More specifically…… I went to Galaxy’s Edge and cried twice before even getting into Batuu itself and then I cried probably three more times after stepping foot into Batuu. Listen: it was a very emotional day, okay?
I turned 30 earlier this month and basically spent the entirety of 2019 freaking out about it and my solution to that freak out was to plan a trip to Disney World with a bunch of friends and to try to ignore the landmark birthday by being a Star War. It ended up being one of the best weeks of my life.
I could easily write thousands of words about the entire trip down there because we had three whole days in Orlando before making our way to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There are some pretty good stories about life changing field trips to Pandora, a Frozen encounter, and some rhinos but that’s not what you’re here for and also…. I don’t think I can properly explain that last one. (Well… I can but I won’t.)
Our Batuu day started with leaving the hotel at 5:45AM in hopes of getting into the park early enough to get a boarding group for Rise of Resistance. 7:02AM is approximately when I cried for the first time that day when someone in our group snagged us Boarding Group 55 and I was so relieved that hugging him and crying a little seemed the only appropriate option. The second time I cried was when we ventured over to the Launch Bay with coffee in hand in hopes of letting the initial crush of people swarm into Batuu before we went inside. Out of nowhere, my friend Erin grabbed my wrist and pulled me a few yards into the gift shop and pointed to the shelf where two of the Age of Resistance comics I’d worked on were for sale. That was… beyond surreal to say the least. (Shout out to the two guys standing near by who weren’t weirded out by my mini emotional meltdown and who instead seemed to think the fact I’d worked on the comics in even a small way was pretty cool.)
And then, after Star Tours, it was Batuu time.
Even though I sometimes write for a living, it’s hard to properly describe the feeling when you walk into Batuu for the first time. Because one moment, you’re in a theme park and then twenty seconds later, you’re on a Star Wars planet and there’s a life size x-wing right there and HOLY CRAP there’s an a-wing over there and honestly the only solution is to fling yourself at one of your best friends and cry a little on his shoulder while he’s also crying. Star Wars has been such a big part of my life ever since I can remember and to feel like I’m a part of that galaxy was just… incredible. In the back of my mind, I knew we were still in a theme park but it still felt real and that’s what matter. (Our next stop was to see the Falcon and YUP I cried again. If you’re going to Batuu, let me recommend going to the Falcon ASAP and just get as much of the crying out of the way early on.)
We went through and did just about everything in Batuu over the course of the rest of the day. We got drinks at Oga’s Cantina and walked through the market place. We flew the Millennium Falcon and mostly didn’t die and we built lightsabers in an experience that I truly did not expect to move me as much as it did. And we finally rode the Rise of the Resistance ride which was 18 and a half minutes of awesome that transcends everything you think is possible in a ride and holy crap I want to tell you all everything about it but it’s something best experienced unspoiled. What I will tell you about the ride is that at one point, a First Order officer saw the Inferno Squad emblem on my Zay inspired jacket, looked me up and down, and then said with a sneer, “I thought all of the Versios were gone” and it is without a doubt the best thing to ever happen to me on a Disney ride.
I could’ve stayed in Batuu for days. My friends almost had to drag me out of there so we could go watch the fireworks show and leave the park. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t already planning my next visit down there. Galaxy’s Edge reignited my love of Star Wars which admittedly had been struggling over the last month. It gave me a sense of peace and purpose. I feel so very lucky that I was able to not only go to Batuu but that I could do so with 9 of my favorite people in the world because the best experiences are the ones you share with those dear to you. And I couldn’t imagine anything better than this.
Batuu. It’s a magical place.