For over four decades, Star Wars has existed across every established medium of storytelling, and with the opening of Galaxy’s Edge and Galactic Starcruiser, it pioneered an entirely new ways to engage in the lore. An assembled panel of superfans took to San Diego Comic-Con 2023 to discuss the new avenues of play.


The panel included Kristine Smith, Martin Smith, and Drew Grgich (hosts of the Heroes of the Halcyon podcast) along with fellow Starcruiser superfan Nick Tierce (immersive designer). The conversation went in-depth exploring of these groundbreaking projects and the implications for the future of fandom.

These immersive and interactive adventures in Anaheim and Orlando allow participants to take their fandom to the next level by living inside their favorite fictional universe from a galaxy far far away to create canonical stories within it. Nick Tierce went a bit into the reputation meters that were developed and implemented for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge but largely went unused. The tracker tech allowed Cast Members to keep tabs on how guests were interacting not just in the mobile app but also their experiences in the land itself — including doing a really bad job piloting the Millennium Falcon for Hondo Ohnaka.

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Stories shared from the Starcruiser included surprisingly emotional responses to customized and personalized story beats. For instance, Kristine Smith shared that while dressed as a Twi’lek (the Star Wars creatures with dual headtails) she had an emotional moment with the Starcruiser character Gaia who included her in a story beat based on the character she’d developed for the voyage. For that brief moment, she felt and believed she was part of the Star Wars universe.

Martin Smith shared a similar humorous story with an elaborate backstory for his character of Jorg Sacul — the enterprising hologram film creator behind Saculfilms. On his voyages aboard the Starcruiser, several staff aboard knew of his crafted character and even played into the backstory as super fans of his work.


Truly, what Disney developed with Galaxy’s Edge and Starcruiser are special experiments in broader storytelling and while they arguably have not grasped the general public by storm, they help lay down the groundwork for a truly exciting future of themed entertainment experiences.

What exactly does the future hold for the soon-to-be-defunct immersive themed overnight experience that was definitely NOT a hotel? Only time will tell as Disney has not concretely confirmed anything. While some fans hope the massive investment could be recouped and repurposed for other more cost-effective and conventional uses such as a Hoop-Dee-Doo Review style dinner theater experience, others take a more pragmatic approach that it will simply fade into the background like Discovery Island and find its ways into the annals of “Remember When” Disney lore and eventual hearsay that will fuel future panels at conventions.



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San Diego Comic-Con took place July 19 – July 23, 2023.

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