We’re still far away from the 2019 opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the twin expansion lands that will be opening at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, but the narrative groundwork for the new parks is already being quietly set up. Specifically, the new novel Thrawn: Alliances from Timothy Zahn will send Darth Vader and the Grand Admiral together on a mission to Batuu, which io9 notes is the same planet that will serve as the setting for Galaxy’s Edge.
Disney hasn’t revealed too much about the planet — only that it’s a remote trading port, and “one of the last stops before Wild Space” — but taking the chance to build out the lore before the park opens is a smart way to get fans interested ahead of time. Thrawn is already a fan-favorite character, and taking a visit to Batuu, as seen through the lens of the popular Grand Admiral, is an easy way to win folks over. And if the company’s existing Avatar world is anything to go by, chances are that some easter eggs from the novel could show up somewhere in the park, too.
All of this ties back into Disney’s larger strategy with its properties like Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar, where everything — films, books, comics, merchandise, games, and even real-world theme parks — all merge together in a seamless cycle of perpetuating references that lead fans from one Disney-branded experience to the next. And taken alongside the upcoming “immersive” Marvel expansions that are also heading to three of the company’s parks, it’s clear that the House of Mouse has no intention of stopping here.