Culture

In Star Wars Galaxy Edge, Even Soda Hides Behind the Fourth Wall

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One of the more interesting aspects of Disney’s new Star Wars Galaxy Edge attraction, from a design point of few, is the focus on authenticity towards Star Wars lore and guests’ immersion. Disney is taking a unique stance on merchandising on the Star Wars planet of Batuu, insisting that all toys, food, and even brands, must look like they are made from materials found on the planet, and by the people that would have lived there. There are no exceptions to this creed, and even billion-dollar companies are bowing to Disney’s demands to peddle their wares.

Since fans first learned of Disney’s marketing choice, many people online have wondered how brands would work around this guideline to sell their Earth products in a galaxy far, far away. During the Star Wars Celebration event in Chicago, Coke a Cola was the first merchandiser to showcase their new designs, releasing the video below to show small grenade-like capsules that can be bought at the park when you need a Coke.

Coke a Cola won’t be the only brand that has to follow the rules of course, and merchandisers have been hard at work over the last few years. Disney’s idea for a seamless transition into the world of Star Wars stretches into all aspects of a guest’s visit to Black Spire Outpost, the fictional location of the park’s Phase One concept. While standing next to the Millennium Falcon, everything about the park will be Star Wars approved and carefully crafted. The park itself is interactive, using a particular smartphone app designed by Disney. Tiny guests can scan barcodes on crates that are scattered about the park to read their manifests and learn about where the supplies are going, and if the information is not in Galactic Basic Standard (or English if you’re not a Star Wars fan), the Play Disney Parks app will help you translate. Fans will sign up with the Rebels or help the First Order track down Rebel scum, and their choices will help bring the park to life.

The attractions are also designed to be intuitive, yet deeply ingrained into the planet. When kids go to make their own lightsaber, they don’t go to a fancy Disney store with logos and Mickey Mouse plush dolls; they go to the local junk shop. There they will find parts from all around the galaxy and build their lightsaber from anything salvaged by, or traded to, the owner named Savi.

Batuu is a smuggler’s paradise, because of its location near the Outer Rim, on the frontier of Wild Space. Since it’s a place to hide from the First Order, you can bet that Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8, and Chewie, will be hiding out and meeting guests. Of course, that also means a few Stormtroopers will be on the lookout for smugglers and adventures. If a little one dresses up as their favorite hero, the Stormtroopers will probably want to have a word with them.

If you do get hungry for more than a Coke, Disney has already teased Blue Milk and Kat Saka’s Kettle, a different popcorn snack found on the planet. You can head over to At Oga’s Cantina or Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo to find something to eat. Disney stated that Chef Strono “Cookie” Tuggs moves about in a modified Sienar-Chall Utilipede-Transport that becomes a mobile kitchen and restaurant. You can also be on the lookout for Ronto Wraps or grab a Sour Sarlacc or Tatooine Sunset to cool your thirst.

These are just a few of the dozens of edible options at the park, but they showcase Disney’s desire to make you forget about Earth and all of its problems. You’ll still be able to buy clothes and toys, droids and goods, but they will feature a more handmade look than the rest of the park.

Disney’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is opening at Disneyland Park in California on May 31, and at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida on August 29th. Both of the attractions are 14 acres each, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is Disney’s largest single-themed land expansions ever.

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