Star Wars Galaxy's Edge: Adventure Awaits

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Star Wars Galaxy's Edge: Adventure Awaits TV Poster Image
Celeb-led tour of Disney park is fun, heavy on advertising.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

This documentary demonstrates how professionals in different fields collaborate to make an artistic vision come to be. Imagination, creativity, engineering, and performing arts contribute equally to Galaxy's Edge experience.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Racial diversity and balanced gender representation among the destination's staff and experts. The people who created the attraction are creative and work together.

Violence

No violence, but Star Wars weapons like lightsabers and blasters are among the props that the Galaxy's Edge actors carry in the park.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

This is a lengthy and effective ad for Star Wars Galaxy's Edge theme park attraction. Host and other celebrities help showcase the things to see and do there, speaking in superlatives about park's features and activities. Star Wars cast members share their experiences related to the endeavor. There's also promotion for immersive adventure Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, due open in 2021.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Star Wars Galaxy's Edge: Adventure Awaits is a movie-length documentary -- and exceptionally effective advertising effort -- about the Walt Disney theme park attraction Galaxy's Edge. The film shows viewers all around the expansive Star Wars-themed destination that lets visitors meet characters from the movies, taste some of the galaxy's most exotic foods and beverages, and sit in the captain's seats of star destroyers and other galactic transports. Celebrity tour guides help build excitement for the locale with their own genuine enthusiasm, and there's additional promotion for the even more immersive experience called Galactic Star Cruiser that's due out in 2021. This documentary is an intriguing watch that celebrates the creativity, attention to detail, and engineering that went into designing Galaxy's Edge, but its powerful advertising capability for the Walt Disney and Star Wars brands and for this theme park in particular should be carefully weighed when kids and tweens are set to watch.

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What's the story?

STAR WARS GALAXY'S EDGE: ADVENTURE AWAITS gives viewers an exhaustive look at the Walt Disney destination that lets visitors immerse themselves in the intergalactic struggle between the First Order and the Resistance. Host Neil Patrick Harris guides viewers through the attractions at Galaxy's Edge, a theme park set in Black Spire Outpost on the remote planet of Batuu in the Star Wars universe. Harris and other celebrities like Jay Leno, Kaley Cuoco, and Keegan-Michael Key check out the hot spots, interact with Stormtroopers and Kylo Ren on the grounds, and give viewers a glimpse of what the park offers to visitors. The film also includes interviews with Disney Imagineers who helped create Galaxy's Edge as well as Star Wars movie cast members who collaborated on the project.

Is it any good?

Add to the lengthy list of things that Disney does well: the framing of an elaborate advertising campaign as entertainment. Star Wars Galaxy's Edge: Adventure Awaits is 101 minutes of the most captivating self-promotion you'll ever see. It uses a star-studded crew of celebrity tour guides to help viewers fully appreciate the magnificence of this impressive destination that lets Star Wars fans interact with characters, join the Resistance effort, make their own lightsabers, and even fly the Millennium Falcon. The celebs seem genuinely awed by what Galaxy's Edge offers to fans and thoroughly enjoy the experience. 

If visiting Galaxy's Edge in person isn't on your agenda for the near future, then Adventure Awaits really is the next best thing to being there in person. You'll get to glimpse the local hangouts in Black Spire Outpost, meet some of the colorful residents, and see how the immersive experience pulls fans into the Star Wars story from the moment they enter the park. It's a very thorough virtual visit (if that happens to be what you're looking for), but it's an even more powerful promotional tool for making you want to get there in person, which is important to keep in mind if you're thinking of watching with young Star Wars fans.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the purpose of this documentary. Is it strictly a means of advertising Galaxy's Edge, or does it aim to teach viewers something as well? How effective is it at one or the other goal? 

  • What accounts for the sustained enthusiasm for the Star Wars story and characters? How is the struggle between good and evil that's central to the Star Wars saga relevant to fans today? 

  • What instances of teamwork and professional collaboration do you see illustrated in how the Galaxy's Edge project was designed and engineered? How does the film emphasize expertise you otherwise might not know about, such as music composition and wardrobe? Does it give you a better appreciation for the finer details of the park's attractions? 

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