Research and Inspiration for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Filed in: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Star Wars, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

Walt Disney Imagineering designed Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to be the definitive Star Wars experience, where everything in the land is authentic to that famous galaxy far, far away. Inspiration for the planet Batuu and its Black Spire Outpost came from all manner of sources, including film sets, archival documents, real-world locales and more.

  • The architecture of Black Spire Outpost is anchored by strong geometric forms. Many architectural components are fragmented and asymmetrically arranged, with thick walls often coated with heavy, ancient plaster to tell the story of a mysterious land with a deep, rich history. Imagineers studied real-world locations to learn how time and history reveal themselves in architecture and environments through erosion and visual wear.
  • Imagineers traveled to Morocco and Turkey to experience ancient open-air markets. These sources provided Black Spire Outpost’s authentically earthy, yet otherworldly environment. Going beyond typical tourist locations, Imagineers took thousands of reference photos for street market items, cracks in the pavement, ancient stonework, landscaping, lighting, electrical wiring and much more to shape the look and feel of Black Spire Outpost.
  • In search of aesthetic inspiration for the land, Imagineers visited George Lucas’ private archives in California to study original Star Wars concept artwork created by Ralph McQuarrie, the artist who helped Lucas shape the look of the Star Wars
  • To ensure authenticity in their designs for the land, Imagineers also visited active Star Wars film sets in the United Kingdom. There they studied everything from ships to costumes to props to help inform their work on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
  • Walt Disney Imagineering worked closely with Lucasfilm to develop key design criteria that ensured every detail felt like it belonged in the same style and tone of the production designs from Star Wars
  • In developing props and other décor for the land, Imagineers tried whenever possible to use pre-1980 materials to best capture the look and feel of the props in the first Star Wars films (“Star Wars: A New Hope” was released in 1977).
  • For the merchandise in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disney designers were granted access to the Lucasfilm archives to study original props and costumes. In many cases, a digital scanner was used to take 360-degree images of these artifacts; 3D prints were used to create new molds for items replicated as merchandise.
  • The Meal, Ready-to-Eat snack kit offered in Resistance Supply is based off Luke Skywalker’s kit from “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.” Disney used set references as well as recollections from actor Mark Hamill (who played Luke Skywalker in the film) to select many of the snacks featured in the kit.
  • The robes and tunics available for purchase in Black Spire Outfitters are inspired by the costumes for Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker in “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith,” as well as Rey from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
  • The Custom Astromech Units available in the Droid Depot are inspired, in part, by young Anakin Skywalker tinkering with C-3PO in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.”
  • The guest experience inside Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers draws some of its inspiration from episodes of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” where Jedi padawans learn how to build their own lightsabers.
  • The toy Stormtrooper seen in Toydarian Toymaker is modeled after the prop young Jyn Erso holds in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
  • To deepen the immersion of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Imagineers worked with Skywalker Sound to create more than a thousand sound effects that play throughout the land. Skywalker Sound provided classic sounds from the Star Wars films and collaborated with Imagineers in creating new audio effects specifically for Batuu.
  • Trees in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge were selected for distinctive bark, wild character and smaller or pendulant foliage. These characteristics suggest the trees are survivors and descendants of a cataclysmic event that claimed the ancient forest and left the large petrified spires now scattered across Batuu.


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