When Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge first opened in 2019, it kicked off a new era of immersive entertainment and expanded the boundaries of what theme parks can achieve. The combination of cutting-edge special effects, pioneering attraction technology and classic Disney storytelling makes for a captivating guest experience featuring an unforgettable journey across the galaxy.
Constantly evolving, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge continues to surprise visitors with new attractions and inventive features developed by Disney’s Imagineers. By bringing memorable Star Wars characters to life and giving guests the chance to interact with them, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge bridges the gap between sci-fi and reality, transporting guests to a galaxy far, far away.
Recently, the team at Disney gave guests a special sneak peek at what exciting new additions may be coming next: interactive droids
Walking, Talking Droids at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Droids have been an iconic and integral part of Star Wars since the debut of the franchise. From lovable companions to fierce imperial troops, these robots can be found all throughout the films and may soon appear at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Imagineers are working hard to make these friendly droids a part of the park experience, with the possibility for interactive droids to be a continued feature at Disneyland. Much like previous advancements in Disney entertainment technology, animation made the development of three small experimental droids possible. Artists animated keyframe movements that the new droids could read and mimic. These motions include dances, head tilts and even a red-eyed glare.
This rich tradition of pioneering attractions traces back to Disneyland’s roots — innovations in robotics have played a major role in establishing the park’s legacy, and these droids mark the next step forward in animatronic technology.
Digging in to the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Droid Playtest
Test runs with the interactive droids are underway at Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. In a sneak peek conducted by Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Research, the new droids journeyed across the Batuu region of Star Wars: Galaxy’ Edge, greeting guests along the way.
The playtest droids featured the latest advancements in robotics and engineering. The aim of the visit was to explore how these charismatic characters would work within the park environment, with new obstacles, uneven terrain, and curious guests coming across their path.
Walking in single-file alongside a costumed cast member dressed as a Batuun droid handler, the three “BD units” — short for “buddy units” — scanned their surroundings with light-up eyes and eye-like antennae that reacted to actual sounds in real-time. Not only did this trio of droids move independently, they also interacted with guests, cast members and other animatronics throughout the park.
The droids’ visit was an exciting sneak peek into what’s possible for Disney’s future. Although the droids’ return has not yet been announced, their next visit will be as exciting for guests as their first.
Droids at Disney: Continuing a Tradition of Daring Developments
The arrival of droids at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge embodies the park’s commitment to unforgettable and immersive experiences for fans of all ages. By inviting guests to step inside the world of Star Wars and interact with their favorite characters first-hand, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge stands as a testament to the storytelling power and enduring magic of Disney theme parks.