’t as interactive with me as he was with other guests who fully committed to their roles on the ship. This is definitely one of those situations where being a “fanboy” can pay dividends with more personal and intimate experiences, though even guests who want to dabble on both sides of the aisle can find plenty of rewarding and memorable experiences.,

The main narrative of the story revolves around Sammie, who is the recently appointed ship’s mechanic. If you follow Sammie early in Day 1, you will quickly learn that there’s more to this guy than he’s leading on. Sammie wants to work for the Resistance, and even helps Chewbacca board the ship while hiding him and other cargo on the ship after the First Order boards. After the First Order boards the Halcyon, Lt. Croy and his Stormtroopers begin interrogating passengers and crew to determine their intensions aboard the vessel. The First Order is destined to root out any Resistance Scum, and to gain any advantage to earn a victory for Supreme Leader Kylo Ren.

Guests can even spot Lt. Croy in the Crown of Corellia Dining Room during dinner on Day 1 as Gaya performs her showstopping set. While Lt. Croy is clearly smitten with the Twi’lek diva, Gaya plants subtle messages in the lyrics of her songs revealing her true purpose on board. Gaya is seeking freedom for her people who have constantly been enslaved around the galaxy, and that coaxium is the true source of power (not just energy). She is also in search of a mysterious “singing stone” that was taken from her planet.

At the end of Day 1, Sammie seemingly betrays the resistance by turning over Chewie and SK to the First Order. This surprising plot twist after a whirlwind of events – all while guests are still trying to get their bearings and figure out how things work in this revolutionary experience - caught virtually the entire ship off guard. Of course those following the First Order path know that “Evil will always triumph, because Good is dumb” (Mel Brooks), and would have no doubt seen Sammie’s turncoat swing coming.

However, we soon learn that Sammie is actually working to infiltrate the First Order to uncover their plans for their Hyperdrive tracking technology (used in The Last Jedi to track down and annihilate the Resistance fleet), and the betrayal offered a convenient opportunity to spy on their inner workings. The First Order begins to suspect Resistance activity building on the ship as the Halcyon arrives in orbit of Batuu and establishes a blockade around the ship. This is when the lightbulbs start turning on, and guests who have been to Galaxy’s Edge on previous trips to WDW or Disneyland now understand what is going on in the background of Rise of the Resistance. The main story arc of the Galactic Starcruiser dovetails perfectly with that of Galaxy’s Edge’s landmark attraction in the middle of Day 2. For passengers of the Halcyon, a ride on Rise of the Resistance takes on new meaning as the attraction now becomes an extension of the Galactic Starcruiser experience instead of just a cool, state of the art, multi-system ride with a three-hour wait (getting Lightning Lanes for the ride also helps to improve the seamlessness of the transition between the Halcyon and activities on Batuu).

The story further integrates with aspects of Galaxy’s Edge when you ride Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. Your performance on the attraction actually makes a difference now as the coaxium you collect for Hondo finds its way back on board the Halcyon. In fact, we participated in a Day 2 bridge scenario later in the day where we supported Hondo in bringing the coaxium to our ship under the nose of the First Order. The stories continue on Batuu for visitors from the Halcyon as guests can complete Datapad missions and retrieve items from Black Spire Outpost to further your individual storyline. Guests are given special pins to wear while touring Batuu so it’s clear to CMs in Galaxy’s Edge that you have slightly different motivations and reasons for visiting, and they work to further the story - one CM at Oga’s told us that the Stormtroopers make fun of Lt. Croy when they come in for a drink.

When returning to the ship on Day 2, the action and storylines accelerate at a rapid pace. Guests following Raithe Kole will find themselves working to find and steal a sacred Twi’lek jewel hidden in the ship’s compass displayed in the Atrium. Fitting with his Han/Indy character, Raithe pulls a switcheroo by placing a facsimile in its place on the compass, convincing enough that if you didn’t know the switch was made, you would never know it happened.

Guests following Sammie might find themselves in the Engineering Room or the Cargo Hold trying to conceal various items or characters from the First Order or moving them around the ship while hiding from the watchful eye of Lt. Croy and his legion.

When Rey boards the ship, the pace and intensity increase even more.

We were summoned to the Lightsaber Training Pod because a piece of cargo had been brought onto the ship during our journey back to the Halcyon from Batuu. When we entered the space, there were crates in the middle and Rey arrived hurriedly at the behest of the Saja to investigate the cargo. We learn from Rey that the cargo is actually a Holocron containing ancient Jedi teachings. We were encouraged to search our feelings to connect with the Holocron, and it soon opened to reveal a holographic Yoda dispensing words of wisdom. While guests can hear Yoda during the Savi’s Lightsaber building experience (one that gave me chills when we first visited Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland back in July 2019), and again during Lightsaber Training on the Halcyon, in this even more intimate setting, guests can see Yoda through a very convincing holographic effect.

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During dinner on Day 2, the story takes a bit of a back seat as guests experience a Taste Around the Galaxy, but just when you think you have a moment to unwind before the scheduled Galactic Celebration, alarms go off around the ship ordering everyone to mobilize to their muster stations in the Atrium. Lt. Croy announces that Supreme Leader Kylo Ren was on his way and would quickly blot out any Resistance activity on the ship. Our epic adventure is about to reach its climax and all of the characters we have met throughout our journey are present to tie their individual stories into a final battle for supremacy of the ship. This is where Rey reveals herself publicly to the ship and the First Order and brandishes the extending Lightsaber Disney Imagineers revealed last fall (no you still can’t buy one or even hold one). The technology, coordination, and integration of different effects during this incredible performance is rich with layers upon layers of detail. What I saw and appreciated in the finale is undoubtedly very different than what other guests who had been following different storylines may have appreciated. It’s a massive stunt show, but still intimate and personal at the same time because of all the events leading up to this epic conclusion. There are Easter Eggs galore throughout the performance and callouts to specific guests by name who made critical choices along the way. To describe it any further would be a disservice to its epic-ness, so here it is in full.

After the grand finale, guests get a moment to catch their breath and give a well-deserved standing ovation to the actors, performers, and crew members that made the finale so rewarding. Then it’s time for a literal cherry on top as guests can enjoy desserts in the Crown of Corellia Dining Room. For those who were following the peripheral Ouannie and Sando storyline, the dessert party has an extra layer of pixie dust as the pair perform the song they had been composing together during the voyage – a more metaphorical cherry on top of the greater Star Wars stories.

There are dozens and dozens of other stories, scenes, and experience on board the Galactic Starcruiser, and I guess one complaint guests might have is that you’ve paid upwards of $6k, and you couldn’t possibly have experienced everything, so you need to do it again, and again ($$$$$$). I think that’s a pretty valid criticism, because I know as I was exploring all of the stories and talking with other guests, I was constantly getting the feeling that I was missing out on things that were more important than what I was experiencing. Every guest is going to arrive on the Galactic Starcruiser with certain expectations and visions for how the experience will play out, but it’s very likely that decisions that you make along the way will change your intended path. Unless you’re rigidly making decisions with prior knowledge to induce a specific outcome, your story will inevitably take some unexpected twists and turns, some of which may leave you wishing you had made a different choice. However, that’s just the way life goes sometimes, and even when you’re paying this much for a premium experience, things might not go exactly according to plan. I think guests need to be prepared for that. Certain story paths are going to be easier to follow if you are disciplined about it, but part of the uniqueness of this experience is that it is organic as it changes and evolves around you while experiencing it. Everyone’s choices are going to be different and the nature of the Galactic Starcruiser makes it impossible for you to see everything or even half of the potential story arcs. It’s a choose your own adventure novel that’s 1,000 pages long when you only have 48 hours to read it and where you can’t just flip back when you don’t like what you see on the next page.

Ultimately, these stories deliver with deep, rich, and relatable characters, familiar situations and dialogue, as well as that grounding within the Star Wars Universe that so many critics were concerned about when early publicity was released about this experience. The Galactic Star Wars is an epic adventure playing out in real time with hundreds of people where everyone is experiencing it from a slightly different point of view. Your involvement in the story is completely within your control, and my impression is that the guests who allowed themselves to be immersed in the adventure were the ones having the most fun. You don’t necessarily have to dress up or fully commit to role playing. In fact, we had intended to do that by creating character names and backstories before arriving, but ultimately, we were so awestruck by the characters and stories that we ended up being Russ, Stefany, and Zach, which didn’t impact our experience in the slightest.

More Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser Coverage:

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Replies (3)

March 2, 2022 at 10:37 AM

Russell thanks for the great write ups. And thank you Robert for sending Russell!

This experience seems really fun. I thought it was over priced until I saw how many Cast Members were working during the experience. This seems like a caliber of catered entertainment and service that most of us are not accustomed to.

March 1, 2022 at 1:12 PM

You're right RumbleMike. The number of Crew Members and character performers is really at a level unmatched in the theme entertainment space. There are over a dozen individual character performers scattered around the ship, along with dozens of other Crew Members who cater to guest needs throughout the experience in addition to those who are unseen backstage (chef's, makeup artists, directors, stage hands, maintenance, tech staff, and troubleshooters). You're probably talking about 100 or more people making this experience run at any given time.

The uniformed Crew Members were everywhere, and had extensive backstories (somewhat like CMs in Galaxy's Edge, but stepped up to another level) so their interactions with guests were more authentic and immersive than you would find in DHS. There is a level of service here that is beyond what you typically find elsewhere at WDW. The only places I can think of that would compare would be our dinner at Victoria & Albert's Chef's Table (@$750 for 2 people for 3+ hours), Flying Fish Chef's Counter (@$300 for 2 people for 2+ hours), and The Festival of the Lion King Tier 1 Dining Package at Animal Kingdom (@$250 for 3 people for @2 hours). So when you put it in those terms @$5k for 3 guests over 32 hours (44 hour total runtime less 12 hours when we slept), you're getting a per person per hour cost in the same range as other WDW VIP and exclusive experiences.

March 4, 2022 at 6:29 AM

Looks cool, have fun rich people.

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