I was nine years old when Star Wars: A New Hope was released. I have very vivid memories of watching it in a movie theater in Brockport, NY. It was the beginning of a lifelong obsession, not just with Star Wars, but with the whole sci-fi genre.
In my teens, Star Wars dominated my decorating style. I collected the action figures, model ships, made my own wall art from coloring book pages that I traced and painted and framed. I saw The Empire Strikes Back about five times in the theater. I lost count of how many times I saw Return of the Jedi in the theater.
While the prequels are not my favorite, they fit in the SW universe and tell a part of the story, and they give us a look into how/why Luke was able to pull Anakin back to the light, among other things. I loved Rogue One, and Solo and the new trilogy has my fangirl heart. I can not wait for The Rise of Skywalker later this year.
All of that said, you can understand my excitement to get to Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland for my birthday this year. We went last week (thus my absence around theses parts), and it was nothing short of amazing. I went in with enough money to not worry about money, and dove in headfirst.
Before we even got to Disney, we had reservations to build a droid, build a lightsaber and to have drinks at the cantina.
We started with the droid building. I built an R-series droid, and we had so much fun, we went back for my friend to build one too. Meet R2-N5 and R5-L8.
We then wandered Battu for a bit, checking into all of the stalls at the market, getting out to the Resistance camp looking for Chewie, then it was time to go build a saber.
This is an experience you don’t want to miss, if you’re a SW fan. It starts with checking in and choosing which of the four paths you want to follow, which gets you a pin so the gatherers can provide you the right parts. Then comes some waiting, while playing casual as First Order troops wander through. One of the gatherers comes out to tell you about the need for secrecy and discretion, not to mention hurrying inside before more troops show up.
Once inside, you’re directed to a spot on the tables, the gatherers tell you about their purpose and then comes your choosing of your kyber crystal (red, blue, green and purple), and then you are provided with a tray full of parts. They walk you through every step of the process.
I was surprised how emotional the whole thing was. By the time they had us insert our completed hilts into the activation tubes, I had free flowing tears on my face. I’m not even sure I could explain why. It was unbelievable though. And then the sabers all come to life, and the room is awash in the colors of the sabers. I cried more when I lifted my completed saber for the first time.
We had time after that to go fly the Millenium Falcon!
There were several large purchases (including my Halloween costume for this year), and then we were off to the cantina for drinks and nibbles. Again, reservations are required, and you still have to wait in line, but once inside, you are treated to a lively cantina scene while you sip on tasty adult beverages. Like everything else Disney, it’s a bit pricey, but completely worth the money.
Be prepared for the immersive experience, everyone plays their roles all the time, and they at least appear to be having fun. Even in that heat in those costumes! I felt bad for poor Chewbacca, but I still went in for my birthday hug.
It was fabulous two days spent in the southern California sun with good friends and an experience I won’t soon forget. It is a good time to be a Star Wars fan!
And now, Dear Readers, I need to get myself back to the day job!