The first time I visited Batuu (Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge in Walt Disney World) was back in October of 2019. It was a day trip* and I couldn’t wait to go back. I didn’t have to wait very long, by December we made another day trip to Batuu. I was also able to go for a few hours in January of 2020, but it was too crowded and I got rained on, so I decided to come home early. That was my last trip to Walt Disney World.
MY STAR WARS STORY:
I didn’t grow up a huge Star Wars fan. I wasn’t really exposed to Star Wars until the Prequel Trilogy (Episodes I-III), which I watched in theaters. In middle school, a friend tried to show me the original trilogy and I didn’t care for it. I was more into silly comedies and buddy cop movies back then. (Some of my favorites included The Big Hit starring Markie Mark and John Leguizamo’s The Pest and of course, Face Off with John Travolta and Nick Cage).
It wasn’t until hearing about J.J. Abrams’s new Star Wars Trilogy that I decided to sit down and watch all six films. I thought, “Hey, this dude made me think Star Trek** was cool again!” I enlisted my best friend (who wasn’t really into Star Wars either) and we watched all six movies, about one per week. This time we really got into them.
Side Note: We did take one week off to watch an indie movie, The Way, Way Back which ended up biting us in the butt. It must have been after watching Empire. In one scene some kid is playing with some Luke and Leia toys and making them kiss, and someone yells, “Gross! They’re brother and sister!” Of course, this was already public knowledge, but I guess we had forgotten since we were currently watching everything for the first time. We both screamed out, “Aw, spoiler alert!” even though it was about thirty years, too late (that’s on us).
It wasn’t just the Star Wars films that got me excited, I immersed myself in the universe with The Clone Wars (which I’m re-watching now in order of events) and Rebels. I even have read a few of the Star Wars comics and books (Lords of the Sith, Ahsoka, Phasma and some others). I love the art of Star Wars, and all the amazing fan art. I even recently bought the twenty-two pound Ralph McQuarrie art book that has been in my Amazon cart for a few years. I woke up early on Friday mornings to watch the latest Mandalorian episode on Disney+ before going to work.
I may have become a fan of everything Star Wars a bit late in life, but I have become a big fan. I love that we’re now able to travel to Batuu. We can have a drink at Oga’s Cantina. We can pilot the Millennium Falcon, which I did and even got to warp us into light speed. I still haven’t been on Rise of the Resistance, which brings me to the point of this whole thing.
A NEW BATUU:
I planned to visit Disney with my girlfriend for my birthday, back in March. However, my birthday happened to be about a weekend or two after Disney World decided to close due to the pandemic. I know that they are opened right now, with limited capacity and lots of new rules (which makes complete sense). And, I hope that Disney is able to set the example of how to reopen such a large place during this pandemic.
I am a Walt Disney World Passholder and I want to go back as soon as possible. I had definitely planned to go for my birthday and at least one more time before the summer blackout took place. I just don’t want to go to Disney during a pandemic. I don’t want to have to wear a mask while I’m there and only be able to enjoy partial experiences of all the things I love.
The great part about visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is going to a new planet, Batuu. You’re able to let go and not worry about what’s going on in the real world for a few days. I definitely don’t want to travel to another planet (Batuu) and have to deal with COVID while I’m there. I’m leaving my current planet (and galaxy). I would hope that COVID hasn’t traveled that far.
The whole point of going to Galaxy’s Edge is to get lost in your own immersive Star Wars experience. The cast members are all characters, playing a role. I don’t want COVID to taint that experience. I don’t want to ride Smuggler’s Run with my mask on. I don’t want to get on Star Tours with a giant piece of glass between me and the rebel on board. I want to have a normal Disney experience, and I feel like it will be some time before that is possible. So, for now I will continue watching, reading and listening to all the things that take place in a galaxy far, far away.
* I call my first two visits to Batuu a day trip because we drove up early in the morning, spent part of the day in Epcot and the second part in Galaxy’s Edge, before driving all the way back home when the park closed.
** I do remember watching Star Trek: The Next Generation sometimes as a kid, and not really getting it. So, I guess I already thought Star Trek was kind of cool?
If you stuck around unitl the very end, you now get to enjoy this…