Where The New Star Wars Hotel Fits In The Larger Franchise Canon

This article will contain spoilers for the "Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser".

For those who don't know, the Galactic Starcruiser is the new "Star Wars" experience from Disney and Lucasfilm. It places guests right in the middle of the "Star Wars" universe and lets them play out their live-action roleplaying fantasies in a galaxy far, far away. For those going, knowing exactly when it's set and how it figures into the events of the "Star Wars" theme park at Disney World is important as it can influence many decisions you make before you even get to the park.

When is it set?

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser takes place in the time between "The Last Jedi" and "The Rise of Skywalker." The First Order has destroyed Hosnian Prime — the then-capital of the New Republic — and swooped in to fill the vacuum. After the loss of most of the Resistance at the Battle of Crait, the forces opposing the First Order are in hiding and on the run. Finding help is no easy feat. In Delilah Dawson's book "Black Spire," we see that the spy Vi Moradi (who appears in the park) was sent to Batuu to establish a rebel base. The base she finds is the one that the rebels flee in the ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Batuu was not the site of the resistance base for very long, and the events aboard the Halcyon hastened their departure for D'Qar, which is where we see the Resistance holed up at the beginning of "The Rise of Skywalker."

This particular moment in time, between the events of the novel "Black Spire" and "The Rise of Skywalker" is where your trip aboard the Galactic Starcruiser takes place. The galaxy is overrun by the First Order, the Resistance is still trying to rally the allies who didn't come to their aid on Crait, and chaos reigns with Kylo Ren as the Supreme Leader.

Smuggler's Run

One of the most curious pieces of story in Galaxy's Edge has been the story surrounding Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run. This ride puts the Millennium Falcon in the hands of Hondo Ohnaka, as he hires pilots to make a run and steal coaxium for him. Chewbacca, low on resources, inexplicably loans Hondo the ship for use by park guests. For me, it never quite added up, but that is until I took a voyage on the Halcyon.

By now, it's no secret that Chewbacca features prominently in the events of your voyage on the Galactic Starcruiser. During my voyage, I was not part of the particular set of circumstances that brought him aboard, but I was part of a cadre of people helping keep him hidden from the First Order, and working with the members of the Halcyon crew that were trying to help him and aid in his escape. That trust built through face-to-face interactions and in the app, make you a lot more trusting of a choice to loan the Falcon to.

The coaxium that is stolen aboard the ride also features prominently in the finale aboard the ship as all of the storylines play out. That coaxium is vital to the Resistance and the Halcyon is prepared to get it where it needs to go as long as the First Order doesn't get their hands on it. Suddenly, the theft of the coaxium, your involvement, and Chewbacca's agreement in letting you borrow the ship via Hondo makes a lot more sense. Especially when you see the trouble Chewbacca has gone through in the last couple of days in the Resistance.

New characters and interactions

Since the opening of Galaxy's Edge, guests have been able to interact with the world through the Play Disney app on their phone. They can hack into terminals, scan crates, tune into secret broadcasts, all in the confines of the world of Black Spire Outpost. For those aboard the Halcyon, there are extra levels of interaction. Missions that send you to the surface. We already talked about the coaxium, but one mission had me plying bits of spy-craft inside Oga's cantina. I was to get the contact information of a forgerer who would help in a mission that would advance the cause of the Resistance. I was to show a secret image to my bartender. When they came back, they put a coaster in front of me with a QR code I had to scan in my app containing the contact information I needed. This allowed me to message back and forth with the forger, who sent me on missions that would be a prerequisite to them pulling the job the Resistance needed them to do.

It added a level to Galaxy's Edge that I'd been craving since the park opened and I hope they can add more like this for regular park guests rather than just the gilded passengers aboard the Halcyon.

As missions planet-side are completed, your itinerary for the rest of the evening aboard the ship is being built. These actions determine where you will be and what part of the story you will experience leading up to the final battle between Rey and Kylo Ren, who both end up on the Halcyon for the heart-pounding finale.

The finale

Ultimately, Kylo Ren and Rey face off as the soul of the ship is revealed. You will see the Rey from the parks come on board the ship and reunite with Chewbacca and perform a mission of her own. You will see Kylo Ren board the ship and have a reckoning with Lt. Croy and the crew of the Halcyon. You will witness a battle for the very soul of the ship.

And you will have taken a part in the story.

Sure, you might not have been able to sway galactic events. You're still on guardrails of the story, inside the confines of this particular moment in time and space in the "Star Wars" canon, but the remarkable thing about the experience aboard the Halcyon is that they make you feel like you have made a difference.

And that's a great feeling to have.