A New Cantina at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge?

A New Cantina at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge?

Disney News on Parade for July 29th, 2020

Our Disney News on Parade focuses on all things Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. Let’s take a look at three major topics. You can find our podcast here on PodbeaniTunesSpotifyMyTuner, and ListenNotes. Key notes and photos are below, but you’ll find most of my commentary on the podcast.

1. New Cantina Coming to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge?

Star Wars formal website showcased a new possible new attraction that theoretically could be coming to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Here are four things you want to know.

Here is what the announcement stated:

New Star Wars: Tales From the Galaxy’s Edge Story and Cast Details Revealed: ILMXLAB Pulls Back the Curtain on the VR Experience.

“When you start your adventure on Batuu in Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge, you’ll meet some interesting, deadly, and adorable beings.

ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s award-winning immersive entertainment studio, released an exciting new behind-the-scenes video today on the upcoming virtual reality experience — revealing story details and introducing some major new characters.

“As announced in the featurette, acclaimed actor and comedian Bobby Moynihan (Saturday Night LiveStar Wars Resistance) will star as Seezelslak, a bartender with a penchant for storytelling who is central to the story. “He’s a little kooky,” says Moynihan. “Maybe being alone and not having a lot of customers has affected him…” According to senior producer Alyssa Finley, Seezelslak will tell stories and “gives you a gateway into the world of Galaxy’s Edge.” Indeed, as the Azumel tells his tales, the player will get to live out those stories in VR. But not everyone on Batuu will be as jovial…”

It goes on to say,

“In Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge, you play a droid repair technician who crash lands on Batuu after a pirate attack. In typical Star Wars fashion, you’ll quickly get swept up into a grand adventure on the outskirts of Black Spire Outpost. “Matching the look and feel of Galaxy’s Edge is our main goal,” says Steve Henricks, visual director, noting that the creative team has worked with artists and assets from the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction to ensure authenticity. In addition, the experience promises true Star Wars immersion. You’ll listen to a jukebox, play space darts, go into the wilds of Batuu and explore, and maybe best of all, hang out with porgs.”

They have overviewed their work in a video shown below.

In the video we learn of Seezelslak, who is the bartender. He is of a similar species to one who played Sabacc at the same table with Hans Solo. We see several images of this cantina from the web site.

Image by Disney.
Image by Disney.

Perhaps the most interesting concept art piece shows Seezelslak at the bar with familiar icons outside the window of the cantina.

Image by Disney.

Across the way is the ship for Docking Bay 7. Brady MacDonald conjectured in the Orange County Register that the view outside the window of the tavern suggests that this cantina sits next to Oga’s. The peculiar thing about that image is that the tower sits to the left of the Docking Bay 7 plane, not to the right.

That’s not to say that it isn’t being proposed for the space next to Oga. In truth, there is real estate next door. It stretches the space between the Cantina and First Order Cargo. The difference is that this space was originally intended to be more of a dinner theater show. In terms of culinary diversity, the dinner theater would be a better offering. In terms of profitability, another lounge would make them much more money, especially when the facility will be open much longer in the day.

Image by Disney.
Image by Disney.
Image by Disney.

Only weeks after Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opened at Disneyland, Bob Chapek apparently approved moving forward on building out that food & beverage space. But nothing has formally been said of it since. And with attendance and the pandemic, it’s hard to imagine that anything went far.

Two Other Insights:

First, Why is this being played out so much by the official Star Wars site? This experience plays out on the oculus, a virtual reality headset that Facebook purchased a few years ago. But it hasn’t had a lot of games. Why this experience on this device now?

Second, why not focus on the ever mysterious Oga. Oga’s is a similar peculiar alien like persona that’s already popular. And yet, most guests don’t even know what she looks like. just as well, since Julen Rakab once noted “I should mention right now that Blutopians don’t like to be stared at.

They think she was the bartender in this image:

Image by Disney.

But she’s actually a female blutopian. Thanks to Wookiepedia we know that she looks more like a combination of a walrus and a squid.

Image by Disney.

She seems to be a character that could be as interesting as Seezelslak. Indeed, Hondo Ohnaka himself noted:

I have a wonderful relationship with the owner, Oga Garra. She puts all of my drinks on my tab. And then I tear up my tab. It’s such a good arrangement. At least for me. I am not sure how she feels about it.

The scene inside Oga’s. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

NOTE! Nothing is confirmed about this being built. But what makes this story interesting is that rather than presenting a film, a virtual gaming experience is introducing this setting to audiences, and allowing them to give voice as to whether this is something they would want to go on.

2. Rise of the Resistance Boarding Pass Changes

For guests with a Disney Park Pass reservation to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the attraction will continue to have limited availability accessible through the My Disney Experience app virtual queue. Starting Friday, July 24, guests will have an opportunity at either 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. to join the virtual queue. These two opportunities are intended to give guests more flexibility in their planning, and are also a way to further support physical distancing. 

Here are more details to be aware of before you arrive:

  • First, make sure you have the My Disney Experience app. Once you enter the park, log in to your account at one of the distribution times (10 a.m. or 2 p.m.).
  • Once you have logged in, select “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Virtual Queue” on the home screen. You will be able to view the current status and next steps for joining the virtual queue. 
  • The app will indicate when there is no availability for a specific distribution time. Some guests may join backup groups. 
  • As long as your My Disney Experience account is linked to park tickets for you and the others in your group, you can enroll everyone in the virtual queue at the same time. In order to give as many guests as possible the opportunity to join the Resistance, each guest can enter the virtual queue no more than once per day.
  • Make sure push notifications are turned on for My Disney Experience so you will be alerted if your group is called to return. You’ll have up to an hour from the time of the alert to go to the entrance of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. 
  • Guests who are enrolled in the virtual queue will be able to see an estimated return time indicating when they may be called back to experience the attraction. This time may change throughout the day, so continue to check the app for updates. Also, the tip boards around the park will display the boarding groups that have been called back.
  • Please note that joining the virtual queue does not guarantee the ability to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. 
Rise of the Resistance. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

3. TEA/AECOM Annual Report & Galaxy’s Edge

Here are some highlights from the report:

  • Magic Kingdom was the top park in the world with 5% growth resulting in an attendance of 20,663,000.
  • Disneyland came 2nd world wide at 18,666,000, but its growth was flat.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom came in 3rd and saw a 1% increase, at 13,888,000
  • Epcot came in 4th with flat attendance at 12,444,000.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios came in 5th with 11,483,000, which is a 2% growth.
  • Universal Florida follows at 6th with 2% growth at 10,992,000
  • Universal Islands of Adventure is 7th with 6% growth at 10,375,000

Here is what the report stated about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge:

At Disney’s domestic parks, the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge introduced a richly themed new land that takes participatory immersion to new levels, and showcases what Disney does best, immersing guests in storied lands, rides and attractions.

Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The land and its pioneering rides, Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, have received accolades, including TEA Thea Awards. Disney’s domestic park attendance numbers were flat overall for 2019 compared to the previous year which could be attributed
to the operator emphasizing its yield strategy by prioritizing the quality of guest experience and per caps. This operating model has emerged over the last decade and will likely serve operators well moving forward, with respect to capacity limitations in parks and the continued need to stay competitive.

Young Storm Trooper. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

More Star Wars!

If you haven’t had the chance already, “What We Love” series as we’ve visited all of the parks and more world-wide. Be sure to check out the others if you haven’t yet. This has been a labor of love to share all of these as we have gone through this pandemic where Disney parks world wide were shut down.

You can find What We Love About Disney’s Hollywood Studios podcast/post here.

Meanwhile, let us mention our free Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge guide. It is the most comprehensive insight into this amazing land. Whether you’re visiting Disneyland or Walt Disney World, you want to check this out before heading to this wonderful place. It’s full of interactive maps, videos, images, stories and more. You can find out more here!

J. Jeff Kober

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