Last week, Disney announced they’ll be expanding the list of Star Wars characters who will visit Batuu at Disneyland. No announcement has been made for Walt Disney World yet. As of May 28th, visitors to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge can now meet Boba Fett and Fennec Shand. Din Djarin (the Mandalorian) and Grogu will be coming to the park at a later date. This breaks the timeline of Galaxy’s Edge, which is supposed to be set roughly 30 years after Return of the Jedi. The Mandalorian, which introduced Star Wars fans to these new characters, takes place roughly 5 years after Return of the Jedi.
The difference in timing is significant. Early concepts for Galaxy’s Edge were set on Tatooine, giving park visitors the opportunity to visit the famous Cantina and to meet famous characters like Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker. During development, executives made the decision to make the theme park area more relevant to the current slate of films. Instead of Tatooine, the planet of Batuu was created as a place with both Resistance and First Order Outposts. Classic characters were pushed out of the land in favor of the new adventurers. The excuse for keeping the likes of Darth Vader out of Star Wars land was that he died 30 years before the events of Galaxy’s Edge.
Now that the Mandalorian and his companions are entering Galaxy’s Edge, what does this mean for the time line? Judging by the look of Boba Fett and Fennec, the characters are not being aged up to match the setting. Instead, Batuu seems to be taking us into a time warp to the past.
What’s really happening is that the original idea to set the land in a specific time is softening. George Lucas once argued that scenes from any of his 6 Star Wars movies could be placed together on Star Tours. His point was that people are coming to be entertained, not to carefully analyze the history of the universe. While fans certainly do discuss where Star Tours fits in the Star Wars canon, most comments are focused on the fun of debate. The ride’s popularity has not suffered due to lack of continuity. As Galaxy’s Edge continues its operations, fans want to see their favorite characters in the land. Disney is realizing that this entertainment value is more important than holding to the timeline, so they’re letting new characters slip into the land.
Disney isn’t willing to admit this publicly quite yet. Here’s an excerpt from their press release:
We are committed to the long history of Batuu and the collection of amazing characters who inhabit the outpost including our legacy characters and original characters and know that we will feel the same about new and future characters from the ever-expanding galaxy of Star Wars storytelling. While we as visitors may be able to experience different stories throughout Star Wars history, the characters on Batuu can not. They will remain in their specific story and timeline and won’t intersect with other characters or stories that would not be appropriate for them.Disney Press Release
Essentially, Batuu will now exist in a more undefined time, but the characters will stay separate. Rey and Kylo Ren will not roam the land at the same time as Grogu.
So where does it go from here? When Galaxy’s Edge opened, Disney also published a book titled Thrawn: Alliances. The book is about Admiral Thrawn, Darth Vader, and Senator Padme Amidala’s time on Batuu. There’s nothing to stop Disney from letting us see these characters on the planet. Surely, Luke, Leia, and Han are aware of this outer rim planet, too. As Lucasfilm continues to grow its film and TV library, demand for characters will change. But as new characters are introduced and old ones are reintroduced, we’re sure to see more characters come to Galaxy’s Edge. Even if they aren’t from the era of the Sequel Trilogy.