Star Wars Batuu

When the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge themed lands open next year at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, the setting will be the planet Batuu – a heretofore unseen area in Star Wars lore that’s located on the Outer Rim in a galaxy far, far away. But now Lucasfilm has revealed that the planet will first appear in a new book before guests get to explore the land up close and personal in the “real” world.

Lucasfilm (via StarWarsUnderground) has unveiled a new excerpt of a forthcoming book called Star Wars: Thrawn Alliances, a novel that sees Darth Vader joining forces with Grand Admiral Thrawn and taking on a secret mission. It turns out that the two of them will be visiting Batuu, and it appears that they both have some history there.

In the book, Emperor Palpatine assigns Vader and Thrawn to deal with a disturbance in the Force located on the edge of the galaxy. Here’s a quick excerpt, but you can read a larger one here:

“You surprise me, Admiral Thrawn,” Palpatine said. “I would have expected a certain eagerness to journey within sight of your home.”

Thrawn’s glowing red eyes narrowed slightly, and Palpatine felt his sudden caution. “Excuse me, Your Majesty?”

“The disturbance is located at the edge of your Unknown Regions,” the Emperor said. “It appears to be centered on a planet named Batuu.” Again, he sensed a reaction to the name. This time, the reaction came from both of them. “I believe you have heard of it?”

Thrawn’s eyes were hooded, the expression on that blue-skinned face swirling with memories. “Yes,” he murmured. “I have indeed heard of it.”

As, of course, had Vader. It was the place where he and Thrawn had long ago interfered, albeit unwittingly, with one of Palpatine’s plans.

But again, Vader remained silent.

“Very well, then,” Palpatine said. “You, Admiral, will command.” He looked at Vader. “You, Lord Vader, will deal with the disturbance.”

“Yes, Your Highness,” Thrawn said.

“Yes, my master,” Vader said.

Palpatine leaned back into the depths of his throne. “Then go.”

The two servants turned and walked toward the door between the double line of red-cloaked Imperial Guards silently lining their path. Palpatine watched them go: the Chiss in his white Grand Admiral’s uniform, the Sith garbed in black, his long cloak swirling behind him.

The solution to this particular puzzle would indeed require both of them. But more importantly, it would address Palpatine’s lingering questions.

He smiled thinly. Time for Thrawn to face his future.

Time for Vader to face his past.

Star Wars: Thrawn Alliances arrives on shelves on July 24, 2018, so we’ll have to wait until then to get a better idea of the extent of Batuu’s involvement in this story.

Star Wars Galaxy's Edge images

What We Know About Batuu So Far

Here’s how StarWars.com describes Batuu:

A remote outpost on the galaxy’s edge, Batuu was once a busy crossroads in the days prior to lightspeed. With the rise of hyperspace travel, however, the world — notable for the lush trees and mountain spikes that decorate its surface — was left behind, its prominence lost to planets on more popular trade routes. Today, Batuu is home to those who prefer to stay out of the mainstream, and a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders, and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. Significantly, it has also become a safe haven for those looking to avoid the attention of the First Order.

We’ve yet to get a good look at the new planet outside of concept art, D23 models, and a quick glimpse during Star Tours, so this new novel will presumably give us our most detailed description yet.

All of the attractions and entertainment at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be vetted by the Lucasfilm Story Group and will fit in with the franchise’s storytelling. But when guests visit, they’ll be entering during the era of the sequel trilogy, when The First Order reigns supreme and visitors “might feel the wrath of Kylo Ren.” But we know Batuu has been around for thousands and thousands of years, so it’ll be fascinating to see if any information revealed in Thrawn Alliances makes its way into the physical version of the park when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in 2019.

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