Disney’s upcoming Star Wars theme parks, Galaxy’s Edge, are shaping up to be major expansions for its theme parks in Florida and California that are firmly grounded in the Star Wars canon, tying into the larger saga that we’ve seen in the films. StarWars.com announced that Phasma author Delilah S. Dawson will write a prequel novel for the experience called Black Spire.
The book will be part of a larger package of in-universe additions that will flesh out the story about the planet that the parks depict, Batuu. Black Spire will be about General Leia Organa as she “dispatches her top spy to Batuu in a desperate search for Resistance allies.” The title refers to one of the outposts on the planet, which we briefly saw in Timothy Zahn’s recent novel Thrawn: Alliances, that is described as a “remote trading outpost” in the middle of a grove of petrified trees. The book is due out on September 3rd, 2019.
Starwars.com also revealed that a YA novel by Zoraida Cordova called A Clash of Fate will be about a young boy named Jules who grows up on Batuu and his friend Izzy who returns after being away for years and is pursued by smugglers and pirates. Earlier this month, the site revealed that Marvel Comics will release a five-issue miniseries called Galaxy’s Edge, which will introduce readers to an Ithorian antiques collector named Dok-Ondar and his encounters with the First Order.
The slate of books and comics that will accompany the theme parks will do more than just advertise its presence to Disney and Star Wars fans: it will also tie the location into the franchise’s canon, grounding it in the larger story and providing a history and lore that will allow guests to immerse themselves in the experience far more than your typical amusement park. Dawson’s name should be familiar to fans. She’s the author behind the novel Phasma, which provided a definitive backstory to the mysterious chrome-armored Stormtrooper seen in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Dawson’s book is a good example of how the film and its accompanying tie-in material can work together, although unfortunately, the final edit of the film undercut some of that work, cutting out some scenes that Dawson set up in her novel.
The two parks are currently under construction, and they are expected to open this year. Disneyland’s expansion will open this summer, while the Disney World expansion is expected to open sometime this fall. Both parks will include immersive rides: one will allow you to pilot the Millennium Falcon, while the other will feature a massive battle between the Resistance and the First Order. Disney has also revealed that the parks will come with their own original music composed by John Williams.