Disney Imagineer Scott Trowbridge and I are sitting next to the Millennium Falcon. The ship is scarred with blast marks and rust; by all indications it’s the same ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. You know: a piece of junk.
Of course, we’re not in a galaxy far, far away, we’re in Anaheim, California, and the behemoth near us isn’t a real spaceship. But starting next week, when Disney’s new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens to the public, Trowbridge — the creative force behind the land — wants guests to forget about that for a while.
“We want the place to feel deep, so that your relationship with it can also have that kind of depth,” Trowbridge says, motioning around what Disney calls the Black Spire Outpost — a bustling trading port on the planet Batuu. Trowbridge is speaking as if everything around him is, in fact, real. He’s doing this not just because Disney’s parks run on the belief in Disney magic, but because all of it must feel real in order to sell this new land to millions of Star Wars fans (a finicky bunch) and Disney park-goers (even finickier).