7 Things We Learned About Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge From The Galactic Nights Panel

Last night, Disney held a panel called "Inside Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge" at the Walt Disney World resort in Florida as part of an event called Star Wars: Galactic Nights. Tons of new Star Wars Galaxy's Edge details were released for the first time, and we've gathered the most interesting revelations about the upcoming Star Wars-themed land below, including new experiences, familiar characters, the name of the village within the land, and much more.

They Filmed At Pinewood Studios

Scott Trowbridge, one of the executives in charge of incorporating Star Wars into Disney's theme parks, revealed that "right alongside the movie production crews when we're making our films, we're also making content for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge." And it's not like they've brought in some lesser B-team to handle the theme park stuff: Trowbridge says that the same teams who provide makeup, special effects, and costumes to the saga movies at Pinewood studios also contribute to creating footage that will bring Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge to life.

There Will Be Full-Size AT-ATs

We knew there would be a few X-Wing models at various places in the park, but now we have confirmation that those aren't the only vehicles from the Star Wars universe that we'll see. During the panel, Imagineer Jon Georges said, "I think a lot of people in the audience tonight may have heard a rumor about us building some AT-ATs, but we are actually building AT-ATs – full-size AT-ATs." And he brought photos to prove it.

We'd previously seen AT-ATs in a piece of digitally rendered concept art for the park, but what you see above are actual photos of the real full-size replicas during various stages of construction. "If you're going to go inside one of these epic experiences and live a piece of Star Wars, this is what you'd expect, right?" said Trowbridge. They also teased that guests to Galaxy's Edge will have to "go up against" the AT-AT walkers in some capacity, but the panel members were vague about how exactly that would happen.

The Second Dark Ride Will Be A Resistance Troop Transport

We knew that there would be a Millennium Falcon attraction that puts you in the cockpit of Han Solo's famous ship, but Georges also mentioned that the second dark ride will take place on what's designed to look like a Resistance troop transport ship, a brand new ship that was specifically created for this experience. We've seen some concept art of this attraction already, but there wasn't much information out there about what the designers intended to do with it until last night. "This is an actual, physical, full-size ship that you'll actually step on board and set off on an adventure of your own," Georges explained. He shared a photo (above) of the full-size ship that's currently under construction in Asia, and pointed out some of the battle damage along the sides. "I think it's had kind of a rough life before it landed on Batuu," he said, referencing the spaceport setting of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

"It's a big galaxy," Trowbridge said. "We've got lots of places to go. There's more than two ships in the land, but this is just another one that you get to go in and take a journey on."

Nien Nunb is Back (With The Original Voice Actor)

During the making of Return of the Jedi, Lucasfilm hired a Kenyan graduate student named Kipsang Rotich who was living in the San Francisco Bay area to provide the voice of Nien Nunb, a supporting character in the film who co-pilots the Millennium Falcon alongside Lando Calrissian. But they lost touch with him, and the company had to track Rotich down again in order to get him to reprise the role again for Galaxy's Edge.

A Star Wars Petting Zoo?

Eric Baker, the creative director of Disney Imagineering, is overseeing the creation of a "creature stall," which is essentially a petting zoo full of aliens. "Everyone loves the creatures of Star Wars, be they cute or cuddly or creepy and scary – you'll get to see them all in this place," Baker said. "The creatures will come to life, and you'll get to take one home with you if you're lucky." (Sounds reminiscent of the banshees of Pandora at Animal Kingdom.) The creature stall area will be in the marketplace section of Galaxy's Edge.

Artists working under production designer Doug Chiang are creating physical representations of some of these creatures for the first time – creatures like the loth-cats from Star Wars Rebels that have previously only ever existed in animated form or in the pages of Star Wars literature. Sounds like a great opportunity to include a ton of cool animatronics in this section.

The Village on Batuu is Called Black Spire Outpost

Margaret Kerrison revealed that the name of the specific village on Batuu that guests will be visiting: it's called the Black Spire Outpost. Thousands of years ago, Batuu was known for the huge ancient trees that dotted its landscape, and as the trees evolved and petrified, those spires remained a distinctive feature of the planet. There's one particular spire that was blacker than the rest, and as bounty hunters and traders came to the area, they used it as an identifying marker for where to meet and do business, so the outpost sprang up around it.

Black spires are also found elsewhere in the Star Wars universe. In Solo: A Star Wars Story, L3-37 mentions to Lando Calrissian that without her, he would not get from "here to the Black Spire Station."

New Characters and Story Details

Disney previously released some Galaxy's Edge trading cards that featured a look at some of the characters who will be featured in the park. The back of those cards formed pieces of a map, but the set was incomplete. But last night, Galactic Nights attendees received the remaining cards in the set, revealing a few brand new characters like Vi, a Resistance fighter, and Dok-Ondar, a character briefly mentioned in Solo: A Star Wars Story. (In the film, Emilia Clarke's Qi'ra mentions to a server that she needs to take care of Dok-Ondar aboard Dryden Vos' yacht.)

Using my rudimentary Photoshop skills, I've added these new cards to the existing portions of the map that we previously knew about, and here's what it looks like:

SW Galaxy's Edge map

I'm not entirely certain if the center card is correct – that's the back of a card that has the Aurebesh alphabet on it, allowing fans to translate the fictional Star Wars language into English. But the rest of it is definitely right, so hopefully it gives you some more insight into what to expect when Galaxy's Edge opens next year.

You can watch the full Inside Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge panel from Galactic Nights below: