My review of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: Traveler’s Guide to Batuu.
It almost seems wrong to be talking about a theme park in a time like this, doesn’t it? Disney Parks launched a fantastic new wing of their theme parks: Galaxy’s Edge, an attraction where you could visit the planet Batuu. This came with a huge launch of tie-in material, from adult novels to young reader’s novels, and now, a Traveler’s Guide! For a lot of people, when it launched, the cost of Disney theme parks (plus travel, food, lodging, etc) was too much and they weren’t able to visit the park. Now, a global pandemic makes visiting theme parks an even worse idea. More than that: as people lose jobs, the cost of tickets, even when it becomes safe again, might be a lot to overcome.
The Traveler’s Guide *almost* fills this hole. Using promotional pictures from the park, readers are introduced to the world of Batuu, filling out our imaginations about what’s going down on Batuu. Even if you’ve never been, you could probably take a look at the book and have a good sense of what’s going on, and if you ever visited, already have a good idea of where you are and the story behind the places you’re about to visit.
I did receive a copy of this from Netgalley in return for a review, but I also had this pre-ordered on Amazon, where it was delayed for weeks. This book then became available in Targets with Galaxy’s Edge related toys, dishware, plushes, and other items “direct from Batuu”. This really emphasizes, to me, the main goal of this book: to make you want to visit the Park by giving you an in-universe ad. If you’re buying a Target exclusive Black Series Hondo Ohnaka, this book, and a “Toydarian toymakers”-esque wampa, why wouldn’t you wanna go?? Obviously, no book can replace the experience of going, but this book an alright job of whetting your appetite.
One (intentional? accidental?) bonus of this book is that you can read it alongside all of the books that mention Batuu and have a great mental picture of what’s going on. Whether it’s Crash of Fate, which reads a little too close to a “greatest hits of what you can see in Galaxy’s Edge” or Black Spire, the extremely violent and racially problematic story set before the Rise of the Resistance ride, you can have an actual pic of the Park to situate yourself inside the story. This became the highlight of the book for me.
You can purchase a copy of this book from Barnes and Noble, a local bookstore, possibly still Target, and Amazon. I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, but I also bought a physical copy from Amazon.