With the book now available in our galaxy, on 23rd June digitally and on 21st July in print, Cole Horton is on the promotional trail and here he chats with Laughing Place about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Traveler’s Guide to Batuu and other matters.
LP: Let’s get into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – A Traveler’s Guide to Batuu. You mentioned that Book of Lists had been written for about a year. Was Traveler’s Guide to Batuu something that you would have started writing that long ago as well, or was this written more recently since the land has opened?
Horton: I think I wrote Traveler’s Guide before Book of Lists. I wrote Traveler’s Guide right around Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, which would have been April of last year. And no, the land wasn’t open, so I had to put myself in the mindset of some expert who’s been there dozens of times, and it didn’t exist. I think at that point the different coasts were in different places [construction-wise] and a lot of the concrete was still wet. Much like the other authors who were working on a lot of other projects that tie in to Galaxy’s Edge, I was provided this creative guide– this incredibly dense and incredibly long document that had tons of art and all the descriptions, and all of it had come out of that collaboration between Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm. I was working off of that.
The bulk of it was written before I got to go. I did get to visit Disneyland during that initial month, that preview period. I was terrified, because what if I had it wrong? They had us all queued up out there, marching us in, and I’m just turning every corner like, ‘Did I do it?’ But luckily the resources were amazing, including, the giant model that they had of Galaxy’s Edge at D23 Expo . I was actually given photography of that model– they were able to take it apart and provide me ground-level images. So it was almost like someone had been into this place already and taken pictures from where you would be, and I was able to get a sense for the space. I knew I had to take people on a logical path. I had to figure that out logistically, and then know what came next and describe it that way.
I wrote it much like Rick Steves would write a travel guide. I wanted to write it that way, but there’s always this logical path. And I was always afraid that I would get something out of order, like, ‘Where’s the milk stand? And where is that in relation to where the First Order has set up?’ And doing that all on paper was a challenge. The good news is the lands are more similar than they are different, especially in terms of the structures, so there [weren’t] even really challenges there. It was great because I had, again, all the help and oversight from Imagineering and Lucasfilm. I got it largely right.