by Disney Magic Diva
One of the things Disney does best is to immerse yourself in a story. Whether it’s an attraction, resort, dining experience, or walk down Main Street, U.S.A., when you experience Disney, you truly EXPERIENCE it. Nowhere is this more evident than in Galaxy’s Edge. Everything about your visit to Black Spire Outpost in Galaxy’s Edge makes you feel like you REALLY HAVE traveled to another world.
Before embarking on a trip to anywhere as completely foreign as another planet, it’s a good idea to do a little research. After all, there are dozens of guidebooks for your Disney trip (we recommend The Unofficial Guide series from Touring Plans). What if you were traveling to another planet? You’d surely want to read about it first. And now you can. Cole Horton’s Traveler’s Guide to Batuu is the perfect reference guide for your interplanetary travel.
You should know, though, that this book is not a touring plan type of guide for visiting Galaxy’s Edge. There are no sample itineraries, estimated wait time for attractions, or “how-to-do-it-all” type of tips. Instead, this guide, like the immersive stories of Disney, is designed to truly be a Frommer’s type guidebook for exploring Batuu. It’s written from the perspective of a traveler who is actually planning a trip to the Outer Rim of the galaxy.
Published in July 2020, Traveler’s Guide to Batuu is a fun, quick read suitable for a seasoned Jedi or a newcomer to the Star Wars saga. It’s author, Cole Horton has written multiple Star Wars books and is a contributor to starwars.com. The book is presented as a series of factoids – short snippets that provide critical information for any traveler to Batuu. It’s organized to quickly find information about a certain topic but is also easy to read cover-to-cover.
As you would expect in a guidebook, Traveler’s Guide to Batuu addresses everything you’d want to know when planning a trip to another planet. How to get there. Climate. Types of species. Landscape. Shopping. Food and Entertainment. There’s even a brief reference to the Halcyon, the name of the starcruiser which will be the inclusive “Star Wars resort.” It includes a Quick Reference Guide which offers helpful phrases, suggested packing lists, and a sample landing permit. Throughout the book you’ll find tips on essential and practical information – everything from parking your spacecraft or speeder to who to tip (or is it bribe?) to stay out of trouble.
The book opens with a marvelous map that captured my attention. As a visual learner, I find studying a map for a few moments can do more to help me understand a new environment than reading pages and pages of text. This map of the galaxy was fascinating! You’ll see exactly where planets we’ve heard about in the Star Wars story (and dozens I’ve never heard of!) are located. Hoth. Dagobah. Tatooine. Kessel. There’s even Starkiller Base. And Mandalore. I have a feeling I’ll be referring to this map over and over again as I learn more about Star Wars stories.
If you followed Disney’s construction of Galaxy’s Edge, you probably know a little about the backstory of Batuu. It’s located on the outskirts of the galaxy and is seen as a hiding place for smugglers and others looking for a place to go unnoticed. This book provides much more detail about the history of Batuu and helps create an even more immersive experience. It also helps explain the Star Wars timeline and why Resistance and First Order troops may be seen walking around Black Spire Outpost.
The next section of the book is entitled “Land Port.” According to the book, this is an area that’s more industrial than other parts of the Outpost, but still an important stop. Here you’ll find Black Spire Station where speeders can obtain fuel or repairs. This was such helpful information to me. In my trips to Galaxy’s Edge, I was always struck by the “junk” areas we walked past. Reading about the backstory makes me appreciate the detail even more, and definitely increases the immersive experience.
Star Wars fans are very familiar with droids and may have heard of Droid Depot in Galaxy’s Edge. Traveler’s Guide to Batuu includes a comprehensive Droid Buyer’s Guide to help you decide which droid is right for you.
One of the most popular experiences at Galaxy’s Edge is building your own lightsaber. While Disney fans know Savi’s Workshop is the place to go to make your custom-built lightsaber, this book helps you see Savi’s as an actual traveler to Batuu would. From the humble storefront, it looks like a salvage company. But listen closely to the “gatherers” who work here, and, the guidebook says, you may pick up on the possibility that something more is happening. The author writes:
Though I’ve spoken many times to the Gatherers about the Force, on my last visit I saw something I never expected. Standing inside the shop I heard a traveler tell the Gatherers, “I’m here to gather some parts. Savi sent me.” With this seemingly ordinary request, the traveler was whisked away. A bit later, this traveler emerged wearing what looked to be a lightsaber on her belt!
The most extensive section of the book focuses on Merchant Row. The guidebook says the “must-see” attractions here are Oga’s Cantina, Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, and Bubo Wamba’s Milk Stand. Who could argue with that?
The background information on Oga Garra was extremely interesting. She yields great power and the author makes it clear you do not want to get on her bad side. Oga gets a cut of every business transaction that occurs on the Outpost. Travelers shouldn’t have any problems, though, “as long as you don’t stick your nose where it doesn’t belong (whether you have a nose or not!).”
There’s a full review of Oga’s Cantina including comments about various cocktails, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic libations. You’ll find information about the famous DJ, R-3X, and his previous adventures as pilot droid RX-24 aboard Star Tours.
Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities is a unique shop full of eclectic artifacts. The background provided by this book helps make sense of it all. While it’s certainly interesting to just look at everything on the walls in Dok’s shop, it’s so much more meaningful to have a simple understanding and history of this collection.
You may have heard about blue and green milk available at Bubo Wamba’s Milk Stand. But do you know where it comes from? This book explains it in just a couple of paragraphs.
There is also an extensive section devoted to The Market. Here you’ll find shops offering toys, clothing, creatures, trinkets, food, and drinks. There is a page or two describing each shop as well as more in-depth reviews of the food. (Read Soarin’ Diva’s review of Docking Bay 7 here.)
In the section about The Spaceport, you’ll learn about Ohnaka Transport Solutions and its owner, Hondo Ohnaka. His shipping company owns a fleet of vessels, including the famed Millennium Falcon. The Spaceport is a “bustling center of activity” and if you’re looking for a place to park your spaceship, take on supplies, or hire a crew; this is the place to go.
Finally, Traveler’s Guide to Batuu offers insight into the people (and species) you may see on the Outpost. Most importantly, you should know that most travelers want to maintain privacy, and don’t want to attract attention. You could see First Order stormtroopers, Resistance supporters, or bounty hunters roaming the Outpost. Don’t cause trouble, the author cautions, and you should have a pleasant visit.
Traveler’s Guide to Batuu is a delightful book loaded with fascinating tidbits to enhance your visit to Galaxy’s Edge. It’s a fun, quick read sure to make your trip more meaningful and immersive. Whether you’re a casual fan or a die-hard Star Wars geek, I’d recommend it for anyone planning to visit Galaxy’s Edge.
Are you ready for your trip to Batuu? Just contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel and she’ll help coordinate everything you need for a successful off-world visit.
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