The Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Disney theme park area isn’t open yet, but starting now, fans can get a glimpse inside the Black Spire Outpost, the theme park area’s centerpiece, through writer Ethan Sacks and artist Will Sliney’s comic book of the same name.
With Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge #1 out April 24, Newsarama spoke with Sacks (following up our previous chat with Sliney) to dig into what fans can expect from the five-issue story, and how it lines up to what they’ll eventually experience first hand at the park.
Newsarama: Ethan, first off, what can you tell us about this Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge series? How does it tie into the Disney theme park area?
Ethan Sacks: There's a reason the series is called Galaxy's Edge, and that's because it's a story that isn't just set on the planet of Batuu, but also embodies the place. The locations that readers see were built by our amazing artist, Will Sliney and colorist Dono Sanchez Amara off the authentic, top-secret concept art used for the park, so it's as authentic and revealing as you can get without anyone having to use bombardment from First Order Dreadnoughts to ensure our silence.
Nrama: Getting more specific, what can you tell us about Dok-Ondar and the Black Spire Outpost?
Sacks: Ever since he was first name-checked in Solo: A Star Wars Story, clues have emerged as to just how important Dok-Ondar is in the shadier corners of the Star Wars universe. He is not just a proprietor of the Den of Antiquities in the Black Spire Outpost, he is a sort of scholar that has very personal reasons to dive into Jedi and Sith lore, exotic creatures and rare relics. His collection is invaluable and unmatched, which of course could put him in the crosshairs of some very dangerous folk...
Nrama: And what is Dok-Ondar up against here?
Sacks: There's a criminal gang, led by the notorious Kendoh, that's arrived on Batuu plotting a heist of one his most important relics. Since there's a big hulking Aqualish in their ranks, it's clear they won't be deterred easily. The stakes have been raised by the presence of First Order Stormtroopers, who are hunting for Resistance spies — or anyone else who crosses them.
Nrama: We’ve seen some big Star Wars names in future solicits for Galaxy’s Edge. What can you tell us about who’s coming to the title over its five-issue run?
Sacks: Because Dok-Ondar has been around for a long time - he was name-checked in Solo - he would have crossed paths with some iconic Star Wars characters as he built his collection over the years. The first issue, for example, features a pre-New Hope-era Han Solo and Chewbacca working for Dok, and Greedo and Hondo are among the others whose paths crossed with the enigmatic Ithorian. There's a special, personal fave coming in #4 ... which I can't tell you right now.
Nrama: Was there a specific part of the Star Wars mythos you were particularly excited to tackle here?
Believe it or not, I have been obsessed with Greedo for a long time, and so I was pumped that my editors allowed me to write him as an action hero. That very obsession with the doomed bounty hunter is what got me my first Marvel gig, by virtue of a spec script that was a sort of Rashomon take on the Greedo shooting. I always wanted to explore how this seemingly straightforward assassin could be part of Jabba's inner circle.
We also got the chance to create a backstory for a relic at the heart of this story that will be on display in the park. That's something I will cherish for the rest of my life as a fan who first fell in love with Star Wars as a four-year-old in the summer of 1977 watching these characters come alive in a Times Square movie theater.
Nrama: Galaxy’s Edge is a unique Star Wars story in that fans will be able to actually visit the setting and experience it firsthand on some level. What’sthat resource like, when working in an established world like this?
Sacks: Because we were diving into such an important part of the Star Wars universe, Lucasfilm and Disney Imagineering both worked with us extensively. We were given access to a giant creative bible that featured concept art and backstories to make sure everything was true to the experience in the park. It's not overstating it to say this mini-series will feature the first opportunities fans will get to see some of Batuu. Will and I, as well as the rest of the team, really treated this as a solemn duty to get those details and the vibe exactly right.
Nrama: Will Sliney is drawing Galaxy’s Edge. What makes him the perfect collaborator for this Star Wars story?
Sacks: First of all, Will is a truly dynamic storyteller. The way he frames an action scene is very cinematic, which is important for a franchise that is grounded first and foremost in the movies. Secondly, he's extremely adept at drawing the classic looks of the Star Wars characters you love so much. From Jabba to Han Solo to Stormtroopers to iconic spaceships, he just nails the visuals. And he's so thorough: He kept going back into the panels as new source material arrived to hone the look so that you're really looking at the actual settings from the park. Finally, he's just a great guy, which makes it even more enjoyable to work with him.
Nrama: What’s your favorite thing he’s drawn for this series so far?
Sacks: There will be some beats in issue #4 and #5 that I can't wait to see. But I have to say he drew a badass hero shot of Ki-Adi-Mundi that no one probably ever imagined could be achieved. However, I'd probably pick his 2-3 spread in Issue #1, which gives that aerial view of the whole park - a.k.a. The Black Spire Outpost - that I think every fan wants to see.
Nrama: Bottom line, what can Star Wars fans expect from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge?
Sacks: An experience as close to visiting the Galaxy's Edge park as possible from your couch! But most importantly, a five-issue tribute to what makes Star Wars so universally loved, for Star Wars fans by Star Wars fans.