Leading up to its 2019 debut in both Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland Park, it seems details about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and the planet it is set on will continue to be released incrementally. Some new information, though, may be coming from a less mainstream source than the usual press releases and convention announcements — it could come from a novel.
Disney has already enlightened us to the fact that Galaxy’s Edge will be set on the planet Batuu, an off-the-grid haven for smugglers, ne’er-do-wells, and explorers looking to escape the first order. An upcoming novel by Timothy Zahn, Thrawn: Alliances, may give us some backstory and world-building for Batuu with a tale that begins well before the era that Galaxy’s Edge is framed around.
Zahn’s novel follows the titular Grand Admiral Thrawn, who this time finds himself paired with Darth Vader, the Emperor’s enforcer and his rival for influence, on a secret mission ordered by Palpatine himself. StarWars.com provided an excerpt from the forthcoming novel, a part of which clues us into the Galaxy’s Edge planet’s influence on the plot:
“You surprise me, Admiral Thrawn,” Palpatine said. “I would have expected a certain eagerness to journey within sight of your home.”
Thrawn’s glowing red eyes narrowed slightly, and Palpatine felt his sudden caution. “Excuse me, Your Majesty?”
“The disturbance is located at the edge of your Unknown Regions,” the Emperor said. “It appears to be centered on a planet named Batuu.” Again, he sensed a reaction to the name. This time, the reaction came from both of them. “I believe you have heard of it?”
Thrawn’s eyes were hooded, the expression on that blue-skinned face swirling with memories. “Yes,” he murmured. “I have indeed heard of it.”
As, of course, had Vader. It was the place where he and Thrawn had long ago interfered, albeit unwittingly, with one of Palpatine’s plans.
While not much can be gained from the excerpt, we do now know that Batuu is a place both Thrawn and Vader (possibly as Anakin Skywalker) had previously gotten in the way of the Emperor’s machinations.
We won’t know the full story until the novel drops on July 24th (it is currently available for pre-order). This could be a case of a veteran Star Wars novelist simply using another setting at his disposal, or it could be a part of grander world-building for Galaxy’s Edge’s storytelling history. Given Disney’s attention to detail and in-park Easter eggs, it isn’t inconceivable that what we read in the novel could make its way into Galaxy’s Edge, even if in a very minor capacity.
Either way, a book about two of the Empire’s most formidable foes engaging on a top-secret mission together should have quite a few memorable moments for Star Wars fans to enjoy.
Image: Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn
Featured Image: Disney/Lucasfilm