Our Experience on Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser 2022

About two weeks before the trip, Charlotte and I received the unexpected invite to partake in the media preview event for the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser! Needless to say, we were over the moon. Now that we’re back on planet Earth, we wanted to share some of our thoughts and photos from our trip! You can also tune into our podcast episode here for the full breakdown. This post includes photos and details about the storyline, food, accommodations, activities, Batuu excursion, and overall experience. If you don’t want any spoilers, now is your time to opt out! 

I think the first thing to know about the Galactic Starcruiser is this: you can’t think about it as a hotel. Conceptualizing it like a hotel where you come back from a day at the parks and it’s just “Star Wars-themed” is forgoing a lot of the concept of this experience. Once onboard, it really does feel like you’re on a cruise ship. The way luggage is delivered, your check-in, how dining is handled, etc. is all directly patterned after a cruise ship experience. On a cruise ship, there are large chunks of time you stay on the cruise ship for dining, entertainment, and activities (or in this case, immersive dinner theater). This is no different. Of course, there are some run-ins with the First Order and Resistance that stir things up a bit…


At the front entrance is where we were checked in, received our datapads (iPhone with portable charger), and took pictures in front of the sign. The transport up to the ship was fun, and I think the transition they created from our home planet to the Halcyon worked. The images of the concrete hallways at the check-in can seem very stark in photographs, but in my opinion, they serve to allow the guest to literally “cross a threshold” into this adventure. Star Wars music plays outside and it’s an audio cue that your Star Wars story is just beginning. The rest of the music on board is in-universe for the most part (except for a key moment or two). As I was experiencing it, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the entrance overall, but reflecting on it, I better understand the concept. And going from the gray entrance/check-in area to the reveal of the atrium was breathtaking. Crew members introduced you to the ship and personally showed us to our rooms. Opening the door to see my own viewport…nothing else like it. 


The cabins were immaculate, everything was spotless (to be fair, as some of the first guests actually using these cabins I would expect nothing less, but it was still impressive). Seeing them in person finally: they are small. For two people, the size of the room is functional. But I can imagine adding two other people and associated luggage the room would feel much smaller. The bed was very comfortable with plenty of pillows and extras in the closet. The bunks are actually more spacious than they appear in photographs. As a kid, I would be obsessed! I climbed up in the top bunk and just watched out the viewport for a few minutes and loved it. All the details in the room felt in-universe. The amenities, the light switches, cabin doors, etc. If I could change one thing about the room (aside from overall size) though, it would be to have better control over the lighting around the viewport. There’s a button on the viewport that opens it and closes it, while also turning off all the surrounding lights. However, there was not an option to leave the viewport open (i.e. seeing space) and turn the surrounding lights off. I really wanted to try and sleep with the viewport open and wake up with the stars or planets…but the lights around the viewport are too bright for sleeping. Also, it would be great if the button to open and close them was also available bedside! Every room comes equipped with a droid concierge: D3-O9. She’s activated using your magic band and is always ready to chat! I thought she might be a bit cheesy, but every time I came into my room, I dropped my bags and turned her on to see what news she was going to tell me! D3 also finds herself in some sticky situations with the First Order, and being able to converse and help her through them from my room was a very cool feature. Be sure to listen to her lullaby and bedtime story! 


After checking in and changing into something more Halcyon-appropriate, we ventured over to the Crown of Corellia dining room. Here, we enjoyed a lunchtime buffet with a solid variety of food options. There were plenty of meatless options, and all the available menus made clear that any dietary restrictions could be conveyed to the crew for other options. The lunch buffets across the two days did have a few overlapping dishes, but they were some of my personal favorites so I was excited to see them again. We were always full and looking forward to the next meal. Some of our favorites were the Sunflower Butter & Jelly pods, the Spiral Baos, Bantha Beef Tenderloin, Iced Felucian Shrimp Cocktail, Mustafarian Spreads and Breads, and the Chandrilan Air Cake. Star Wars is predominantly a visual medium and the food had a beautiful presentation across all meals, but especially our dinner services. Alcohol is not included in the voyage, so expect that to be an additional charge. The drink prices felt in line with what you would see in other restaurants around the parks. The Sublight Lounge has some special drink and food offerings, so make sure to take advantage of those during your stay! All your food is included, so try a little bit of everything there! Perhaps the most exciting thing as big Star Wars fans is that in the dining room there is blue and green milk available on tap next to the other soft drinks. 

Batuu Excursion 

After finishing lots of caf early the next morning, we were ready for our trip to Batuu! This was an element Charlotte and I were really interested in seeing: How would the transition from our cruise ship bubble back into a Disney park work? Would it break the immersion? Onboard the Halcyon, we waited in a long hallway for our transport to be ready. We were given waters, masks, and a special pin to wear in Batuu that would let other cast members there know we were a part of the Starcruiser experience. The transport itself is a truck (although you don’t actually see any of it from the outside) and takes about five minutes to get down to Batuu. The backstage where we entered was completely themed and it’s actually quite impressive how there are no “gaps” in the theming and you walk straight off the transport into a private entrance on Batuu. There is a shaded area where you can come and sit, talk to crew members, check any purchases straight to your cabin, and they have iced waters available. This was a really nice inclusion, especially if you’re taking part in building a lightsaber or droid, you can have those sent back to your room easily. Residents of Batuu (cast members) were well informed of the Halcyon and its story. They frequently asked us questions about our stay, and you can ask some about your specific storylines too. There were a few Batuu cast members that didn’t know exactly how to answer our questions, but they always double checked and were able to answer right away. 

Bringing the datapad with you to Batuu is necessary if you’re following the storylines. Everything for the Starcruiser is hosted through the PlayDisney app, which also means that all of the activities that are normally available to guests on Batuu through the app are still there and playable (i.e. hacking, tuning, scanning crates, etc.).  Characters from the Halcyon will message you on your datapad asking you to hack, send them files, go to certain areas of Batuu, etc. in order to further their storylines and build trust for a “side”. I had been following Lt. Croy’s messages and orders for the most part. He ended up telling me to talk to the bartender when I got to Oga’s (I had a reservation already made and attached to my account) and show him a symbol (which was a photo Croy sent me). I did and our bartender said he needed to “check with the boss” before coming back with a specialty QR coaster that I scanned with files that got sent back to Croy. Our bartender then told me he wouldn’t ask questions or tell anyone that I had been there. This element was really fun because, by this point, you’re more or less on a storyline track. Charlotte was firmly in the Resistance camp, but we both were messaging with the Saja about Jedi artifacts. We did some little tasks for him in Batuu, but we were more focused on our Resistance and First Order storylines. 

Voyage aboard the Halcyon also gets you a reserved spot on Rise of the Resistance and Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. It was loaded into our magic bands and we could hop into the lightning lanes at any time. When we arrived to ride Rise of the Resistance, a crew member from the Halcyon was at the line entrance and led us through a private entrance straight to the room where Rey and BB-8 were. Everyone from the Halcyon used this private line for Rise of the Resistance, but it’s unclear if a Halcyon crew member was always stationed there. We had talked to this crew member before, so it was great synergy because we recognized him and he knew us from the ship. Overall, the trip to Batuu was seamless. There were no issues eating lunch at Docking Bay 7 and we had a great time! You don’t spend the whole day on Batuu, a little more than half the day (depending on when you leave the Halcyon). Charlotte and I were really excited to get back on board the Halcyon though. We also didn’t try to venture outside of Batuu. I think on a less busy week in the parks, you might be able to swing another ride in Hollywood Studios, but the parks were completely full during our stay. We also didn’t really want to break out of the “Star Wars world” between Batuu and the Halcyon. 

Story & Roleplaying

Now the hard part to talk about: the overall story and role-playing. It’s hard to talk about because it’s hard to articulate how layered it can really get. Basically from the moment you arrive on the ship, you can begin immersing yourself in the story and putting yourself on a path (be it the Resistance, the First Order, etc.). Using the PlayDisney app, your magic band on board, and talking to the characters are all methods that you can use to insert yourself into a storyline. The highlighted activities on your datapad are definitely ones you want to partake in because they ensure that you’re understanding the big moving pieces of the story onboard. These include experiences like your lightsaber training and bridge training, along with a few others that will appear on your schedule as you make alliances across the ship. As many people have said, you can be as involved as you want to be. Talking to the characters more will definitely give you more bang for your buck and you’re more likely to become an integral part of the story and a catalyst in how certain events unfold. At the same time though, what you do, or who you align yourself with, can also be quite fluid. If you see a character walking around or going into a room, you can always follow them and track with the element of the story that they’re executing. No one is going to scan your magic band and say you can’t come along (there is one exception near the end of the voyage, but it’s not a negative, I promise). Even though I was clearly aligned with the First Order, I followed Charlotte on a number of Resistance-missions around the ship just to see what was going on. Of course, I made sure to report back to the First Order what I heard…but you certainly don’t have to do that. I think it’s important to remember that you also cannot physically be a part of everything going on board. There was so much I didn’t see happening for some characters simply because I was involved in a different storyline! But they’re all working together to guide everyone to the finale on night two. 

The big picture story is quite simple: The First Order has boarded the ship looking for Resistance spies and information about the Resistance. The Resistance is working to smuggle goods (and some Resistance heroes like Chewbacca) off the Halcyon without being detected. Galactic popstar Gaya is threaded into this story along with the Force-sensitive Saja but they also have their own motivations and goals outside of the Resistance vs. the First Order. From the big to the little activities you do, you’re more than likely going to be introduced to all of the main characters onboard the ship. Who you spend the most time with is ultimately up to you. The cast and crew of the Halcyon are really what makes it shine. They were outstanding. It’s like dinner theater for 48 hours and they do it so incredibly well. They know their roles and they know the lore of Star Wars as much as any fan, if not more. It was a treat to watch them, and “work” alongside them. They’ve really ingrained themselves as “real” Star Wars characters to me – which I know might sound odd, but I fell in love with these characters and hope to see them explored in other stories! The grand finale of your voyage happens on night two, after dinner. All of the storylines converge into the atrium and it all truly and beautifully comes together. Rey and Kylo have an amazing duel on the second story stage with the entire ship watching. Hearing the crowd go wild for those two was so much fun! What really stands out to me though, is how involved our Halcyon characters were in Rey and Kylo’s story and how seamless it felt. They never felt like “Disney entertainers” watching the Rey and Kylo show: they felt as much as part of the Star Wars story as any character. They hype up the audience throughout the duel with catchphrases and shouts of encouragement that everyone joins in on. It’s honestly amazing. During the duel, one little girl in the front yelled out, “you can do it, Rey!” and everyone cheered along with her. It was that Star Wars feeling. 

I can’t speak highly enough about the actors and crew that facilitate this story: it is so clear to see their passion for this experience.

Overall Experience 

Leaving the ship that final morning was depressing, let me tell you. Our luggage was taken off-board by the crew and we had our final breakfast in the dining room. We wandered around the atrium taking some last pictures before boarding the transport (elevator) back to the first floor and back to Earth. As we left, Charlotte and I were already talking about wanting to come back: all the things we would do differently, how fun it would be to be here with more of our friends, etc. It’s an incredible experience. 

So the big question that everyone asks: Is it worth that price tag? There’s no question that the Galactic Starcruiser is an expensive experience, like almost everything at Disney these days. Is it ultimately worth it though? For Charlotte and I, we both decided that it was perhaps still a little out of our price range, or that the experience needed to be extended by a day or an additional half-day to better justify the price. But as huge Star Wars fans, there is really nothing else like it. And as much as we wish it was less expensive, we’re already committed to saving money to go again. It wowed us and delighted us, and we can’t wait to be back one day. 

Check out our TikTok for all our videos from our journey to Galactic Starcruiser!

Thanks so much to Disney Parks for hosting us for the media voyage! We recently partnered with Kelly’s Magical Vacations which can help you book your next Disney vacation (maybe to the Halcyon!) and offer free quotes + help planning. It’s a great resource and don’t miss it next time you’re planning your trip!

George Lucas & San Anselmo, California

Charlotte and I’s recent trip to Napa, California also included a few days in San Francisco, and you know we had to make sure we checked off a few Star Wars sites along the way. One of our favorite stops was at the Lucasfilm offices to take some pictures in front of the infamous Yoda fountain. During our trip there though, a few LFL employees let us know that we should also take the short trip up to San Anselmo, California to check out Imagination Park, which has its own unique Yoda Fountain. Imagination Park is a cute little pocket park in historic downtown San Anselmo, California that not only has a Yoda statue, but also an impressive Indiana Jones statue too.

Located in the historic downtown, this pitstop started me down a research hole about the history of Imagination Park and George Lucas’s life in San Anselmo: a town he has called home since the early 1970s. I’ve compiled some of that research here, and Charlotte and I also recorded a bonus podcast episode about it if you’d like to hear us chat about it in real time. Listen here! I work professionally as an architectural historian and spend a lot of my days doing deep dives on historic buildings and towns, so this was right up my alley! There are two main pieces of land I’ve conducted research on: Imagination Park and 52 Park Way (George Lucas’s home in San Anselmo). This post works well as a companion to the podcast episode with some historic photographs and aerials. I hope you find this information interesting, and I hope it can showcase a little how every building or piece of land can have a story attached to it!

2021 Google Earth Aerial: Locations of 52 Park Way and Imagination Park indicated in red. Also, unfortunately some of the photo quality is lost when I add notations!

52 Park Way

George Lucas first moved to San Anselmo in the early 1970s with his first wife, Marcia Lucas, after the success of American Graffiti. He has maintained the same property since then and has continued to live at this address ever since. George owns all of the property in this area (also known as Pine Hill) and some properties outside of the Park Way “circle”. This website notes that when George and Marcia moved to the property it was a “Marin landmark” which piqued my interest to see if I could actually find a historic photograph of the house, or any information about its history.

Google Earth Aerial of Pine Hill; everything within the red Park Way “circle” is presumed to be George Lucas’s property.

Two of the properties outside of the Park Way “circle” made local headlines when George sued the town of San Anselmo over easement disputes. Through that research though, came to light two reports that were written about the buildings set to be demolished on these properties. These reports connected the dots of the larger history of the area and its relation to George Lucas for me. This area of land was a part of a 45-acre tract owned by Minthorne Tompkins and his wife Harriot. The Tompkins were a part of a group of some of the first white settlers in San Anselmo. Minthorne built the first two-story estate in San Anselmo in 1870. As the building report notes:

In 1869, Minthorne and Harriot (wife) purchased 45 acres of land east of Red Hill, […] where they had a large house built in 1870, which was the first estate constructed in San Anselmo. […] According to Minthorne’s will, he deeded his entire estate to all six of his children. However, it appears that prior to his death, a portion of the original 45-acres of land, excluding the 1870 Tompkins house (extant), had been deeded to his wife Harriot and was sold in 1918 by her children to the Doherty Co., Inc., who subdivided the land as part of the Sequoia Park residential development. Streets were given names like Cottage Avenue and Bungalow Avenue, representing a particular image of the type of architecture that would be constructed within the subdivision.

Historic Resource Evaluation for the Property at 115 Sequoia Drive, San Anselmo, Marin County, California, Evans & De Shazo Archaeology & Historic Preservation

This lines up with the current location of George Lucas’s property and analysis of the only historic photo of the Tompkins Estate and George Lucas’s home reveal some similarities. Personally, I think the alignment of the second story bay window roof line, the central entrance, and the curved driveway are all good indicators that this could be the same building. Here’s the unmarked photograph of the Tompkins Estate:

Early 20th century photograph of the Tompkins Estate (Source: “San Anselmo” Book by Judy Coy).

Now here’s a marked comparison between the two buildings:

Again, some of the photo quality is lost when I try to add in the notations!

That is my case for George Lucas’s house being the historic Tompkins Estate! There were some other fun stories associated with two of his daughters that I thought I’d add in here. Minthorne Tompkins’ eldest daughter, Emily, married ornithologist Joseph Mailliard in 1881 in a lavish wedding. The couple lived nearby in San Geronimo and had two children together. Suddenly, in 1891, Emily disappeared. After nearly a month long search, and her family fearing the worst, it was discovered that Emily had run away with another man and intended to marry him. She and Joseph divorced and Emily married the man she ran away with…only for it also to end in divorce a few years later. Her third marriage appeared to stick, but after the scandal she never reconciled with her family or saw her two children again. The Tompkins’ youngest daughter, Ethel, is credited with the founding of the Marin Humane Society. The first location of the Marin Humane Society was in San Rafael. According to the organization’s history, “Since there was limited space for housing the animals, Ms. Tompkins also built cages and kennels in her San Anselmo home” (Marin Humane Society). While it’s not definitive, this could be the Tompkins Estate being referenced again.

Imagination Park

Imagination Park is the origin story for this research, and when Charlotte and I first arrived, we did a quick Google search on the park and were interested to learn that George Lucas had owned this land for a number of years and ultimately ended up financing the creation of Imagination Park after a request from the Chamber of Commerce in San Anselmo. On this plot of land, there was historically a commercial building that was constructed in the early 20th century. In the early 1940s, the building is taken over by the Rossi Brothers, who operated the building as a pharmacy until the 1980s. Shortly after opening the pharmacy, the Rossi Brothers commission the artist Jose Moya del Pino to create a mural on the history of pharmacy in 1945.

1919 Sanborn Map; Future location of Imagination Park outlined in red.
c. 1920s “Street Scene” of San Anselmo. The Tower in the middle is the town hall building. The building the far background is the Rossi Bros Drug Store.
c. 1940s Photograph; The Rossi Bros Drug Store is visible in the back of this photo.
1950 Sanborn Map: Just above “San Anselmo Town Hall” is a building labeled “DRUGS”. This is the Rossi Bros. Drug Store!

George Lucas buys the building sometime between 2008 – 2010 with the intent of making it a community center that featured something such as a park, a theater, or even a “ping pong” center. In the summer of 2012, the town of San Anselmo approaches George about donating the land and working with the city to finally realize the community center. They eventually agree to move forward with the park idea and commission two statues to be created: one of Yoda and one of Indiana Jones. Prior to the demolition of the buildings, a historic resources report is written by the San Anselmo Historic Society on the buildings. The report noted that the only thing of significance in the building was the mural by Jose Moya del Pino. George hires a local art conservator to oversee restoration efforts on the mural and to remove the mural from the building prior to its demolition. The mural was donated to the Spanish-United States Foundation and is eventually given to the Spanish Consulate in San Francisco where it is said to be on display today.

2008 Google Street View of the building as it looked around the time George Lucas purchased it.
San Anselmo donor offers town ownership of Imagination Park
Photo of Imagination Park today (Source: Marin Independent Journal).
George Lucas Dedication of Imagination Park on June 20, 2013.

Jose Moya del Piño

Jose Moya del Pino is a Spanish-born American painter who first moved to San Francisco in the 1920s. He painted in the post-impressionist style and is known for his portraits and murals. He taught at the San Francisco Art Students League, San Francisco Art Institute, and the College of Marin. Much of his notable work comes from work he did as a part of the Public Works of Art Project. These include many murals for post offices in the Bay Area (as well as other states), and a mural for the lobby of Coit Tower in San Francisco in 1934. He is buried in San Rafael, California. The Marin Art and Garden Center’s Octogon House is home to the Jose Moya del Pino library.

Jose Moya del Pino | Smithsonian Institution
Jose Moya del Piño (Source: Smithsonian Institute).
1949 Photograph of the mural inside the Rossi Bros Drug Store (Source: San Anselmo Historical Society).

Bonus Facts:

  • George Lucas was a part of the “Miracle Mile” beautification project. The Miracle Mile is essentially a tract of land that followed the old railroad tracks (which were removed) and is now a landscaped median. As a part of this donation, he also purchased a music store that was located along this median in order to move the building and renovate it so it did not have to be demolished.
  • Mill Valley is also known for the Mill Valley Film Festival, which was organized in 1977 and had its first festival in 1978. It is considered one of the top film festivals in the country today and Lucasfilm has been a sponsor for many years in addition to Star Wars characters making frequent appearances at the festival.
Photo from Twitter user @BADroidBuilders from the 2021 Mill Valley Film Festival next to a photograph from the 1982 festival.


There’s not a great way to wrap up this post, but I hope you enjoyed seeing some of these places! As Charlotte and I discussed in the podcast episode, being in San Anselmo added a lot to our understanding and general feelings about George Lucas as a person. Seeing his involvement in his local community through some of this research confirmed for us that this is a place he feels deeply connected to and cares about. If you’re in the Bay Area, it’s definitely worth the short drive up to San Anselmo to see the park and surrounding area for yourself!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment here or email me: caitlin@skytalkers.com!


The Bad Batch: “Cut and Run” Discussion

Episode 2 of The Bad Batch is here! We break down the latest episode, our favorite parts, more thoughts on Omega and Hunter, and more. 

Click here to download the episode directly!

Further reading:
We recorded this before we became aware of a serious issue raised by fans, which is whitewashing in animation and specifically with the clones here. As white women, whatever we say is just paraphrasing fans of color who have rightfully called attention to this. Check out these links for more information: carrd.co with collected fanworks and info; this thoughtful io9 article.

Click read more for the episode transcript!

Continue reading “The Bad Batch: “Cut and Run” Discussion”

The Best Of The Clone Wars: Episode Guide

We were so excited to have Savanna Oudit of The Dorky Diva show and blog back on Skytalkers this week! Savanna is one of our dearest friends, and we loved getting to chat about all our favorite pieces of The Clone Wars with her. This post includes all of the episodes we discussed in our recent episode with Savanna.

Check out the episode where we discuss all of these Clone Wars episodes in depth, and why we love them so much!

Savanna’s Picks:

The Umbara Arc, Season 4

Episodes: “Darkness on Umbara” (4×07), “The General” (4×08), “Plan of Dissent” (4×09), and “Carnage of Krell” (4×10)

Also be sure to check out Savanna’s fanvid recommendation!

Maul Arc, Season 5

Episodes: “Eminence” (4×14), “Shades of Reason” (4×15), “The Lawless” (4×16)

Landing at Point Rain Arc, Season 2

Episodes: “Landing at Point Rain” (2×05), “Weapons Factory” (2×06), “Legacy of Terror” (2×07), “Brain Invaders” (2×08)

Honorable Mention: The Zygerian Arc, Season 4 (4×11, 4×12, 4×13)

Charlotte’s Picks:

Mortis Arc, Season 3

Episodes: “Overlords” (3×15), “Alter of Mortis” (3×16), “Ghosts of Mortis” (3×17)

The Yoda Arc, Season 6

Episodes: “Voices” (6×11), “Destiny” (6×12), “Sacrifice” (6×13)

“Heroes on Both Sides”, Season 3, Episode 10

Honorable Mention: The Clovis Arc, Season 6 (6×05, 6×06, 6×07)

Caitlin’s Picks

Ahsoka Leaves Arc, Season 5

Episodes: “Sabotage” (5×17), “The Jedi Who Knew Too Much” (5×18), “To Catch a Jedi” (5×19), “The Wrong Jedi” (5×20)

Another sad fanvid for you.

The Onderon Arc, Season 5

Episodes: “A War on Two Fronts” (5×02), “Front Runners” (5×03), “The Soft War” (5×04), “Tipping Points” (5×05)

Holocron Heist Arc, Season 2

Episodes: “Holocron Heist” (2×01), “Cargo of Doom” (2×02), “Children of the Force” (2×03)

Honorable Mention: “The Box”, Season 4, Episode 17

Kintsugi: Transformative Repair (A Meta)

A few months ago, there were Episode IX leaks in the Star Wars community about the return of Kylo Ren’s helmet which have since been proven true through the mural that was unveiled at Star Wars Celebration Chicago, and subsequently through the teaser trailer itself. This was an interesting development because the last time we saw Kylo’s helmet in The Last Jedi, Snoke was ridiculing Kylo, telling him to take that “ridiculous thing off.” Kylo proceeds to smash the mask inside the turbolift, where we last see it in pieces on the ground as he storms away. Rian Johnson has stated that it was actually quite difficult to destroy the mask because its design was so integral to the character’s development in The Force Awakens. He felt it was necessary though as his film sought to begin to understand what was behind the mask.

Click below to read the full meta! Click here for an audio-only version of this meta.

Click to Read the full meta