In “Ships of the Galaxy,” StarWars.com celebrates all the different kinds of craft across the saga. Strap in, punch it, and join us for the ride.
Pop Star Wars quiz! What’s been around for centuries, has hosted Jedi travelers of the High Republic, a legendary Jedi Knight and reputable senator from Naboo, and two esteemed heroes of the Battle of Endor on their honeymoon? Need a hint? You can ride it, too! We can only be talking about the pride of Chandrila Star Line, the Halcyon starcruiser. May the stars light our way as we learn more about this legendary ship.
Behind the Scenes
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is the name of the Star Wars two-night, fully-immersive experience that opened March 1, 2022, at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. In development for six years, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser sprang to life in a brainstorming session. “This project is a really fun one because it really did generate out of classic, blue-sky, Imagineers sitting around talking about what would be fun,” Walt Disney Imagineer Ann Morrow Johnson told StarWars.com. “What are the types of experiences that we just think our guests, or frankly, we, want to experience in the Star Wars galaxy? And so this absolutely came out of a conversation about, ‘Don’t you just want to sleep on a starcruiser? How cool would it be if you got to live out a Star Wars story over multiple days?’”
The biggest challenge was figuring how to combine the elements of an elegant Disney hotel with a high-playability factor, while incorporating performance theater, as well. Once one of the Imagineers suggested modeling the idea after a Disney cruise (complete an itinerary, planned excursions, and fine dining), the Halcyon starcruiser was born. As Johnson and her team built the Halcyon starcruiser for guests, they worked toward the goal of full immersion. “When you look out the window, you will see a galaxy far, far away,” she said. “When you’re at the front of the ship, you’ll see us moving forward. If you’re on the starboard side, you’ll see it moving to the side. On the port side, same deal.” Even better, the Halcyon starcruiser is an in-universe ship, and was developed in partnership with Lucasfilm — the legendary Doug Chiang himself designed the ship’s logo. And as we’ll discuss later, the Halcyon starcruiser is already starting to appear in major Star Wars stories.
The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Experience
On this two-night adventure, guests are invited to participate in an immersive adventure with multiple outcomes. Throughout your stay, you can help the Resistance, align with the First Order, learn the ways of the Force, or work with smugglers by interacting with the crew and responding to messages on your datapad (found on the Play Disney Parks app). You can choose to accept several different missions or just people-watch to your heart’s content. Think of it as living out a Star Wars experience with friends new and old, but stay on target, as adventure awaits around every corner.
In addition to the missions on theHalcyon starcruiser, you get the opportunity to try cuisine from many different Star Wars locales, enjoy blue and green milk on tap, and savor some of the tastiest (and best-looking) drinks in the galaxy at the Sublight Lounge. Plus, this is where you can play holo-Sabacc. (Just be sure to touch the glass case holding the extremely-rare Halcyon Fluke for good luck before you play.) While in the lounge, or the spacious Atrium, you might encounter the astromech, SK-62O, or listen to Gaya perform in the Crown of Corellia dining room. For guests who want to learn the ways of the Force there’s lightsaber training, as well as a place to connect with the mystical energy field in the Climate Simulator, which is also a great place to go for some fresh air and sunshine, as it “simulates” the outdoor environment of the planet you will be visiting during your voyage (in this case — Batuu).
Your time on the Halcyon starcruiser also includes exclusive transport via shuttle to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, where the choices you make on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (guests of the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser receive a Lightning Lane pass for each attraction) impact your return to the Halcyon starcruiser, as does a trip to Oga’s Cantina.
Specs and Features
The Halcyon starcruise is an MPO-1500 Purrgil-class passenger starcruiser built by Anzellan Chandrila Star Line founder, Shug Drabor, on Corellia 275 years ago. The ship was inspired by purrgils — gargantuan creatures able to launch themselves through hyperspace with grace — and some passengers have even reported sightings of the wondrous animals from the Halcyon starcruiser’s many portals. Drabor operated his own charter transportation company for several years and had a high commitment to quality and style; this helped inspire him to build top-of-the-line, high-end starcruisers with the expressed intent of creating shared journeys across the galaxy for its guests.
The Halcyon starcruiser is one of five CSL Purrgil-class passenger starcruisers (along with the Wanderlight, the Idyll, the Sojourn, and the Sterling) in active service today, and was the first to be built of its kind. It’s the first vessel to feature 13 sublight engines, mostly because that was Shug Drabor’s lucky number. This revolutionary design also accounts for the smooth ride passengers experience, and allows the Corellian vessel to travel effortlessly through space.
To board the Halcyon starcruiser, a Launch Pod will take you to the Atrium, located in the front top area of the vessel. The ship has 13 decks, with decks four through seven serving as passenger decks, where guests can rest their weary heads after a long day of sailing across the galaxy. At one point, the Empire took control of the Halcyon starcruiser and used it as an officer’s retreat, but the ship has since been restored to its original glory so that travelers can enjoy the finest cuisine, refreshments, entertainment, and travel the galaxy has to offer.
Several notable figures have found their way onto the Halcyon starcruiser throughout its 275-year history. As seen in Marvel’s Star Wars: The High Republic: The Halcyon Legacy, Jedi Nib Assek and her Padawan, the Wookiee Burryaga, staved off a Nihil attack on one of the Halcyon starcruiser’s first missions during the High Republic era. And during the Clone Wars, Padmé Amidala and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker traveled on the Halcyon starcruiser to be more inconspicuous as they looked into a Republic senator rumored to be a part of a secret Separatist conspiracy.
Finally, as depicted in the forthcoming book The Princess and the Scoundrel, newlyweds Leia Organa and Han Solo went on their honeymoon aboard the Halcyon starcruiser. Leia was taken by the professionalism and kindness of the crew, and had an art piece commissioned for the ship called “The Unified Galaxy.” This gift still hangs on the Mezzanine above the Atrium, and represents the far-ranging galaxy, from the Core Worlds to the depths of Wild Space.
Good journey to all who explore the galaxy on this legendary vessel!
For more on the Halcyon starcruiser and Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, check out StarWars.com’s previous in-depth coverage:
- Discover 10 things we loved about our experience at Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
- Learn more about how Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser was brought to life
- Meet the characters aboard Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
- Explore the datapad and activities at Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
- Dive into the clothes and merchandise available at Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, the 2-night, immersive adventure at Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida is now open.
Dan Zehr is the host and brand director of the fan podcast Coffee With Kenobi, your spoiler-free place for Star Wars community and conversation. He is the co-author of The Star Wars Book and the Star Wars Character Encyclopedia Updated and Expanded Edition, and is a high school English teacher, with an emphasis on Mythology and Composition, and has an MS in Teaching and Learning. Follow him on Twitter @MrZehr.